The year was 1876, and a 38-year-old pharmaceutical chemist and a veteran of the U.S. Civil War, Colonel Eli Lilly, found himself frustrated by the poorly prepared, often ineffective medicines of his day. So he embarked on a mission – to establish a company that would manufacture pharmaceutical products of the highest possible quality; develop medicines that would be dispensed only at the suggestion of physicians rather than sideshow hucksters; and make products based on the best science of the day.
Over the years, Eli Lilly and Company flourished, and its dedication to concentrating on the quality of existing products expanded to include the discovery and development of new and better pharmaceuticals. A corporate culture that viewed employees as the company’s most valuable assets evolved into the philosophy the company espouses to this day.
To commemorate and celebrate this heritage, the company’s medical breakthroughs, and the culture that fostered them, Eli Lilly, Houston designer HOK-Visual Communications, and Xibitz came together to create an innovative communicative experience in Lilly’s Heritage Hall. Through creative vision powered by HOK, and the specialty capabilities of Xibitz, the team developed unique ways to illustrate Lilly’s legacy, its present, and its position for the future.
This dynamic 5,000-square-foot space brought select materials from the company’s archives out of storage and into a public space. To help “connect the dots” among the many stories, the HOK team punctuated the display environment with red dots that provide running highlights of the narrative. Graphically inspired by the dot in the Lilly script, they are essentially thought capsules that guide visitors through the space.