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Our Story

The Creative Campus Voting Project investigates how the skills and sensibilities of art and design practice can make the voting process less confusing, more visible and appealing to college-age voters.

In 2018, 40% of college students nationwide participated in the midterm elections. While this was a marked  improvement from 2014 (19% participation), a troubling gap in college voter participation remains (Thomas, et al., 2019).

Our project addresses this civic challenge. Using methods from creative practice, we translate behavioral science insights into action to increase college-age voter participation.

Our team of experts from art and design use a range of communication techniques to deliver key information at critical touchpoints with the clarity of visual design and unexpected vibrancy of creative play. Our inviting, celebratory experiences and materials deliver practical, accessible information that both engages and educates college-age voters.

about the project
our story
How to vote absentee as a first time student voter in Michigan Voting is Sexy 2018 creative video explanation

We began in the summer of 2018 by addressing a key tripping point for college voters in Michigan — eligibility for absentee voting. Our explainer video had 13,000 social media views and 300 shares across the state.

2018 Voting is Sexy group holding whiteboard speech bubbles relating to the importance of voting in front of the Art and Architecture building

In Fall 2018, we co-created and tested creative tools with students (pictured) in our Stamps School course Voting is Sexy — speech bubbles for photo-ops, infographics, social media, and more.

Voting is Sexy at U of M's Stamps School of Art & Design article screencap from AIGA How can midterm voting be rebranded so that college students find it irresistible?

In November 2018, we were invited to share our work with the AIGA  Design Educators Community in a field report.

speech bubble tail.png
I loved how fun and nonpartisan they made it to encourage the most voting!

In Dec 2018, over 170 students responded to an online survey about their Fall 2018 voting experience, confirming the value and impact of our Voting is Sexy campaign.

UROP Focus Group using sticky notes to better sort and understand students' takes on voting challenges and motivators

Fall 2019 to March 2020, we gained a more detailed understanding of voting challenges and motivators working with three U-M students in the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program). They conducted over 60 semi-structured interviews, 80 online surveys, and a workshop (right) with their peers.

Students using creative collaborative methods with sticky notes

Students in a Winter 2020 Creative Campaigns for Voting course (left) contributed their creative solutions and knowledge as members of the target demographic.

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