"An elegant examination of how to improve the utility of our nation's varied—and, in some cases, shockingly bad—voter materials. . . . A refreshing use of aesthetics for a common good, and a probable classic for the bookshelves of the visually inclined."
(Rolf Ebeling Newsweek
"Lausen argues in Design for Democracy that election redesign is about ensuring that the full range of printed and visual materials with which citizens interact communicates effectively. The project is motivated by a belief that increased efficiency and transparency will improve confidence levels and increase trust between citizens and their government, thus invigorating democracy."
(Ryan Bigge Toronto Star
"An invaluable guide for voter advocates."
(Bill Breen Fast Company
"If graphic designer Marcia Lausen had started revamping ballots just a few years earlier, George W. Bush might not be our President. . . . Any town, city or state can refer to Design for Democracy for sound advice on how to ensure no chad is left behind."
(Lauren Weinberg Time Out Chicago
"The thinky gift book for a political wonk."
“A notable and noble achievement, applying the craft of graphic design in the service of the public interest.”
(Edward Tufte, author of Beautiful Evidence)
“Design is all too often concerned with an audience of consumers, but Design for Democracy fully recognizes its audience as citizens. A thoughtful demonstration of how the practice of design can productively engage the public, this book is urgently necessary.”
(Geoff Kaplan, designer, General Working Group)
"Good information design is rooted in sticking to simple rules. Obvious though many of these rules may seem, the U.S. electoral debacle of 2000 illustrates the peril of ignoring them, while Lausen's book shows how effective they can be."
(Alice Rawsthorn International Herald Tribune
"The content of this book is incredibly useful, accessible, and understandable. Lausen does a beautiful job of dissecting the designs of ballots, voter information pamphlets, signs and posters, brochures, and so on for those of us who are not trained designers, explaining why the designs are bad and showing improved designs with evidence that they work. This is utilitarian, industrial design at its best."
(Dana E. Chisnell Technical Communication
"This project is an excellent example of the way designers are able to take urgent problems and help transform them into objects that people can use in their everyday lives, helping to make complex information more understandable and visualizing new thinking that can have an enormous impact on the world."
(Zoe Ryan Chicago Tribune
About the Author
Marcia Lausen, a founding member of Design for Democracy, is professor graphic design at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a principal at Studio/lab, a multidisciplinary design consulting firm.