Design For Social Good


Stacey Hayward / No More Stolen Sisters
A poster that brings attention to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and uses the red dress already associated with the campaign here in Canada.

Kayley Liu / Rethink Plastic
A poster that brings attention to our use of plastics in society and the harmful impacts of single-use-plastics.

Ruzgar Vreskala / Sex Work Is Real Work
A poster that brings attention to sex workers and that their vocation should be acknowledged and not looked down upon.

Jordan Vandeputte / Don't Blame The Victim
A poster that brings attention to the victims of sexual assault and that their history should have no bearing on the trial of their abusers.

Megan Lim / Bread Kills
A poster that brings attention to the fact that bread is not a good food to feed ducks at the park.

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Bookmark Project

Project Brief

For this project, you will create a poster that intends to create positive change in a social cause of your choice.

Your poster will be composed of both text and imagery and must include a call-to-action. 

Your call-to-action may be the logo of an organization that is working to promote your topic, it may be a website where your audience can get more information on your topic, or it may be a hashtag, used to try and create a buzz around your topic.


Start by researching various potential social causes that have either been discussed in class or that you have a personal connection to. Familiarize yourself with various perspectives on your topic and try to understand the situation from different angles.

Compile a file of images and articles that relate to chosen topic. This file should contain things you are aware of and facts and images that are new to you as well.

Begin by narrowing down from your image file and choose some kind of theme or direction for the assignment. Then start with a series of thumbnail sketches promoting your theme.

With so many directions to take this assignment, it might be prudent to keep your design concept simple. While you may choose to depict historical events or data, this is not meant to be an information design project, ie. aviod using pie charts, bar graphs or other numeric images within the design unless you feel strongly that they add to your overall story.

Show the process of design, from familiarization, to development, to refinement.

You may complete this assignment by whichever means you feel is appropriate for communicating your intended message. ie. You may choose to illustrate or paint your final artwork, you may choose to build elements and photograph them, or you may choose to compose it digitally. 

Learning Objectives

Social design is design that is mindful of the designer’s role and responsibility in society, and the use of the design process to bring about social change.

Within the design world, social design is defined as a design process that contributes to improving human well-being and livelihood. The agenda of social design is inspired by Victor Papanek’s idea that designers and creative professionals have a responsibility, and are able to cause real change in the world through good design. 

There is a long history in design of using poster art to affect change in society and designers and artists hold the 


—All process related to this project to be submitted in a docket or digitally. All digital process should be compiled into one low-resolution PDF file.

—Final artwork may be created directly on illustration board or mounted to illustration board with double-sided tape. Final size may be 10x15 inches or 15x20 inches.

—A Hi Resolution PDF file of the final artwork uploaded to the Assignments folder. File name: lastname_firstname_prj6.pdf


I have been teaching this project for a few years now and I'm always impressed with how many of my students use this project as a means to communicate topics that are important to them, to their classmates. Students may have personal experiences that they can draw upon, or they can research topics that are new to them as well. I am clear that I do not want this to be a negative experience for anyone though, so if they choose to do something fun or even comical, that is a possibility also. I do make a point of telling students that no one should feel obligated to take on any one topic because of how they may see themselves. On one hand, they may have perspectives that they might help educate others about, but that everyone is welcome to do whatever topic they feel they would like to educate others about. 

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