AIGA is a wonderful non-profit organization that focuses on art and design as a passion, but community as the focus. In turn, members and those involved begin to become passionate about their community and seeking out ways to use their gifts and talents to help others. The genuine fulfillment of the concept, “when everyone benefits, everyone benefits” becomes reality. It’s a cyclical transaction of time, talent, and relationships. The result of this, is an organization that focuses not only on the new and invented ways to design, but on the social, economic, and political realm that design is so necessary for.
To give some examples of members of AIGA who developed case studies for “good” was the team of AIGA members who worked on the campaign, for The Children’s Defense Fund. Their concern was to bring awareness to the effects of cutting valuable programs that prevent childhood poverty. Their role was to show how by cutting these programs, you’re removing the hope from their life early on. The end result is the grim, and reveals the devastating effects of lack of funding. The copy would then elaborate to explain how this also leads to lack of education, proper nutrition, medical attention, and the results are costly and often harmful. Children who are raised with more to begin with will have hope for their future, and work towards benefiting themselves, and others.
The design team approached the project with a design system that focused directly on the emotional and empathetic side of the project, without sacrificing the importance and reality of the situation. Since the work was also pro-bono, they were very creative in coming up with strategic ways to cut costs, while still executing effectively. For example, this team hired a real homeless person as their model, to save money, but mostly to help someone who could really benefit from the cash.
Overall, the team was very successful in determining how they can approach a difficult political and social issue without offense, or cliché imagery. The idea of budget cuts relating to human “cuts” or in the sense of valuable human needs strikes an emotional cord, and gets people thinking of how their vote will affect the trajectory. The design system is well thought-out and it is evident that there was a lot of research behind the concept.
AIGA’s Design for Good is constantly striving to solve important social and political issues with graphic design and this is just one case study of many that has proved how design can be for good.