Research Briefs

Research Briefs are one of the four core types of research and analysis published by the Philadelphia Fed’s Economic Research Department. Formerly known as Research Raps, Research Briefs report on the department’s latest work for an academic and technical audience. As part of my brand standardisation project, I redesigned the series from the ground up, placing them between the academic Working Paper series and the more editorial Economic Insights. In addition to their overall look and feel, I also produced the series on its infrequent basis.

Production Team

  • Designer
  • Editor
  • Design intern (occasionally)
Skills Applied

  • Design management
  • Editorial design
  • Information design
  • Data visualisation
A first and second generation Research Brief, with a title page and an interior page

The series published infrequently, averaging perhaps one per year though the COVID-19 pandemic sparked a number of briefs. After I reworked the look and feel of the series’ design, I took responsibility for production of the series and worked on them with the author and editor and, if during the summer, my summer interns.

Because the Research Briefs were meant to be more technical, my design allowed for the inclusion of formulae and statistical tables and I incorporated these into the main body text. However, I often collaborated with the authors to create new or improved graphics, charts, and/or maps for their work. I wanted to visually buttress the brief and improve its accessibility for a non-technical audience, though that remained the target audience. Following the Bank’s brand redesign, I redesigned the series and built new templates for the series with new data visualisation styles. Nonetheless, the overall look and feel of the Research Briefs remained on the more formal and technical side of the spectrum.

When the time came to shift into production, I set the type for the series and created whatever supplemental graphics the brief required. I integrated the graphics into the flow of the text, which was largely a single column design. If social media promotions were requested, I created collateral to that end. Finally, if the brief was published in the summer, as many some were during the pandemic years, I would leave the day-to-day production to summer interns under my direction.


  • 9 published Research Briefs
Selection of pages from the Survey of Professional Forecasters Forecast Research Brief
Selection of pages from the Reopening the Economy Research Brief
Selection of pages from the Battle of the Forecasts Research Brief
Selection of pages from the Pennsylvania Unemployment Insurance Claims Research Brief