Project Description

Ongoing Matter: Design, Democracy, and the Mueller Report is a nonpartisan, grassroots design initiative fostering audience engagement with the Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election, or, as it is more colloquially known, the Mueller Report. The multi-platform exhibition of contemporary design artifacts, including posters, brings the words of the report to life visually, making the text more approachable and providing entry points for learning more about the report content. Ongoing Matter also calls average citizens to respond to what has become one of the most consequential political moments in modern history—a moment when the integrity of American elections and democracy itself is at risk—by reading Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s words.

The artists and designers in this project consider their charge to be one of empowerment, using the art of communication design to 1) reveal, inform, and spur audiences to act and 2) combat widespread misinformation and disinformation. These interpretive, political works also illuminate the major threats to democracy cited in the Mueller Report.

Posters have had a long and wide history. From advertising and propaganda to activism and protest, they have communicated and symbolized society’s most important issues for centuries. Ongoing Matter is a continuation of this tradition—specifically, using posters as a medium to both fight against misinformation, disinformation, and authoritarianism, and advocate for truth, justice, and democratic values.

Mission & Objectives

The United States presidential election of 2016 has served as one of the most consequential political moments in modern history. Though it is challenging to capture the depth and breadth of what took place on November 8, 2016, as well as the events surrounding  election day, the Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election, also known as the Mueller Report, helps lay the foundation.

Despite the significance of the Mueller Report and the dissemination of the report’s content via books, news reporting, and podcasts—and despite the general public’s interest in it—the length and verbiage create barriers to reading the entire document. As a result, the average American citizen may not be fully informed of the gravity of our current political crisis with respect to democracy and the security of our elections.

As designers who understand the power of words, we’ve seized the opportunity to help bridge the gap between the public’s interest in the Mueller Report and the public’s likelihood of reading it. Consequently, we are bringing the Mueller Report words to life in ways that are both informative and visually engaging, while remaining true to the text of the report.


We hope that our initial series of posters provide an entry point for learning about the significance of the Mueller Report. More importantly, we want to see the project evolve and take on a life of its own, developing into a repository of design contributions from creative professionals, educators, and students that highlight content from the report. As part of our effort to grow Ongoing Matter, we will also be expanding from print media into digital formats that can be shared through social media.

Funding & Support from
IU Bloomington Arts & Humanities Council Logo
Office of the Vice Provost of Research at Indiana University Bloomington
New Frontiers in the Arts & Humanities Program