Have a Merry (Responsible) Christmas
Those involved in the practice of design have a long and rich history of engagement in social and environmental issues. This is as it should be, given the unique abilities of this profession to reach and sway large numbers of people. In fact, we're at the point where it's hard to find a designer who doesn't in some way express this increasingly global desire to "do the right thing," whether through the use of environmentally-friendly paper and printing processes or pro bono work for non-profits.
Bray Leino is a large British agency that on its "what matters to us" page declares, "We take our social and environmental responsibilities seriously. We believe in using our skills to actively support national charities." The package they sent out last December, shown below, thus reflects that concern and engagement. The accompanying text says, "This year, instead of Christmas cards we're donating money to the NoMore Landmines Trust. Best wishes from all of us at Bray Leino Bristol."
Posted recently on the AdsOfTheWorld.com site, this mailer has raised some interesting questions. Is it a classic agency promotional piece, wrapped up in a declaration of praiseworthy corporate sentiment? Should the cost of creating and mailing these instead have simply been avoided and the money saved given directly to the charity?
Whatever your response to this piece, it's clear that designers can't afford to not take a position on pressing social issues and then act on that consistently and coherently. If you're not already there, perhaps now is the time to take a good look at everything from your website to your client list, and think through how your concerns can most positively impact your brand, your work, your clients and the greater world beyond.