I believe design shapes the world, and PR can help give the industry a bigger and brighter stage. That’s why I’m delighted with my recent appointment as the National PR Chair for the Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC), which allows me to help foster understanding and appreciation of design across Canada and around the globe.
Working with the newly appointed mover and shaker National GDC President and Ethics Chair, Johnathon Vaughn Strebly, we’re educating the public on the value of professional design. For instance, we’re actively creating awareness of several police agencies’ decisions to shift from bright police vehicles to dark, intimidating, stealth-like designs. There was reportedly little thought that went into these decisions, but the impact to society can be substantial and long lasting.
As Strebly stated in the media, “Design forms our visual culture, which forms perceptions and ultimately creates our reality.” He argues our police agencies’ visual culture should “reflect who we are as Canadians,” and not follow the footsteps of US police forces, which are armed with riot gear, armoured vehicles and other military-grade equipment.
He went on to explain: “Managing perception is critical on so many levels — from how it impacts our children’s views and behaviours, to the type of people our police forces attract.”
This is an excellent example of how professional designers have the ability — and one could argue the responsibility — to guide people and organizations to make meaningful and wise decisions, and create a positive impact on society. Like my associate and accessibility design advocate David Berman preaches, we need to “do good
design” and collectively “design-think” the future of civilization.
Through GDC-driven editorials, press releases and interviews, we’re actively forming better communities. The media reports and public backlash that followed helped put the “militaristic design” of Toronto police vehicles on hold, and GDC’s in talks with the city’s council to provide expertise and assistance. That’s a monumental move in the right direction, and hopefully we’ll influence other cities to make more informed decisions.
Conversations + Caffeine = Creativity
Focusing exclusively on web content since I founded Webcopy+ in 2006, I’ve collaborated with hundreds of talented designers across Canada, the US and other countries. The inventive energy, passion, curiosity and openness of these creative minds compels me to keep exploring and studying how content and design can evolve, and better serve people, organizations and communities.
Chief Content Strategist