Design Rebel: Socially Conscious Design

Noah Scalin, Design Activist

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10 Lessons (39m)
    • 1. Trailer

    • 2. The Visual Message

    • 3. What Do You Care About?

    • 4. You're Not Alone

    • 5. Examples

    • 6. Identifying Audience & Message

    • 7. Engaging an Audience

    • 8. Creating Your Subversion

    • 9. Sharing Your Message

    • 10. Becoming a Social Entrepreneur


Project Description

Design a mini-poster for a cause you are passionate about

Think Like a Designer/Think Like an Activist

  1. Make a list of your passions

    Activism is turning internal ethics into external passion.

  2. Identify what is already being done

    Make sure you can determine how graphic design is used effectively in communicating a message.

    Check the examples below for inspiration.

    Examples of social issue marketing.

    Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change

    Activism in Graphic Design.

    Heidi Cody's American Alphabet

    Baby Carrot's 'Extreme'

Turning Passion into Action

  1. Identify your audience

    Who will you most likely reach? Ensure they are clearly targeted.

    Is your audience already targeted?

    Who could use your help to hear about something different?

  2. Read the First Things First Manifesto

    Check out the full First Things First Manifesto.

    Then read Adbuster's reprise.

    Sign the living document.

  3. Identify your message

    Why do you feel passionate about it?

    Narrow your throughts to one sentence. . . the elevator speech!

    The 99% Poster

    Before I Die by Candy Chang

    The Yes Men

The Message

  1. Leverage your audience & message

    Make a list of unusual facts about your topic and taglines to accompany it.

    Make a list of places where you could get your audience to find this message, which one is the most feasible?

    "Not Available on the App Store"

    The Bubble Project

  2. Create Your Poster

    Be sure to make it small enough that it is distributable, but large enough that it is noticed!

    James Victore, Columbus Poster.

  3. Distribute your work

    Exercise all of your options!

  4. Document your actions

    You never know how far this work could spread, and you want to make sure you have a record of it!


  1. Offer up your project to one of the nonprofits you have researched

    Start the conversation!

Additional Resources

Student Projects

project card
Jena Buckwell