Assignment: Do Good Design For Good
Design Indaba—a better world through creativity
Your assignment is to select an issue, problem, or cause that you feel passionate about and apply your skills as a graphic designer to try to make a difference or be a part of the solution to that problem, issue or cause.
You will do research, write an abstract, submit your abstract to NCUR and have an option to get published, and design a campaign.
Read the AIGA publication “Do Good Design” by David Berman.
“If art cannot change the world,
it can help to change the consciousness and drives
of the women and men who would change the world.”
“It’s easy to make a buck, a lot harder to make a difference.”
“What you do for yourself dies with you. What you do for others and the world lives on and is immortal.”
“We are not going to change the world, but we can certainly be a supporter of changing the world by creating great design… by helping to communicate the message.—and wouldn’t you rather design trying?”
Check out these Additional Resource Links:
- Do Good Design
- Research Process For Designers
- Research Writing
- Research-Driven Design
- Target Audience— how to define a target audience and build your brand
- 6 Steps to Define Your Audience—how to define your target audience
- Incentivize, Empower your Audience
- Citation Styles
- Student Abstracts/Projects
- She Should Run
- Patrice Martin—IDEO
- Rick Hollant—colab
- Rick Fabricant—Frog Design
- Ravi Naidoo—Interactive Africa, Stretch
- Debbie Aung Din and Jim Taor—Matanmar-Burma
- David Erickson—Federal Reserve Bank SF
- Susana Rodriguez—Sypartners
- Christopher Simmons—Mine
- Maria Giudice—Hot studio.com
- Christi Zuber—Kaiser, Innovation Consultant
- Think Exhibit NYC Lincoln Ctr-IBM
- Gabbi Brink—Tomorrow & Tomorrow Labs & Sparkwise
- Emily Pilloton—Project H
The topic for your research project may be related to the efforts of an already established organization (Habitat for Humanity, GreenPeace, etc.) or it may be simply in an area that you feel could be made better. You will first need to fully research the topic so that your are well-informed about all aspects of the situation. Then you will write an abstract stating that problem and your design intentions towards a solution. The research process for designers has some distinct similarities and differences with other academic disciplines.
Alec Shigeta’s “Gone is Forever” poster series. It’s purpose is to bring environmental awareness to a local level. When one normally thinks of endangered animals, one thinks of Siberian tigers or Ganges River Dolphins. While its true they are endangered, they are far removed from the reality of an everyday American. These animals depicted live within the state of California and it shows how industry and pollution deteriorate the biodiversity of our own backyards.
What to Make?
After writing your abstract you will begin on the actual project. That project will be up to you. You must decide what kind of design applications and overall design approach would be most appropriate in meeting the needs of your issue/topic and the target audience that would be most affected by your efforts.
Look at these three specific areas to aid you in determining what products of design you should create:
- The characteristics of your target audience
- for the purposes of this assignment, your audience must be defined by at least 4 specific characteristics. (examples of such characteristics include, but are not limited to: age range, gender, amount of education, place of residence, occupation, income range, interest/hobbies, lifestyle, etc.)
- Your goal is to “know” this target group as you would your group of best friends. If you were to give the members of the target audience a birthday gift you would know what choices would be exactly perfect for them, much like you would when giving a gift to your best friend. Feel it
- 6 Steps to Define Your Audience—how to define your target audience
- Your findings, research, the facts about the problem/topic
- Know your topic. Specifically identify a problem related to this general topic. Find out through research more than what you initially were aware of as common knowledge. Become an expert on the subject.
- The “environment” or venue where your target audience most likely or generally can be expected to be found.
- specific locations (examples of such characteristics include, but are not limited to: school, sports/music events, clinics/hospitals/doctor’s office, job/occupation, town, retail store/venue, etc.)
You are creating a unified group of design products—a visual campaign. This is not simply a group of different designs, but instead a closely connected/integrated approach to delivering the message. One thing leads to another. For example a billboard may have as its primary purpose to grab attention and then to direct the audience to a website for additional information, which in turn, directs users to a smart device app allowing personal interaction on an ongoing basis. Metaphor Campaigns make use of metaphor as a technique to visually engage the audience through creative juxtapositions or unusual comparisons and are a common characteristic of many contemporary campaign approaches. This technique is closely tied to expressing your ideas in a compelling fashion.
More than the Facts—a Compelling Story
It will not be enough for you to simply present factual information. You must instead present a compelling story supported by factual information. A compelling story is one that motivates. It employs the Gestalt principal of Isomorphic Correspondence and is grounded in knowing your target audience to the degree that you present the information in a manner that will touch your audience members on a personal level. You must therefore, know several important things about your audience before you begin. That information will guide you in how you make an effective and motivating—compelling—visual message.
In addition to making your message a compelling one you must also “incentivize” or this for your target audience. Unfortunately, human nature has proven to us that people simply will not do anything, let alone the “right” thing, unless personally motivated in some way. They must see how they will personally benefit or gain from doing what you want them to do. You must therefore “connect the dots” for them. Empower them. Spell this out explicitly, meaning, you must indicate what or how they will be rewarded. Simply telling them that the result will be a better community is not enough.
- What is The National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR)?
- Submitting your abstract to the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR)
After you have written your abstract and before you submit it to NCUR, you first must send it to Pacific’s co-ordinator of undergraduate research. She is Pacific’s Undergraduate Research Coordinator (URC) Lydia Fox. Her contact info:Lydia K. Fox, Ph.D.
Director of Undergraduate Research
Chair, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences
University of the Pacific
3601 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, CA 95212
My contact information:
S. Brett DeBoer