Archive for the ‘Updates’Category

What Does Designing for “Good” Mean?

Despite its increasing popularity today, “designing for good”, also referred to as “social design”, has existed since the early Modernists established the concept of “good design for everyone”.

However later in history, the focus of design shifted toward consumerism and desire, due to industrialization and mass production. Today, with economic situations changing rapidly and consumers becoming more critical of their governments and corporations, the idea of social responsibility and design for good is well on its way to becoming mainstream – now even with large corporations on-board.

In many ways it is up to designers to maintain this positive movement and continue to practice social design. Adrian Shaughnessy explains that practicing social design for the common good, essentially, means “questioning what we do and who we do it for.” Although easier said than done, it is the way of the future, as designers must shift their focus toward ethical and socially responsible practices and products.

Evidently it is natural for humans to help one another, and contribute to the greater good. In terms of graphic design specifically, the meaning of “designing for good” must be defined. An article on Elefint Designs’ blog about design for good specifically explains why the social sector needs a new vocabulary. Elefint explains that the word “good” is used very frequently in the areas of both design and non-profit work. For example, GOOD Magazine and Mashable’s Social Good “have helped elevate the definition of good in the popular consciousness to mean ‘with a greater purpose’ or ‘meaningful.’” There are alternate meanings of the word “good” however, explained online:

While there is the risk of confusing it with the definition “effective” (in fact we are about to write an article on “good marketing” that means “effective marketing”) and while “the good sector” sounds a bit funny, we can mitigate this problem by combining “good” with other words, such as “for” to come up with a clear meaning. “Design for good”, “marketing for good”, “architects for good”, etc. are all great ways to clearly signal a commitment to the greater good. This definition ignores causes and tax status, and could be applied across the social sector.

Essentially, “good” is used in relation to a positive future, one that allows a sustainable world that supports everyone.


11 2013

Video: Why Design for Social Good? Documentary

Why use your design skills to help others? Hear what designers and activists have to say about designing for social good.

This documentary, called Why Design for Social Good? Designing for Good: Advice from Designers & Activists features graphic designers and non-profit and community activists speaking on the importance and significance of quality graphic design and visual identity in terms of supporting social good movements and non-profit groups.

The video features activists and designers – many of which are defined as both; Louroz Mercader, Jessica Roher, Steve Virtue, Zahra Ebrahim, Keith Rushton and Jay Wall.

Watch it Online Now here. If you are interested in a DVD copy of the 14-minute documentary, please email


05 2012

Quote Poster Series: Designing for Good

A series of posters based on the quotes from both the Interview Series and the Designing for Good Video for new graphic designers.

The above gallery consists of JPG files. To view the full-size poster or download the file, simply right-click and choose Save Linked File as.


04 2012

Video of Designers, Non-Profit Professionals and Design Educators coming soon

Footage of designers, design educators and non-profit professionals is being produced into a short video aimed at awareness for Designing for Good and encouraging designers to use their skills for the greater good. Additionally, a series of clips from the individual interviews will be posted on this website.

Designing for Good Video Preview



03 2012

Designing for Good Project Inspiration

The topic of Designing for Good, which focuses on how graphic design can be used for social good, was based on my continued involvement in various non-profit organizations and initiatives.

The spark for all of this was an exposure trip to the developing world, which lead to the formation of ACCESS (a youth-run, non-profit organization focusing on education in developing nations, and inspiring youth activism locally).

This video was made by Kevin Saychareun to profile my involvement with ACCESS, touching on the effect design and being an OCAD University student has on it.



02 2012

Reminding design students to think about designing for social good

After over three months of working on this project, I created 2 posters and put them up on the sixth floor Open Studio in OCAD University. One poster has a quote from Tim Brown and the other a few short statements I wrote to get design students thinking about making a difference with their design – reminding them that designers have a social responsibility to design for good.


11 2011

Creating the website

Throughout the fall of 2011, will be under development.

Updates are being posted periodically as research continues.

Thanks for visiting.


08 2011