5 Reasons You Should Use Your Creative Powers for Good

In FastCompany’s article, How Graphic Designers Are Protesting Trump, designers Timothy Goodman and Jessica Walsh were asked what role they thought design played in fomenting political action.

The duo responded, “While we do feel graphic designers can have unique abilities to make statements and tell stories in ways that haven’t been done before, we don’t feel there should be some responsibility for this.”

Ok, we understand that. No one HAS to use their talents or their voice to make a difference or make a statement because, you know, you do you. That said, we have to ask, why the hell wouldn’t you?

As a cause-driven agency, it’s our philosophy that we do have a responsibility to use our voices and make noise about the things that matter, whether it’s to advocate for social justice, political action, civic engagement, human rights or to elevate any other number of causes.

We put together the top five reasons why we think you should reconsider and use your creative powers for good.

  1. There is a need.
    There are hundreds of thousands of organizations out there working to make the world a better place, but getting their message out for others to hear is not always easy. Good design can be a rally cry. Thoughtful copy can encourage hard conversations. Creativity can inspire a call to action or ignite a movement.
  2. You have the talent.
    Being a creative is like having an arsenal of superpowers at your disposal that you can use to say things you believe in a different way. With the skills in your toolbox and the right vision, you can make something incredibly powerful that others only wish they could create.
  3. It inspires others.
    When it comes to sharing our beliefs or standing up for a cause, many people don’t care for the discomfort. Putting yourself out there can be a tough proposition—what if it’s controversial? What if other people don’t like it? Well, good news. We live in a country where you can say the things you believe, even if it’s not agreeable to everyone. The even better news is that if you create these inspiring little nuggets of design and great writing, you’ll probably find you’ve lent a voice to a lot of other people who agree with you—they just didn’t have the words. And now they do.
  4. It’s about respect.
    It’s easy to forget in the comfort of our smartphones and $5 coffees, but America has fought wars so you can have a voice. You damn well better use it. You damn well better vote, too.*
  5. This is the way of the future.
    We live in a digital world where cleverness-by-proxy is full-on social capital. Be the first to share a particularly memorable image first thing in the morning and you’re winning the day by lunch time. People out there—your friends, community members and other online activists—are looking for things to post that echo their thoughts and beliefs. You can help provide it!

Creatives, give your friends that social capital. Make them badass things in sharable shapes. Say stuff that’s worthwhile. Be memorable, and be loud. Share your voice and empower others to share theirs. It’s a victory to have one.

A version of this blog co-authored by Laila Khalili and Jo Skillman first ran on The Black Sheep Agency’s website as part of their #VoteHOU initiative.

Laila Khalili is a native Texan and proud Houstonian. She is the Constituent Services Director for Houston City Council District H and serves on the Board of Directors for the Lilith Fund. In her spare time, Laila can be found rock climbing, writing, or wielding a protest sign.

Jo Skillman is Art Director for the Black Sheep Agency and a member of the White House Creative Alliance. When she’s not designing or writing about design, Jo is road tripping, making pies, or buying all kinds of stuff at estate sales.


By aigahouston
Published September 23, 2016
AIGA encourages thoughtful, responsible discourse. Please add comments judiciously, and refrain from maligning any individual, institution or body of work. Read our policy on commenting.