What a summer*

Many of us waited, worried and watched Australia burning, asking ourselves what can I do?’ 
Not everyone has resources to donate cash, ability to donate time, or the skills to rebuild fences.

Luckily designers have a special power many don’t – we have the ability to translate difficult to understand data into more easily digested, more palatable information. We can help make the complex, simple. We can help make change.

I believe that design brings clarity to complex issues

From clarity comes understanding.

Understanding leads to knowledge.

I think designers have a role in this disaster – we can use design to help raise the public consciousness about current environmental disasters.

Introducing: *Creatives Making Morrison Understand*

CMMU is an initiative around creatives helping others – like our Prime Minister Scott Morrison – understand climate change. What is happening, why it’s happening and what can be done to curb the effects.

People I respect suggest that Morrison does in fact understand the science of climate change, but chooses not to act. That’s a perfect role for our special power. Creatives are in the business of persuasion. Persuasion to make people behave differently, purchase differently, think differently. This is about helping our Federal Government think differently.

So, CMMU is about Australian designers using their skill to produce a communication that will make Morrison understand and take action.

Taking back control

CMMU is also about taking control.

The World Health Organisation linked mental health and characteristics of burn out to feeling overawed or a loss of control. Designing is our safe room. Producing a piece of persuasive communication that clearly states our case is part of taking back that control by doing what we do best.

Am I delusional? May be.
Will it make an impact? Perhaps.
Could the process of ‘doing’ make a positive impact to our mental health? Absolutely.

Here’s what I know:

I know creatives are skilled at translating complex information into easy-to-access, and easy-to-digest messaging. 
I know learned scientists believe humans are impacting the global climate and change is possible. 
I know our Federal Government, led by our Prime Minister, is not taking action to alleviate the impact of climate change.

Here’s what I would like:

I would like creatives to submit educative graphics that help explain the complexities of climate change.
For logistics, I’m asking for posters (up to) A1 size, and motion graphics.

Here’s what I’m going to do:

Organise spaces creatives can gather, talk and see the submissions.
Then I’m aiming to take some of these graphics to the wider public, through street furniture advertising or cinema advertising.

Here’s what we have so far:

  1. Melbourne exhibition space: Amber Bonney and her team at edison.agency  generously offered their studio space in Melbourne.
  2. Sydney exhibition space: The Australian Design Centre have offered their great space in William Street, Darlinghurst.
  3. Printing: Skye Molyneux, through her studio Studio Bleux made the spectacular offer to print up to 20 A1 posters.
  4. The start of a conversation with street posters, street furniture and cinema advertising contacts.
  5. Two brains trust to ensure we’re not distributing misinformation: Sustainability expert Rob Gell and Climate Scientist Linden Ashcroft.

Here’s what I need:

  1. Great submissions!
  2. Printing in Melbourne so we’re not freighting the posters.
  3. Volunteers to help it happen.

Update March 2020:

Submissions are in and judged. Catch up with the latest here.


Carol Mackay

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After 30+ years running a graphic design firm, Carol pivoted from client-focused projects to consult to the design industry. Now with the Design Business Council she uses her experience, and research, to help designers build robust, sustainable businesses, and help businesses integrate, and profit from, design.

The core of the DBC is the building a design community – over 85% of designers work in businesses with less than 5 employees, many less than 3. That means designers don’t have the same support network of other professionals. The DBC’s solution is supplement paid gigs with mentoring breakfast meet-ups, informative UNseminars and practical workshops in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

In 2018 Carol co-founded the Clear Communication Awards, and the Business of Design Week. Both will be run in 2019

An archive of her design work at mbdesign.com.au.
Her current work can be viewed at designbusinesscouncil.com and designbusinessschool.com.au.

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