The Empathy Project is a public campaign that encourages the general public to develop basic empathy for strangers. This project was my senior graphic design thesis, developed from August 2020–May 2021.
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 thempathyproject.org, 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.
Thempathyproject.org was created in collaboration with Kaitlin Hoffmann, a computer science professor at SUNY New Paltz. Kaitlin coded the majority of the site, and I made small adjustments to make sure all the graphics and typography are correct. Huge thanks to Kaitlin for her help with this project; check out her portfolio to see more of her work.