Graphic Design Seniors

Olivia Johnson, class of 2016

August 07, 2017


the project

Socialism is a bad word in America. Politicians use the term ‘socialist’ as an insult because it represents something foreign, scary, and un-American. What most people don’t realize is that America is, in fact, already Socialist. Many things that make this country what it is—Social Security, Public Schools, Highways—are all, by definition, Socialist entities. The goal of Socialism Is… is to shift the the way we think about Socialism. Socialism isn’t something to be afraid of, it’s something that we already experience and appreciate.



The main component of Socialism Is… is a responsive, interactive website. Aesthetically inspired by modernist designer Lester Beall, Socialism Is… evokes bright, familiar imagery to help explain complex ideas, the language used is simple enough to reach a wide audience while still feeling eloquent and authoritative. There are also four printed posters that correlate with the key statements featured on the site’s homepage.

Socialism Is… transforms Socialism from a bad word into a compliment. Socialism Is… illustrates that Socialism is something to embrace, instead of fear. Through creating a website accessible to everyone, utilizing recognizable imagery and terms, and with the power of good design, this project verifies that Socialism is…American.



olivia's advice

1. Don’t get in over your head. You have about a semester to complete the project, which seems like a long time, but will fly by. Prioritize quality over quantity. A polished and concise project is more successful than a half-done project with thousands of parts.

2. Use your degree project as a means to expand your preconceived notions about graphic design as a medium. Go for the unexpected. 

3. Your degree project can be an opportunity to broaden your skillset and better prepare yourself for job interviews post-graduation, whether it’s adding a motion piece to strengthen your AfterEffects skills, or creating a web component that you code from scratch.



Olivia is currently a designer at Sosolimited in Boston, MA.
See more of her work at