The Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) and the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State announced today that an adaptable system of voting signage designed by in-house studio DesignWorks for the City of Minneapolis will be implemented statewide by the Office of the Secretary of State for the 2018 election cycle. This system of signage communicates vital information that is legally required to be displayed in all polling places, such as instructions for how to register and vote, how to receive assistance if needed, and how to correctly mark a ballot.

“Minnesota’s election system continues to be a role model for the nation, and the implementation of these improved signs with important voting information will help further ensure a consistent voting experience across the state,” said Secretary of State Steve Simon.

The City of Minneapolis hired MCAD DesignWorks to redesign the instructional and directional signage used polling places for the 2016 primary and general election. “We were honored to collaborate with Secretary Simon and the DesignWorks team on this new signage,” said Minneapolis Third Ward Council Member Jacob Frey, who chairs the City Council’s standing committee on elections. “The signs were used in all four early vote centers during the 46-day early vote period, and were deployed in all 132 precincts on Election Day for the presidential election. We received nothing but positive comments about the signs, both from voters as well as the news media and even folks from outside Minneapolis who saw the coverage on statewide, regional, and even national news outlets.”

Based upon the success of the new signage, MCAD and Minneapolis Elections began exploring the possibility of partnering with the state’s chief elections official to improve the signage used in over 4,000 precincts statewide. MCAD will be providing the state with all the design files developed for the City of Minneapolis, which will be modified as needed by the Office of the Secretary of State for use in the next statewide general election cycle.

In addition to providing the files to the Office of the Secretary of State, MCAD has also made the design files available to the public at large under a Creative Commons license. The files are available to download at www.mcad.edu/votingsigns.

“Good civic design should be accessible to everyone. We hope that members of the design-for-good community are inspired to build upon the work MCAD has done to help create a better voting experience for citizens nationwide,” said MCAD president Jay Coogan. “We are happy to have partnered with the City of Minneapolis and the Office of the Secretary of State to make this important initiative happen.”


MCAD DesignWorks is the Minneapolis College of Art and Design’s in-house design studio that gives students client- based experiences in a professional creative environment. Designers are full-time students who develop solutions
for both the college and outside organizations. Supported by seasoned MCAD staff, students develop key skills necessary for successful client relationships. By working with MCAD students, clients get leading-edge solutions, and MCAD students in turn get experience that gives them an edge as they begin their professional careers.


Recognized nationally and internationally for its innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to visual arts education, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design is home to 800 students and offers professional certificates, bachelor of fine arts and bachelor of science degrees, and graduate degrees.