SUNY New Paltz Graphic Design BFA Thesis Show 2021

The Empathy Project

Emma Noyes

Empathy is imperative for not only understanding each other but, ultimately, surviving together. In a society plagued by individualism, empathy can seem an overwhelming and exhausting concept to practice in daily life.

The Empathy Project is a public campaign that encourages the general public to develop basic empathy for strangers. Graphics placed in areas of high public interaction, such as train and subway stations, will invite people to answer short, accessible questions like “What made you smile today?” and “Who do you appreciate?” A QR code corresponding to each question will lead to, where viewers can share their answers and read responses. Each of the six questions has its own slightly different visual identity, including a display typeface and gradient. This shifting visual language is grounded in seven colors and a sans-serif body typeface, building an emphasis on both human differences and common experiences.

By encouraging people to think about these simple prompts and answers, the campaign will pique people’s curiosity into one another’s lives, and possibly even reveal common beliefs, fears, and hopes. The Empathy Project ultimately aims to inspire reflection on our shared human experiences, resulting in more compassionate thoughts and actions toward those around us.