One question I asked myself during the pandemic lockdowns – can graphic design be a catalyst for climate action? There is a silver lining that I witnessed from many working in the creative community during this period of reflection. We’ve been given a chance to reset. More questions surfaced, like can design influence a meaningful change to humanity? It can feel rather overwhelming. Where do you start? How do I find fulfilling design work, with a higher purpose but still make a sustainable income for my family. During my research I stumbled upon the US based Climate Designers community of creatives and I joined their UK chapter. Their mission:
“To provide the resources, knowledge, and community for designers to take climate action in the work they do. To inspire, motivate, and graduate climate designers by providing climate-focused resources for design educators.”
This online platform has provided inspiration, support and resources to help me become a more climate conscious designer and through Garlic Agency, I’m hoping to spark change through creativity. I have worked pro bono for UK charity ClimateScience, who create fun and easy-to-understand, reliable climate change resources for education. More recently, I worked on a social media campaign with charity Rewriting Extinction, a global collaboration aiming to save as many species from extinction as humanly possible. You can read more about my design business and personal values on my about page.
Climate change and therefore climate action is intrinsically complex but one constant is that the majority of scientists agree it’s real. Climate change affects people disproportionately. Research by Oxfam shows that the world’s richest 10% of people cause 50% of emissions. Whilst developing countries with ineffective governments and widespread poverty face the most profound risks from the extreme environmental changes. So how can my design agency begin to overcome these seemingly insurmountable hurdles?
Designing with the environment in mind. Considering what impact the project will have on the planet. The Planet, People, Profit (PPP) methodology feels more inclusive and more widely accessible, compared to previous design approaches. We should learn from the global pandemic. We should be asking ourselves what we can do, and we should be listening to climate change experts to educate ourselves.
Now it’s time to take action!