AIGA Launches ‘Design for Good’ Initiative

AIGA is harnessing the power of its members for good—social good—through a new initiative that aims to connect and amplify the pro bono efforts of the association’s more than 22,000 designers, hundreds of design educators, 66 chapters, and 200 student groups across the country. Design for Good will help designers to become engaged in projects where they can demonstrate the power of design to communities, business leaders, and the public. Connection is the key. The initiative will serve as a kind of clearinghouse for advice, inspiration, training, and opportunities to tackle socially minded projects. (Check out the growing list of inspirational case studies.)

“The idea is that when a designer feels they want to make a difference, they know where to go first, where their talents will be respected and where we can match them with problems that need to be solved,” says AIGA executive director Richard Grefé. “If designers are involved in projects that affect the community, and are seen as a convener of groups that can solve difficult community problems, then they are going to be standing shoulder to shoulder with attorneys, with accountants, with community leaders who observe the way designer addresses a problem and the effectiveness of bringing creativity anytime you’re dealing with a problem that has many dimensions.”

Just don’t confuse pro bono (“for good”) with for free. Adds Grefé, “There is a promising future in solving our citizens’ problems between the roles of capital markets and the public sector.” Design for Good has already attracted funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, PepsiCo, and Sappi Ideas that Matter—and AIGA plans to work locally with GOOD to develop creative solutions to urban problems.