Term of Award

Spring 2018

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Art

Committee Chair

Santanu Majumdar

Committee Member 1

Onyile Onyile

Committee Member 2

Edward Rushton


This thesis is an exploration of graphic design and how it can be used as tool to create awareness about mental illness and positive solutions to decrease its affect on individuals. Using the “simple things” in life as metaphors, this thesis attempts to use graphic design as a way to help decrease depression. Drawing on the emergent strands of enquiry associated with mental illness, this thesis will investigate how design and its basic principles can be used create positive experiences for the complex issue of mental illness.

This thesis will also review the body of critical and historical design thinking, approaches and solutions of graphic design for social awareness, evaluating it for both is advancements and limitations. This evaluation will provide valuable insight to identify design trends when designing for social awareness.

I understand that graphic design alone can not cure mental illness or rid the world of depression, but it can be used as a tool to create awareness. This thesis uses graphic design as an initiative to bring awareness and reinforce positivity. Instead of designing to show the problem and the statistics associated with mental illness, my work focuses on as a support system to reduce metal anxiety and depression by using care, support, such as support, encouragement, patience and positive human interaction. In my thesis project I have used small, simple things in life as metaphors to communicate that there are people who care about you and want to help and support you.

Research Data and Supplementary Material