Ann Oh is lead graphic designer with the Office of Strategic Communications/Public Affairs at headquarters, and is the sole designer working on the DHS If You See Something, Say Something™ public awareness campaign. Oh also manages the effort to create and distribute canine trading cards to airports nationwide and produces checkpoint signage. Oh joined TSA in April 2003 and is part of a three-person graphics team that supports educational campaign outreach initiatives and the agency’s counterterrorism mission.
What I do matters because the signs I create help educate the American public about actions and behaviors that are reasonably indicative of terrorism. The If You See Something, Say Something™ campaign lets people know that they can help keep their communities and country safer by reporting suspicious activity to local authorities. We try to make the materials — whether print or digital — as visually appealing as possible so that they are noticeable, understandable and encourage people to take action.
What do you find most rewarding about your work at TSA? To know my work is being seen all across the country, and that it’s impacting millions of people, is really incredible. I believe this initiative is making a difference in our national counterterrorism effort and that’s very rewarding. You not only see If You See Something, Say Something™ messages in airports and mass transit, but the Department has established a variety of partnerships to push the campaign into other venues. Partnerships range from national ones such as the NBA, NFL, MLS, NHL, MLB, USTA at the U.S. Open, NASCAR organizations, and entertainment venues, to state and local entities. The materials used educate employees behind-the-scenes, people who attend sporting events and concerts, and members of the general public driving down the highway and seeing a message on a billboard.
In what ways does your job challenge you? Art/design is very subjective — something I create that I may feel is effective and appealing, may not be interpreted the same way by the client. I work hard to find the happy median between creating a product that is on par with my personal standards of quality, and effectively communicating key security and counterterrorism messages to the public and our employees. By doing so, I am helping to prevent another 9/11 from happening.
From the Office of Strategic Communications/Public Affairs