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Investor Success Project

A behavioral research initiative on investors—who they are, what their goals are, and how the advisors and asset managers that serve them can make the most impact in helping them reach their goals.

We created a distinct visual language within the Morningstar ecosystem while still upholding the sensibilities of our design pedigree.


A collage aesthetic intertwined with graphic elements was used to elevate our constraint of stock photography in illustrating the research.



Overview: Investor Success Project

For each release, an illustrative motif was created for the paper then applied across Morningstar marketing channels to promote that piece of research. Ryun Patterson led content strategy across these applications which informed the direction of the following illustrations.


The Comparison Trap

The Comparison Trap: How Social Comparisons Affect Our Financial Well-Being

It’s Time to Redefine ‘Investor’

It’s Time to Redefine ‘Investor’: How Looking Beyond Investing Stereotypes Can Drive Long-Term Success

The Retirement Mirage

The Retirement Mirage: Why Investors Should Focus Less on Timing and More on Saving

Light Wall: Brand

The Sustainability Stress Test: Investor Interest in ESG Holds Up Amid a Pandemic

The Value of Advice

The Value of Advice: What Investors Think, What Advisors Think, and How Everyone Can Get on the Same Page

Expensive Choice

Expensive Choice: What Wall Street Can Learn From Costco

Shortcuts or Dead Ends

Shortcuts or Dead Ends: The Relationships Between Rules of Thumb, Habits, and Financial Health

New Lessons About 529s

New Lessons About 529s: Who Should Use Them, What Makes Them Powerful, and Where They Can Be Improved

Bridging the Investing Gap

Bridging the Investing Gap: Why Refreshing Policy Can Help All Americans Build Their Financial Futures

The True Faces of Sustainable Investing

The True Faces of Sustainable Investing: Busting Industry Myths Around ESG

Mining for Goals

Mining for Goals: How Behavioral Nudges Can Help Investors Discover More-Meaningful Goals