Recently I featured an interview with James West, the designer behind Fifty Designers’ Current Favourite Typefaces which raised money for UNICEF’s appeal for Burma. James’ idea resonated with a notion I’ve had for a little while now, to investigate what avenues exist for designers to use their skills for the greater good. I’ve compiled a list of resources which I hope will provide some inspiration (let me know if they do).
Design 21: Social Design Network
Design 21 is a hub for design with a social conscience: articles, news, design competitions and opportunities to work with aid or support organisations can all be found here.
The Designers Accord
A coalition of designers seeking to improve environmental and social conditions around the world. Their website says that a forum for exchange of ideas and resources will be launched in (northern hemisphere) Summer of 2008.
Good 50 x 70
An annual competition calling for poster designs with themes covering a range of social and environmental causes. This year’s competition is over, but the gallery of entries is a great source of inspiration.
Design Can Change
A register of designers who have, or have pledged to adopt sustainable practices in their work
A UK organisation connecting designers with charities and NGOs.
An Australian organisation which matches non-profit and community organisations with professionals from all fields, including design, who wish to volunteer their services for a worthy cause.
A US organisation matching web designers and other web professionals with non-profit organisations.
A beautifully designed magazine site devoted to advances in sustainable design. The focus appears to be chiefly on architecture, but there is also a section on graphic design and packaging
If you’re seeking more avenues for donating your design skills, check out the website of designer Paul Lynn, who has compiled an impressive list of volunteering and philanthropic organisations and charities working with professional volunteers, including designers. Follow the myHotList link near the top of his site.
Do you know of any avenues for designers to contribute their skills for social, humanitarian or environmental benefit? Have you had any experiences with this kind of work?