Designers can’t change the world, but you can

Mahalia Curtis   |   February 10th 2022   |   @16:24

Great design isn’t just about looking good – it’s about the background, impact and meaning behind those designs. We believe that we can and should use design to help make a positive impact in the world through our art and our practices.

We realise that as individual designers there’s only so much we can do by ourselves. But by providing creative support for those individuals and organisations on the front line of positive social and environmental change, we can make a powerful difference. Together, we can help the great work you do reach the people who need it most.

Three of our core values are accessibility, inclusivity and sustainability, and we bring these in at every opportunity in our work. For example, as well as supporting charities like WECIL, or organisations in the sustainability sector like the Future Leap, we use accessible design techniques, promote inclusivity through representative illustration, and consider tools and techniques that can help reduce the digital carbon footprint of our client’s websites.

Designed to do good

The power of great design to boost positive social impact isn’t just something we believe – it’s something we’ve seen in action time and again with so many inspiring organisations across the creative industry.

Take this Cystic Fibrosis campaign by Johnson Banks which utilises the word ‘is’ to activate the campaign through raising awareness of the condition. The use of a handwritten typeface coupled with the bright yellow not only educates, but inspires action: ‘Cystic Fibrosis is a fight we must win’.

Design studio Need similarly used design as a force for good, choosing bright colours and bold shapes to create a positive brand for a social enterprise which empowers refugee women. We similarly collaborated with Bristol City Council to support the rebrand of their Disabled Colleagues network. We created positive and colourful designs to subvert harmful stereotypes and create an engaging and effective identity for a positive cause.

We also partner with sustainability charities like Ecolibrium, an environmental consultancy within the live music and events industry. We created bespoke illustrations and member’s certificates in the style of a festival poster, which celebrate balancing the equivalent of over 6 million travel miles last year. Ecolibrium wanted to gift their members something beautiful that they would want to put up on their walls, and the result shows how design can be used to commend and encourage further positive behaviour change.

Ecolibrium certificate members instagram post

Living out our values

With our mission being core to everything we do, it’s important we don’t just talk a good game. It’s easy to say we care about sustainability or supporting the third sector – the hard part is enshrining that in every one of our policies and practices. 

Our head office is based at Future Leap in Bristol, the UK’s first carbon-neutral business hub. 

We love connecting with the community here, and developing our knowledge about the sustainability sector. Whilst we don’t claim to be experts, we’re constantly learning and our bookshelf is stacked – we believe this culture of continuous improvement is essential to producing effective and up to date work.

We’ve also started our journey to becoming a B-Corp to ensure the way we work is fully aligned with our values. It’s a long process, but we’re fully committed and we know it’s going to be worth it. It’s not just about who we, as designers, choose to support, but the social and environmental impact of our own business is important too.

Supporting our third sector heroes

There’s so much good work going on in the third sector but it doesn’t always get noticed.

That’s exactly what effective design can do. It helps our heroes in the third sector to be the incredible change-makers they are, bringing an emotive edge or improved accessibility that helps get their message across. If you’re based in the third sector then you likely have the ideas and passion to make a huge positive impact, and designers and illustrators have the creative skills to help you communicate that message.

We see design as a platform for promoting excellent work that needs to be seen. That’s why we offer preferential rates for charities and nonprofits, and we run a ‘Design for Good’ grant programme in partnership with Voscur and City Funds which supports those charities that don’t have the funding to engage a design agency. We understand that with limited resources, third sector budgets often have to be spent in areas such as service delivery and operations. The grant scheme gives those organisations the opportunity to elevate their branding and website to make sure it truly reflects the quality of the amazing work they’re doing.

If your organisation has a message that needs to be heard, let us help you be a force for good in the world. Get in touch now for support with branding, website design and marketing materials – we’d love to hear from you.

Ready to get started?

All design journeys begin with a dream – Call us now on 0117 330 5297, email us, or fill in your details below.

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