A pharmacy in the Reading suburb of Woodley is hoping to tackle antibiotic-resistant bugs through prize-winning design – it’s hosting two separate installations masterminded by University of Reading typography and pharmacy researchers during September.

Good bugs, bad bugs

Visitors to the Day Lewis Pharmacy have been able to enjoy the interactive displays that provide information about tackling antimicrobial resistance in easy-to-access ways. ‘Good bugs, bad bugs’ developed by a team from Napper Architects uses a cartoon story format to show information about common infections and ways to avoid overusing antibiotics to treat illnesses that don’t require them.

Beat Bad Bugs

The second installation was unveiled on Monday 24th September, uses life-size cartoon cut-outs to convey different ways that people can help spread the word about antimicrobial resistance and reduce its spread.


The installations are the result of a project, Information Design and Architecture in Persuasive Pharmacy Space: combating AMR, which is the work of a cross-disciplinary team of academics at the University of Reading with expertise in graphic design, pharmacy practice and architecture, and pharmacists at Day Lewis. The competition set out to consider how pharmacies can be used to inform the public about major health issues.

Professor Sue Walker from Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading, explained: “There is huge potential in using pharmacies to communicate public health messages and to use the space imaginatively and effectively, especially in tackling major issues such as antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.

“The project has also shown how good design can be a force for this good, with some fantastic entries. In the end, the Good Bugs, Bad Bugs and Beat Bad Bugs entries captured the imaginations of the judges with their accessibility, novelty and attention to good design. Some of the designs have already been very successful in pharmacies elsewhere in the UK and we look forward to seeing them locally around Reading.”

The two winning entries have been on display in the Day Lewis Pharmacy over September:

  • Installation 1 Good Bugs, Bad Bugs was installed at Woodley Day Lewis Pharmacy on Monday 3 September. The 6 foot high turning blocks have cartoon story boards relating to common bacterial infections, antibiotic use in agriculture, and antibiotic overuse. There is also a prescription barometer and knitted bugs.
  • Installation 2 – Beat Bad Bugs was installed at Woodley Day Lewis Pharmacy on Monday 24 September. The installation includes life-size cartoon cut-outs – the Persuaders – hands-on activities for children and information leaflets about antibiotic use that will be included in prescription bags.

The project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.