Design and Visual Communications
Experiential Sign Design, Wayfinding & Graphic Design

The Hormel Institute’s New Ray Live Learning Center

A grand opening took place on June 1st of this year for The Hormel Institute’s new Ray Live Learning Center in Austin, Minnesota. At the celebration, The Hormel Institute and Visual Communications revealed their combined creative efforts to exhibit The Hormel Institute’s notable history of cancer research, and other medical studies through inspirational graphic design. The new facility section features a two-story lobby, microscope image-inspired designs by Principal Designer, Constance Carlson, and walls adorned with DNA wallpaper designs by Visual Communications Senior Experiential Graphic Designer, Jesse Yungner.

HI Sculpture night

Visitors are welcomed at the Live Learning Center entrance by these microscope created designs, along with donor lists and a dedicated plaque for noted donors, Gary and Pat Ray. Donors are also honored by a wave pattern of microscope images, over which are the names of the present donors. The Principal, Carlson, created designs for these pieces.

HI LLC Entrance detail HI LLC Donor wall full


One of the most notable features is the tribute to The Hormel Institute’s history of remarkable cancer research. This story is told on a wall montage of research photos and accompanying quotes, and written details of the Institute’s missions and successes. The project was a collaboration between The Hormel Institute’s Director of Development and Public Relations, Gail Dennison, and Hormel Marketing’s Michelle Phillips. Visual Communications team provided the design. The materials for this piece were created and provided by Archetype Sign Makers, while the wallpaper was provided by Hirschfields.

HI LLC Story Wall (full view)

Finally, another impressive experiential installation is a sculpture at the building’s exterior front. This piece, at 30 feet high, is inspired by a milk thistle plant protein; The Hormel Institute discovered that a bioactive element of the plant—silybin—acts against cancer and weakens melanoma. This was an important discovery and the sculpture—a collaborative design by the Hormel Institute, Visual Communications, and Archetype—is called “Ray of Hope” to recognize the Institute’s major donors, Gary and Pat Ray.

HI Sculpture Daytime

Overall, The Hormel Institute’s new Ray Live Learning Center is an inspiring work of art and tribute to medical science. The Visual Communications team of Cheryl Long O’Donnell, Constance Carlson and Jesse Yungner, created this experiential design to fulfill the needs of their client in telling their story.

Richard Lang Principal at Visual Communications, Inc.

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