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Doing Time

A person sentenced to death will spend an average of 20 years locked up waiting for the date of his execution. Doing Time is a visual and physical representation of that waiting time.
Graphic Elisava 2020

Lots of things tend to happen during a graphic.elisava master’s program. Mountains of research. Maybe one or two existential crises. Designing so much that you have nightmares about mismatched hex codes.

In some weird twist of fate, this year’s biggest ‘thing’ ended up being a global pandemic. We were forced to embrace digitalism over presentialism, do more with less, and channel disillusionment into positivity. In school, the lesson comes before the test, but life often takes the opposite approach. We think we’re better for it.


For this year’s degree show we decided to continue the digitalist lifestyle that we’ve come to know. Pills replace name tags, thumbnails replace handshakes, and ingenuity replaces normality in order to illustrate how we view topics like “design ethics”, “comfort”, “manifestos”, and “freedom”.


This is graphic.elisava’s digital Degree Show. Find out more about the program at


Many thanks to this year’s students in the Graphic Design and the Editorial Design master’s degrees. The 2020 graphic.elisava Degree Show – both the platform and the campaign that precedes it – wouldn’t have been possible without the indefatigable work of a group of design students making time for it in the middle of their end-of-year presentations.

On the typeface

Thanks to Non Foundry for letting us use their Non®Natural Grotesk throughout the website and campaign of this digital Degree Show.

Visit to find out more about their work.

Project Information

Doing Time

What would you eat today if you were to die tomorrow?

Death-sentenced prisoners in the U.S. typically spend more than a decade on death row prior to exoneration or execution.

During the waiting time, they are generally isolated from other prisoners, excluded from prison educational and employment programs, and sharply restricted in terms of visitation and exercise, spending as many as 23 hours a day alone in their cells.

This raises the question of whether death row prisoners are being subject to two distinct punishments: the death sentence itself and the years of living in solitary confinement, waiting for their time.

Doing Time is a visual and physical representation of that waiting time. How life becomes a loop and space and time disappear.

But after years or even decades of being stripped of the possibility to choose, they are granted one last choice: food.


The idea of a meal before execution is compassionate or perverse, depending on your perspective, but it contains an inherently curious paradox: marking the end of life with the stuff that sustains it seems at once laden with meaning and beside the point.

Jordi Pol Sara Blanch

Stories about life, death, and tons of merchandise