WithinReach – History of Vaccination

A story about the greatest public health breakthroughs of our time.

The Vax Northwest team was preparing for the 50th anniversary of the Seattle World’s Fair, which was an opportunity to celebrate 50 years of vaccine breakthroughs.

When our client, Vax Northwest, asked  us to create an infographic for an upcoming event we let our imaginations grow beyond the pixels of the computer screen. Unlike most infographics, this project needed to be part of an informational booth set-up. This infographic needed to be life-size! While this infographic lives well online, it’s true power is in a nearly 6 foot tall pop-up banner flanking the information table in the booth space.

Story Inspiration

When designing this project, we wanted to capture the spirit of the World’s Fair. To us, the World’s Fair has always been about the citizens of the globe collectively moving forward to a more hopeful future. We wanted to bring that same feeling to our communication—a sense of awe of what we’ve accomplished and a feeling that tomorrow will be even better.

Our Approach

In creating our visual story, we took a global view of the epic battle between diseases and vaccines over the past fifty years. Focusing not only on past vaccine breakthroughs, we highlighted current discoveries and looked to the future to show how vaccine advancements will improve even more lives. The ribbon timeline pulls the reader through the history of vaccine while offering nooks for additional information and highlights.

Another important communication point was to vilify diseases. For many parents, the diseases that vaccines prevent—like polio and mumps—are a generation removed. They don’t fear these dangerous diseases that were a horrible reality for generations past. Through making our diseases villains we are able to be clear that vaccines are heroes and the best the way to protect your family. The approachable illustrated “meanie” disease icons make this a project digestible for both parents and children.


The infographic banner was a success! The banner has criss-crossed Washington over the past several years, bridging the gap between public health and the public when it comes to easily understood vaccine knowledge. Vax Northwest noted that many people stopped to read the banner at the event and they have plans on using the banner for events for many years to come.