How Great Big Graphics Can Promote Healing

OCTOBER 25, 2022| SpeedPro of Denver


Wall Graphics

No More Sterile, Unwelcoming Medical Environments Please

Not too long ago hospitals were generally big glaring white boxes inside and out. Many of us know it’s tough enough to walk into any hospital, dentist office or other medical treatment facility to see a loved one or to be checking yourself in to then be “welcomed” to a very unwelcoming environment. Visualize the difference between a plain, white wall and a wall that’s covered with a large beautiful artistic design, photograph or inspiring message. A wall mural can make the whole facility feel more comforting and even uplifting.

Dentist offices seemed to catch on sooner than hospitals that calming music and soft colors could help ease the natural anxiety that comes with (willingly!) walking into these types of institutions. Lucky for all of us, wall murals – affordable, eye-catching and long-lasting – are a powerful means of enhancing a space, making it feel more inviting and even inspiring for patients.


The incorporation of art into health care traces back to medieval times when local churches ran hospitals. Therefore, much of the art featured was religious in nature. Hospitals from the Middle Ages emphasized their artwork so much that often the artists’ names have endured while the hospital builders’ names were lost to history.

Today, the popularity of artwork in health care facilities — including hospitals, specialized treatment centers, addiction recovery centers and more — endures. And today, we have scientific evidence to demonstrate why and how health care wall murals and other types of art have a healing effect.

When it comes to healing, the mind and body are inextricably intertwined. Studies have shown a direct link between the images a person sees and their brain’s reaction to pain, stress and anxiety. A landmark 1993 study found that patients recovering from open-heart surgery who were exposed to a nature image experienced less postoperative pain and anxiety than those who viewed an abstract image or no image at all.

In more recent years, studies have continued to demonstrate the role artwork can play in healing. Some studies have shown that art is a positive distraction that can lower stress and anxiety levels for patients. A 2016 study asked patients to describe their ideal healing environment. The physical attributes of the space and the feelings it evoked were some of the most prominent themes that emerged from the participants’ descriptions.  An excellent reason to bring up wall murals in the next budget meeting and start visualizing how to transform your facility!

Overall, research shows that being surrounded by art in a health care setting can help patients experience:

  • Less stress and anxiety
  • Lower levels of pain
  • A stronger connection with others and the outside world
  • A faster and more positive healing experience
  • Greater overall patient satisfaction


Evidence abounds showing that art can improve the healing experience for patients. Wall murals are one of the best art forms to consider because they can truly transform an environment. Wall murals are a type of environmental graphics, meaning they are a part of and strongly influence the environment where they are installed. A canvas or poster on the wall can help decorate a room, but a mural can give the whole room a different feel.

Wall murals can perform multiple functions at once. For example, in addition to being decorative, hospital wall murals can serve as wayfinding devices that help visitors distinguish between departments more easily. Prominent color-coding by floor may become commonplace, to list another example. They can also incorporate your branding to enhance the sense of place and connection to your organization’s identity. Massive wall murals printed on vinyl with your custom designs and messages can be professionally installed and will last for years!


Great. Big. Graphics. It’s what we do. We provide free estimates and we’ll come to you for a free, no-obligation consultation. Contact 303.426.4199, or to connect with us. To see and read about countless print jobs we’ve done, check out our Studio News, read some glowing reviews and browse our impressive, extensive portfolio of wall murals, window graphics, directional signage and other indoor and outdoor signage.

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SpeedPro Denver

Studio Owner

Greg Ellison