Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts


Art and Design

First Advisor

Debra Satterfield


This research provides information to guide design decisions for healthcare identity systems based on the perception of and emotional response to visual stimuli. An initial analysis of logos from top ranked hospitals was completed. Focus group sessions were conducted to determine positive and negative emotional descriptors associated with hospital and healthcare environments. A literature word coding process was also used to help determine the descriptors. A semantic differential survey test was administered one on one to thirty-four participants between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five. The test used five sets of shape variables: rectilinear vs. curvilinear, line vs. mass, symmetrical vs. asymmetrical, simple vs. complex, and vertical vs. horizontal vs. diagonal. The colors blue, green, red and yellow were used in all of the variable sets with the exception of vertical vs. horizontal vs. diagonal, which used only red and blue. Each of the five variables sets was tested using two pairs of bi-polar emotional descriptors, "harsh/comforting" and "anxious/ relaxed".

Results showed that participants were more likely to associate the colors blue and green and the shape variables of simple, curvilinear, mass, and horizontal with the emotional descriptors "comforting" and "relaxed". They were also more likely to associate the colors red and yellow and the shape variables of complex, line, rectilinear and diagonal with the emotional descriptors "harsh" and "anxious". There was very little difference in participants' responses to the variables of symmetrical and asymmetrical.


Copyright Owner

Becky Therese Popelka



Date Available


File Format


File Size

195 pages