Advertise here with Carbon Ads

This site is made possible by member support. ❤️

Big thanks to Arcustech for hosting the site and offering amazing tech support.

When you buy through links on, I may earn an affiliate commission. Thanks for supporting the site! home of fine hypertext products since 1998.

🍔  💀  📸  😭  🕳️  🤠  🎬  🥔

Design for Democracy is utilizing the skillset

Design for Democracy is utilizing the skillset of designers to improve the election process in America, including ballot redesigns and polling place signage.

Reader comments

JohnSep 16, 2005 at 11:02AM

I wrote about Design for Democracy and a few other efforts of citizens to improve government design in an article that appeared Communication Arts last January.

Jonathan DobresSep 16, 2005 at 11:15AM

I don't suppose there's any kind of similar plan to revamp the signage on Boston's subway system? Ever since the 2004 DNC, there have been all these extra signs to direct people to streets and nearby landmarks, which is a great idea. The problem is that whoever decided to use the signs also decided it was a good idea to pick the typography from a dart board. I ride the T every day, and it's got to ne one of the ugliest, most unprofessional looking aspects to Boston's public transit.

RamananSep 16, 2005 at 11:49AM

I think it will take a lot more than nicer ballots to fix the US election process. I would agree the ballots are a source of confussion, but they are a small part of a much larger problem. From None Dare Call it Stolen in Harpers:

At Kenyon College in Gambier, for instance, there were only two machines for 1,300 would-be voters, even though “a surge of late registrations promised a record vote.” Gambier residents and Kenyon students had to stand in line for hours, in the rain and in “crowded, narrow hallways,” with some of them inevitably forced to call it quits. “In contrast, at nearby Mt. Vernon Nazarene University, which is considered more Republican leaning, there were ample waiting machines and no lines.” This was not a consequence of limited resources. In Franklin County alone, as voters stood for hours throughout Columbus and elsewhere, at least 125 machines collected dust in storage. The county’s election officials had “decided to make do with 2,866 machines, even though the analysis showed that the county needs 5,000 machines.

JohnSep 19, 2005 at 7:12AM

Jonathan: This sounds like a great project for your local AIGA chapter, a design class, or even a proposal of your own. Most of the projects I covered in my article were all started by interested citizens - many as class projects - and were eventually adopted for use. If you put the word out, you'll probably find you're not the only one who feels that way about the signage.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.