Safety Manual Redesign

Context: This safety manual redesign was an assignment in RHET 4305 Document Design at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The remit was to redesign a multi-page, reference-type document to help readers find specific information.

Full Title: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: Institute for Genomic Biology  Safety Manual Redesign

Project Artifacts:

  1. Manual (deliverable) <View pdf >
  2. Original as received <View pdf>

Purpose: Redesign a poorly designed safety manual so that it is user friendly, visually appealing, and effective.

Audience: In this scenario, the main audience is employees of the Institute for Genomic Biology and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Development: Most readers will skim read this type of document to find the information they require. With this in mind, my redesign incorporated design and navigation elements that would ensure readers could find what they need quickly.  These design elements included:

  • An easy-to-read table of contents
  • Using the concept of hierarchy,  create section headings and subheadings with consistent formatting throughout the document that stand out from the body text.
  • Internal linking: Created bookmarks within the document and table of contents entries that hyperlink to bookmarks.
  • Page numbers.

I wanted to add color and images to make the document more visually appealing, but I needed to ensure my choices would visually connect this document to the organization’s identity.

To make the right choices, I needed to know more about the organization so I researched the Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign websites, as well as the Illinois Identity Standards and the Illinois Brand Guidelines  websites. The Illinois Brand page provided a brand color palette and topography guidelines, which would ensure my choice of typeface, color, and other design elements reflected the organization’s tone and “Many stories. One Illinois” ethos.

This manual was quite lengthy, so I used the IGB Safety Inspection Checklist and a Fact Sheet as an opportunity to break the monotony. I chose colors that were different, but still adhered to the organization’s brand and blended with the document as a whole.

Fact Sheet Section, pages 34 – 40.



  • Created: June 17, 2018
  • Last update: June 17, 2018
  • Tools Used: Microsoft Word 2010
  • Keywords: Policy, Procedures, Manual