An old coworker of mine, Lex Bass, reached out this morning on LinkedIn with a great question: “What are your thoughts on how design + social justice intersect? Action items and tips for fellow designer?” This was prompted by a video I shared in support of Black Lives Matter. I believe that design has always been a conduit for social justice and has the power to help messaging standout. In the past few weeks, I’ve seen many designers on my personal feeds donate their abilities to raise awareness and donations for the cause. Here’s three examples I came across.
Ashlee Jones, aka Smallchalk, is an incredible designer here in New Orleans who specializes in old-school hand lettering. While most of the industries she typically works with are on pause due to Covid, she lettered this powerful design and setup VoiceAgainst.com with Four Finger Press. On this website, activists may purchase products which directly contribute to causes where support is needed most.
True Grit Texture Supply
I’ve turned to True Grit Texture Supply in the past for their high quality brushes and effects for Photoshop. Seriously, check out the Atomica release. They created a new (1 week only) pack of hand lettering and texture brushes named Letters of Protest and donated all proceeds to Black Lives Matter and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. In the end, over 3,500 artists and designers helped raise $28,186. Then you have to consider how much additional awareness those 3,500 customers might create!
Mason London, whom you may remember from my recent Bob Marley project, is an incredible freelance designer who specializes in meticulous looped animated videos. He took a moment from what I imagine is a ridiculously busy schedule to create some high res poster files which he made available for download, printing, and remixing. In addition, he also drew this incredible piece of George Floyd and directed users to www.justiceforbigfloyd.com.
Each of these examples are so unique and inspiring. Have you seen other examples of designers donating their time to the cause? Share some examples in the comments below. Black Lives Matter.