Doing “good” work

26Sep07

Some of you may have been a bit confused when you first started the Major Project as to what exactly “socially useful” design was. You may have been wondering, is this just about designing for charities?

Design which affects society in a good way doesn’t just have to be the feel good charity variety. As Lucienne Roberts says in a recent eye magazine forum piece, it can mean many things. Have a read of the article here.

On designing for charities though, this is what he has to say: “Most designers fear that in order to achieve access for all, they will have to adhere to creatively restrictive guidelines, so accessible design could result in exclusion of a different kind: aesthetic refinement. This reminds me of the uphill struggle I have working for some charities and NGOs who advocate a sort of anti-design policy because they associate ‘good’ design with wealth and luxury – thereby denying the many access to visually engaging or stimulating work.”

So be careful. Don’t design your publication to look “greenie” or “worthy” assuming it will appeal to your target market. To do so may just be isolating the audience you really want to attract.

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