70 Years of Innovation Poster

As the innovation team, how might we commemorate UNICEF’s 70th Anniversary in a fun and fresh way?

OK, really now, we are designers and we just wanted to have some fun…with a purpose of course.

Design has always played its part in supporting the work of UNICEF since its founding after World War II in 1946. The sale of UNICEF’s endearing postcards and greeting cards has been a key source of fundraising for decades, so we thought what better way to celebrate UNICEF’s 70 years as an innovative change engine than through design?

There’s so much to say about UNICEF’s great work and it’s already written all so well in UNICEF’s anniversary publication, so to complement and express in our own delightful way our congratulations to UNICEF, the Office of Innovation designed a poster to celebrate UNICEF’s 70 years as an innovative change engine.


We wanted to share something different and something that could encapsulate not just the work of our team, but the work of UNICEF at large as an innovative organisation. We reached out to fellow UNICEF colleagues to crowd-source and capture innovations throughout the years. We then took those ideas and turned them into a poster and set of shareable icons.

The poster contains over 50 representations of innovations and people, which chime on all of UNICEF’s programmes from education, health, emergencies, water and sanitation and more.

Harmonizing on a singular aesthetic was no easy task for four designers, but we thought it would be fun to share with you a little bit about the behind-the-scenes process on how we managed to accomplish the challenge:


We reached out to our innovation colleagues to crowdsource and study up on the many innovations that have spawned over the years. We generated a long list, sent out some quick surveys, researched and read publications and articles and then narrowed down innovations that would represent UNICEF’s programmatic areas. We took these ideas and illustrated them into icons and a diverse array of people. See the list below to learn more about some of innovations represented in the poster.


Developing a system for iconography and agreeing on a direction required us to set-up rules and guidelines that would help us maintain a design consistency. We came up with a few rules to keep our aesthetic consistent, agreeing on things like stroke weight, corner radius degrees and spacing between lines within an object – all perhaps mundane sounding tasks for some, but imperative to the design. We were really conscious of covering as many programmatic areas as possible, from health to education to emergencies. We were really mindful of balancing between how much or little to represent, keeping in mind that the purpose of the poster was to express a joyful summary of UNICEF’s pioneering in equity for children.


Communication and establishing a workflow between four designers located in different time zones was a crucial part to making this poster. We had a number of debates over things like typography, Pantone colors, branding and other designerly nuances. In between it all, we maintained a strict timeline between the rest of our priorities, chatted constantly on WhatsApp and email, and tapped into our colleagues for feedback and debate. What more, our design team utilized our already strong and transparent rapport, which allowed us to make quick, strategic and meaningful decisions. This is perhaps one of the most outstanding and valuable qualities about our design team and is something to highlight as something really special and exceptional about our team.