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Socially Conscious Graphic Design

Socially Conscious Graphic Design

Communication, Arts & Culture, Environment

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  • I Am Here, by Alex Ostrowski

    Communication, Communication Design


    Over the past week, I had the pleasure of meeting the multi-talented Graphic Designer Alex Ostrowski. Alex, a 2008 graduate from Bristol’s University of West England, recently won the RSA and NESTA’s 2007 competition ‘Engage!’

    Tagged to "catalyse social change through design-led citizen participation", the Engage! project, aimed to encourage social responsibility in young designers. The 2008 RSA Design Directions brief asked student designers to consider how they could best use design to bring about positive change within a community and instigate a project solution of this nature.

    In response to the brief, <a href="">Alex</a> took his skills as a designer to The Frenchay Brain Injury Rehabilitation Centre in Bristol. Through immersive time spent within the Rehabilitiation Centre <a href="">Alex</a> soon discovered that many patients suffer from post-traumatic amnesia and experience confusion in their sense of time, place and person. The term for this lost understanding is disorientation, something the unit is responsible for regaining with patients. Through speaking with staff, Alex established that the process of re-orientation contained some inefficiency and needed addressing. Working closely with staff to establish an appropriate colour system to bring holistic navigation to the unit, which could dually apply to patients' timetables, orientation boards...

  • Good 50x70: Exhibition Photographs

    Arts & Culture, Communication Design


    For those of you who were unable to visit the 2008 Good 50x70 exhibition in Milan earlier this month, the team have published some photographs on their Flickr account.

    The exhibition closed on Sunday 22nd of June in Milan, but is now due to hit the road for a world tour. For more information visit

  • For a Good Cause: Solidarity Design

    Arts & Culture, Communication Design


    "Everyone is entitled to good design without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, poliical or any other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status." Universal Declaration of hhuman Rights. Article 2. By Cactus Disseny.

    Would you like your work to be published in Cactus Disseny's next book and prove that creatives do work for good causes? INDEX books are calling for submissions. The new pubication, "For a Good Cause: Solidarity Design" is set to gather the best examples of solidarity design, carried out for all sorts of non-profit organisations.

    Deadline for submissions is September 15, 2008. For more information, visit

  • Get London Reading

    Arts & Culture, Communication Design


    In a bid to encourage Londoners to spend more time reading, London based design agency Kent Lyons produced this typographic stencil campaign. More pictures on Flickr.

  • The One Flag - A First Things First Project - Competition

    Communication, Communication Design


    From the Adbusters team:

    “Design is at war with itself. We are taught that design is about finding solutions. But the success of these solutions is judged so narrowly - Did it ooze desire? Did it shift units? – that we find ourselves implicated in problems far greater than the ones we solve. The time has come for a radical shift in priorities. We are now faced with some of the most daunting global challenges in human history. These are real targets, worthy of our problem-solving skills, ripe for our intervention. Yet those who have the vision to rise above national and political boundaries still have no symbol to rally under. We invite you to create a flag - free from language and well-worn clichés - that embodies the idea of global citizenship. A symbol that triggers pride and cohesion, whether worn on a backpack, displayed on a door, or flown on a flagpole. A symbol for anyone to declare membership in a growing and vital human cooperative. We invite you to prove that design has a real role to play in the fate of our world.

    Submissions will be critiqued by a panel of prominent design professionals, then featured in Adbusters and supporting design publications. The winning flag will go into production, ready for flying by the patriotic citizens of Earth.

    Deadline for entries is December 1, 2008.

    Judges: Jonathan Barnbrook, Michael Bierut, Vince Frost, Steven Heller, Kalle Lasn, Rick Poynor and Dmitri Siegel."

    More info:

  • The Girl Effect, n.

    Poverty, Communication Design


    Today, I came across "The Girl Effect" movement - described to be when powerful social and economic change is brought about when girls have the opportunity to participate in their society.

    The campaign logo, promotional video and supporting posters are equally an inspiring example of when contemporary Graphic Design and Typography is used for Social Change. There is something really unique and approachable about the sketched 'G' letters laid out onto one of the posters (detail pictured above).

    "When adolescent girls in the developing world have a chance, they can be the most powerful force of change for themselves, their families, communities and nations. But while those 600 million girls are the most likely agents of change, they are invisible to their societies and the world."

    For more information:

  • Good 50x70 - Milan

    Communication, Communication Design


    If you happen to be in Milan in June, AIAP have organised a series of meetings at La Triennale to celebrate the opening of their 'Good 50x70' 2008 poster exhibition which will feature over 200 posters covering a variety of social and environmental issues.

    Some of the designers featured: Timo Berry (Finland), Bulent Erkmen (Turkey), Cao Fang (China) Yossi Lemel (Israel), Alain Le Quernec (France), Chaz Maviyane-Davies (Zimbabwe), Armando Milani (Italy), Woody Pirtle (USA), Gunter Rambow (Germany), Liza Ramalho (Portugal), Dan Reisinger (Israel), Leonardo Sonnoli (Italy), Massimo Vignelli (USA) and Lourdes Zolezzi (Mexico).

    Further info:,

    The opening of the Good 50x70 2008 exhibition will take place on Tuesday, June 10th at La Triennale museum, viale Alemagna 6, Milan, Italy.

    Here’s the programme of events:

    11:00 pm Press conference

    2:30 pm – 6:30 pm International seminar on social communication with Good 50x70 jurors and collaborators:

    Beppe Chia, AIAP president Dalia Gallico, ADI Lombardy president Yossi Lemel, Jury member Alain Le Quernec, Jury member Armando Milani, Jury member Massimo Pitis, BEDA representative

    7:00 pm The Good 50x70 exhibition is officially opened.

    7:00 pm - 11:30 pm The Good 50x70 opening party in the gardens of La Triennale.

    The catalogue of the selected posters will be given to the winning entrants on the day and will also be available to purchase for the rest of us mere mortals. We hope to see you t...

  • Re: Good 50x70 - Milan

    Communication, Communication Design


    Correct post above.....sorry.

  • 40 degrees, by Ciara Phelan

    Environment, Communication Design


    Brighton University Graphic Design Graduate Ciara Phelan designed this clever little screen-printed t-shirt about global warming.

    Phelan explains, "If washed at 40 degrees, the print runs away leaving tree stalks. If hand washed in cold water the print is preserved."

    Simple and refreshing.

  • "Bought by Us" by Amelia Roberts

    Environment, Communication Design


    Scanning the pages of GDi08, the graduate design and illustration showcase from Brighton University, I came across "Bought by Us" - a poster design from Amelia Roberts.

    Questioning the western world's role in increasing China's carbon emissions, this simple poster paints the silhouette of an industrial skyline, whilst standing entirely constructed from consumer products.

    Simple, yet very striking.

Whenever I draw a circle, I immediately want to step out of it. Buckminster Fuller

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