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HHMI: Annual Report

Annual Reports

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Copyright © 2007, Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. Produced for HHMI while employed at VSA Partners, Inc.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), a nonprofit medical research organization, ranks as one of the nation’s largest philanthropies. HHMI plays a powerful role in advancing biomedical research and science education in the United States and abroad, spending hundreds of millions of dollars annually for research and distributing grant support for science education. The current group of approximately 330 HHMI Investigators includes 13 Nobel laureates and 161 members of the National Academy of Sciences. HHMI is truly at the forefront of biomedical research in the US.

Our work with HHMI spanned several brand initiatives, so we think it’s good to give credit to the work that inspired the brand’s enduring creative direction. In this case, it was their annual report which previously was a relatively undistinguished, uninspiring run-of-the-mill report.

Our task, year after year, was to create an annual report that more closely reflected the bold and daring vision of its President and Board. We had to somehow bring greater clarity and interest to the complex and often unapproachable topic of biomedical research. Oh yes, and do it on a tight budget.

While we designed many annuals for HHMI, one of our favorites, the 2007 report, best represents the evolution of a brand’s conceptual direction. This award-winning report was based on the simple idea that stakeholders wanted to know more about HHMI’s vision. Chapters of short stories, supported by original illustrations engaged readers who wanted to understand where HHMI was headed.

Who knew biomedical research could be so interesting?