David Berman Communications
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Civilization is our common design project

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Hi. I’m proud to be sharing my first blog post!

Many of my blog posts are also appearing on Design Edge Magazine in my blog column called Do Good Design, in honour of a famous book of the same name.

For those of you who don’t yet know me, I’m David and I’m passionate about how we can all use the power of design thinking to create a better civilization.

Our common love for tigers is obvious (two Siberians born at the Calgary Zoo made national headlines earlier this month). Yet consider this: the world’s tiger population today is only 20% of what it was the day I was born. That’s hard for anyone to hear and especially difficult for me; the tiger has always been my spirit animal, and I hope that by the day I die there will be at least as many tigers alive as there were on the day I was born.

 Tiger extinction poster design, Leanne Belcher, 2012


As designer Leanne Belcher reminds us in her brilliantly simple poster above, we’ve already lost 97% of our wild tigers in just over a century. I had the good fortune of meeting Leanne’s work as a juror in this year’s Good50x70 poster competition. (Hey, Leanne, what’s next for your poster? I want one!)

Every year, Pasquale Volpe and Gabriella Morelli from Milan organize the Good50x70 youth poster competition, and thus urge us all to focus on what matters most … so I was proud and thankful to be a juror again this year.

According to my calculations, over 95% of the graphic designers who have ever lived are alive today, and it’s up to us to decide what our profession will be about: will it be about convincing people to create and consume stuff that destroy habitat? Or will it be about using our unprecedented power and opportunity to persuasively share the messages that the World needs to hear, in order to together design a more humane way of being human? The future of civilization is our common design project, and we’ve made all species our clients. We’re losing those clients at the rate of three species an hour.

Judging from the hundreds of submissions I examined as a Good50x70 juror, there is no risk of extinction of creativity and hope amongst today’s young designers. Across all the topics addressed in the competition, the typography, the colour and the cleverness came together to create messages that motivate and educate. These designs reassure us that our tigers and our hopes and our dreams for a just society are safe in the hands of the next generation of design professionals who will earn a living while creating a better society.

So whether you’re interested in taking part in next year’s competition, or you’d like to see more amazing work, visit the good50x70 site.

I’ll be sharing how I’m working to save tigers through design thinking in a future post. If you’d like to share your examples of design doing good, please contribute to our Do Good Flickr feed …or comment on this post!

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Reviewed July 11, 2012

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