Free Design for Non-Profits

Posted by Adam Valvasori | 11-12-2013 08:02 | Category: Corporate Social Responsibility, Design

Webby award-winning 99designs is giving away free ‘design contests’ each month to a number of certified non-profit organisations around the world. For those unfamiliar with this model, it’s a process whereby designers submit competing designs in response to a customer’s design brief—and the winner receives a cash payment for their work. They’ve just announced that they’re bumping up the number of contests being given away in the lead up to Christmas (10 - 21 December). So now is your time to act - please take advantage of their kind offer! It’s not enough that you have a great cause (thousands do) make sure yours stands out. Make it easy for people to: find, understand and adopt your organisation’s values and vision as their own.

Whether you need a new or refreshed logo, website, t-shirt, flyer or whatever to do this, it’s essential that you start by writing a good brief. Just make sure you follow their advice.

Above: Examples of previous non-profits who have taken advantage of 99designs’ philanthropy.

Check out some more non-profit designs from their 99nonprofits 2012 round up.


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3 Decades of Aids Awareness Campaigns #WorldAIDSDay

Posted by Marc van Gurp | 1-12-2013 21:30 | Category: Design, Gender issues, Health, Social aid, Developing World

I was wondering if there is an evolution in style and message in AIDS campaigning. So I started a Pinterest board with work containing print, outdoor and ambient campaigns. From all over the world.
The question is too complicated to answer. Because the differences between the continents are too big.

In general there are two goals: awareness and fundraising. And the work I was looking for, visually attractive, is mostly awareness.
Within that area all styles are used. Brutal copy, bananas, love games, portraits, typography. Above all there are two things which are used most: the condom and the red ribbon.

However there is a noticeable development. In the early days most campaigns warn us about the dangers of sex and syringes. And you can’t get AIDS from a swimming pool. It’s the typical awareness in it’s early stages.
The target group is mostly gay or addicted.
That evolved into a more general approach. Campaigns targets all sexual active groups. And prevention became the message.
In the last few years the social approach is rising. The human factor. About the fact the people with Aids or HIV around us needs help, love and understanding.

The Pinterest board is getting big but we aren’t even halfway. There is so much explore. It’s like an uncontrollable virus.
See it here and tell us which evolution you see.

Follow Osocio Aids/HIV campaigns on Pinterest

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Great book about what it is like to be dyslexic

Posted by Marc van Gurp | 9-11-2013 22:20 | Category: Design, Fundraising

Sam Barclay: what it is like to be dyslexic?

People all over the world struggle with reading for a variety of reasons, like dyslexia, lack of education and an unfamiliar language.
I wrote before how a designer came with a solution for those who suffer from dyslexia. It was about Dyslexie, a typeface made especially for dyslectics.

Sam Barclay, former plumber and now graphic designer from Britain, chose a different approach. He made a book teaches us what it’s like to be dyslexic.

Sam: “The principles of reading are fascinating when it comes to the importance of typography. This book shows a few different ways of displaying type that might best represent the way in which a person with dyslexia might read.
In general, those that can read tend to take it for granted, and are confused by the struggles that many people experience. The question frequently asked is – ‘I wonder what it is like to be dyslexic?’.”

The book is a project at Kickstarter. Sam already reached his goal but he can use more pledges.

More about the project at his website.

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Hunting jackets turned into animals under threat

Posted by Marc van Gurp | 14-10-2013 20:59 | Category: Animal rights, Design

Rohan Chhabra - Embodying ethics : Endangered

‘Embodying ethics : Endangered’ is an unique project from Rohan Chhabra. The project was exhibited at the 2013 London Design Festival.
After graduation Rohan worked as a Product Designer with sportswear label Nike for 2 years. Since 2013, Rohan decided to work independently on the project in this post.

Rohan: The project ‘Embodying ethics : Endangered’ aims to inform the issue of extinction of critical endangered species. By designing a series of hunting jackets that turn into representations of the animal under threat, reminds us of our complicity in the problem. As merely a fashion item, there is a sense in which the hunter jacket empowers without guilt, but then it reminds us of the ultimate source of this potency- the act of slaying a living creature and transforming it into an object, a decorative accessory, a trophy. Rather than condemning the hunter outright, they enable us to recognise the hunter in ourselves.

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The traffic lights in New York tell you what to do on 9/11: Forward. Together.

Posted by Marc van Gurp | 11-09-2013 19:00 | Category: Design, Peace & Conflicts

9/11 Forward. Together.

Great guerilla project in New York this morning.
On this morning of 9/11, pedestrian traffic lights around New York City have taken on a whole new meaning. The stop symbol has been modified to resemble the fallen twin towers. Underneath it a message reads: “9/11. Forward. Together.”

Six international advertising students from Miami Ad School are behind this creative guerilla project:
“We wanted to create something different to show people that sharing the memory of 9/11 makes us stronger. We will never stop moving forward and we will never be alone. That’s what the connection between the two towers and the walking man symbolizes,” they explain.

The signs have been spotted all over Manhattan and Brooklyn in busy areas such as the Financial District, Union Square and Bedford Ave in Williamsburg. If you want to catch a glimpse of the artwork you better hurry up because we don’t know for how long they will get to stay up.

The Brooklyn Miami Ad School students also did another very cool thing for 9/11.

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Art Against Knives: Role Models

Posted by Marc van Gurp | 20-08-2013 22:45 | Category: Design, Violence

Art Against Knives: Role Models

Art Against Knives is a London based collective working with at-risk young people affected by knife crime.
In this video they provide young people with the opportunity to tell their own stories.

John (volunteer): “I used to be a criminal and had money, but no future. Now I just have my student loan but all I do is create and support other young people thanks to Art Against Knives.” 

More about the projects at their website.

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Is the recycling logo recyclable?

Posted by Simon Beyrand | 25-07-2013 10:41 | Category: Design

The recycling logo is one of the most readily recognizable logos in the world. But lately, the global company Sappi decided that “creativity matters” and created new designs to challenge the well-known bent-arrows symbol.


17 more visuals after the break.


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L is for Liberation Radicalphabet

Posted by Marc van Gurp | 1-07-2013 22:30 | Category: Activism, Design

L is for Liberation Radicalphabet

Nice idea from a group of five Chicago-based friends, artists, and activists — Leora Abelson, Liz Cook, Lee Jacobs Riggs, Erin Moore, and Jeannette Perkal. Their name is L is for Liberation Collective.
The project started in the summer of 2011.

From their website:

A conversation one evening about the lack of rad baby gifts out there inspired us to create our own. We chose 26 social justice concepts that represent diverse identities and movements, and then reached out to artists across the country to illustrate the letters. We plan to honor the values represented on the poster by printing it througha local shop that prioritizes eco-friendly methods and fair labor practices.

They are running an Indiegogo campaign until July 15 to fund the project. The poster is available this Autumn.


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Demand Conflict Free Electronics

Posted by Noah Scalin | 12-06-2013 20:54 | Category: Consumerism, Design, Education, Peace & Conflicts


Demand Conflict Free Electronics is an awareness campaign designed by Matt Wilson as the final major of his B.A Hons Degree from Plymouth College of Art in the UK. His goal is to educate people about conflict minerals being used in electronics. More information on the project can be found on his Behance page HERE.



Any agencies/NGOs out there interested in making this into something more than a student project?

Matt Wilson

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The Art of #OccupyGezi

Posted by Noah Scalin | 12-06-2013 16:10 | Category: Activism, Design, Government

“Politics As Usual” Gary Lockwood AKA Freehand Profit, USA

After seeing a poster created by US artist Gary Lockwood AKA Freehand Profit in solidarity with the ongoing protests in Istanbul, Turkey, I realized that I hadn’t encountered a graphic outpouring in the way I had with other previous protests/movements.

My first response was to create my own update of the 99% poster I created for the Occupy movement.

The second was to go looking online for galleries of art dedicated to the events, since there’s no central organizing group, my search centered around the hashtags used to promote the protests: #DirenGeziParki #OccupyGezi. So far I haven’t encountered anything other than some collections of street art, so I decided to start one here.

“Occupy Flag” by Noah Scalin, USA

“Pac-Chapull #occupgezi” by Begum Baysal, Istanbul

“Istanbul United” by Kaan Demircelik, Istanbul

“occupygezi” by Mert Tugen, Eskihehir, Turkey

“Poster design for Gezi Park” Aycan Basar,  Ankara, Turkey

Have you encountered or created a graphic response to the situation in Istanbul? Please share.

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Osocio is dedicated to social advertising and non-profit campaigns. It’s the place where marketing and activism collide. Formerly known as the Houtlust Blog, Osocio is the central online hub for advertisers, ad agencies, grassroots, activists, social entrepreneurs, and good Samaritans from around the globe.
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