Luisa Vélez Henao

is a graphic designer
and art director 
based in Brooklyn

The Gender Handbook

With a reported 128 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, this handbook helps field workers across a variety of sectors to mainstream gender equality. The project is the culmination of 3 years of collaborative work, including field testing a trial version of the handbook in Afghanistan and Ethiopia to gather crucial feedback on its efficiency and use.

The design is inspired by modernist-instructional manuals. We focused on the need for the book to be user-friendly, with clear divisions and content hierarchy to help users find the information quickly while on the field. To keep printing costs low, it was designed to primarily utilize two-color printing, with each of the three sections getting its’ own feature color. It also features industry-standard icons and personal, humanizing photography curated from a vast photo library. It is published in four languages — English, Spanish, French, and Arabic. The response has been overwhelmingly positive with documented improvements in many environments. For example, in Gambella, Ethiopia, participants have improved privacy and dignity for refugees and are asking more in-depth questions about gender norms and relationship.
︎Credits
Design: Luisa Vélez Henao
Layout support: Marina Csomor
Art Direction: Patrick Durgin-BrucePortfolio Photos: Patrick Durgin-Bruce


For: Magazine

Issue 1

In this first issue, we explore the broad concept of maturing, considering the growth and change of people, societies, and ideas with the passing of time. Our articles explore the experiences of people who have dedicated their lives to peace and to human rights, people who preserve the religious or culinary histories of their communities, and people who design housing and community gathering places. All are people who improve the lives of others. We have gathered their unique stories together in one place to inspire our readers to challenge preconceived notions of “growing up” and “growing old” and consider the role of time and maturing in our own lives.

I worked on this project as the co-editor and co-designer. Since the very beginning conceptual phase of shaping what we wanted the magazine to be to finding and commissioning stories and visuals (photography and illustrations) in 13 countries and 5 different languages. I also wrote a short story for a photo essay on the french photographer JR and illustrated one of the stories myself.
︎Credits:
Design: Luisa Vélez Henao and Patrick Durgin-Bruce
Creative Direction: Patrick Durgin-Bruce
Editor-in-Chief: Katherine Durgin-Bruce
Editing support & Social Media: Marina Csomor
Portfolio Photos: Patrick Durgin-Bruce



Could it be sunny
in Philadelphia?


Illustrations and layout design for a report launched by the Knight Foundation on the newspapers forecast in Philadelphia. Inspired by the title of the report, we created quite literal and playful forecast icon illustrations using paper maché with scraps from Philadelphia’s newspapers to accompany the report and the social media assets.
︎Credits:
Design: Luisa Vélez Henao
Illustrations and photography: Luisa Vélez Henao & Patrick Durgin-Bruce
Art Direction: Patrick Durgin-Bruce


Decent Jobs for Youth


Brand platform (positioning statement, manifesto, tagline, and messaging platform) and collateral for a system-wide effort from the United Nations to improve and promote employment opportunities for the young workforce. More than 2 in every 5 economically-active young people in the world are either looking for a job or working but live in poverty. Many who are working remain poor due to substandard pay and lack of opportunity.
︎Credits:
Design: Luisa Vélez Henao
Art Direction: Patrick Durgin-Bruce
Strategy and messaging: Seth Margolis, Patrick Durgin-Bruce, and Luisa Vélez Henao



Memoria de elefante


Memoria de elefante (Elephant’s Memory) is an initiative for building historical memory through three typical Colombian customs: oral storytelling, artistic expressions, and the tradition of social gatherings. How? By bringing together survivors of the armed conflict with young creative people. Each visual artist listens to the story of a war survivor, and together they make a visual representation of it.

For the prototype, I shared previously documented testimonies with ten artists, designers, and illustrators from my creative community in Colombia, and each made a visual representation.

This concept project was developed over one year and is comprised of identity and visual design, a business plan, pitch book, a video, and a public pitch presentation as thesis requirements of the MFA Designer as Author and Entrepreneur program at the School of Visual Arts (NY).


︎Credits:
Design and Art Direction: Luisa Vélez Henao
Advisor: John Carlin, Daniel Clavijo, Ignacio Neuta
Art and illustrations: Carolina Gámez, Alicia Garavito, Daniel Liévano, Kevin Mancera, Sebastián Múnera, Ignacio Neuta, Verónica Posada, María José Sánchez, Carlota Vesga.
Publication 3D mockup: Nicolás Arango Cubillos
Portfolio photos: Nham Wongpradu Nham
︎ Video credits:
Creative and art direction: Luisa Vélez Henao
Dancer: Carolina Ravassa
Camera and Lighting: Nham Wongpradu & Mohammad Sharaf
Color correction: Eren S. Kibele Yarman
Audio editing: Andrés Torres