Art Directors Club – Design for a Social Cause


Designing for a social cause is what changed my career path. From the commercial glamorous world of advertising and design, I veered towards social justice which was strengthened by my background in Education.  I wrote earlier about my love for paper and the way things have changed in my artistic life when eco-friendly thinking and acting took hold of me.

As a member of the ADC in NY, I needed to include a recent bit of this event on my blog.

Ami Brophy, Executive Director of the Art Directors Club, took to the podium to announce various initiatives in place for anybody willing and eager to make a change in our world. She spoke passionately about an undertaking by event sponsor Sappi Fine Paper entitled Ideas That Matter. Founded in 1999, Ideas That Matter issues monetary grants to designers of all kinds to help them achieve amazing creative results on non-profit work very close to their hearts.

Ami also invited Dan Perlet of Corbis to talk about what the stock photography powerhouse is doing to encourage others (like you and I) to use our talents to bring about social change. One such tool that Corbis provides comes from its famous Bettmann Collection. I’m sure you most of you know it as the Corbis archive with lots of old photos. Yes, it’s a big collection — over 11 million photos and growing — and restoring, digitizing and preserving these photos is a massive undertaking. But did you know that the images in the Bettmann Collection could be licensed at no charge when being used for non-profit work? That’s certainly something to think about, whether you’re putting together a PSA or working on a project destined to change the world.

Dan also spoke about the Corbis Creativity For Social Justice Award, one of the many categories in the fast approaching ADC Awards. This accolade celebrates the very best in pro bono public service/non-profit/education work. We also heard from Ami Dar, Executive Director of Action Without Borders. AWB and its website can best be described as a meeting place for people who wish to do good in this world. The website features countless initiatives from around the world, all looking for volunteers to get involved. You can even post your “resume” so that when a project you feel particularly passionate about comes along, you’ll be the first to know.


Action Without Borders and primarily deal with volunteers doing physical tasks, from rebuilding communities damaged by earthquakes to helping in a homeless shelter in your own neighborhood. However the Art Directors Club and AWB are pleased to announce a new initiative in the works that will pair non-profit organizations with designers and ad people wanting to lend their talents to worthy causes. Keep your eyes peeled in the coming weeks for… Designism Social.


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