Designers impacting society

On Thursday 19 March we’re doing a virtual launch for the *Creatives Making Morrison Understand* poster submissions. Yep, it was going to be a physical launch of 25 A1 posters printed on a beautiful stock but alas, no more courtesy COVID19. Instead, the posters will be uploaded to the DBC website.

It’s a shame but the strength of the designs mean they will have impact in any medium.

This whole exercise got me thinking about impact…

In February we went to a Bushfire fundraiser where Bec Scott of Streat was one of three very impressive speakers. Bec spoke about how to make change – how to direct your energy to make the most impact. Among many things, she said…

Change is like an acupuncture needle – where can you put it to make the biggest outcome?
You chose just one place to insert it for the maximum impact

This is exactly how designers can help impact society.
Good designers have an ability to sift through a plethora of information (AKA a client brief) to identify the one big idea.
The big idea on which to hang the whole campaign.
The big idea that will make the biggest outcome.

Designers can also help clients identify the type of outcome they want, and the best income is not always a financial outcome.

Don’t get me wrong, financial impact is great — good finances deliver options, but there are other forms of impact our clients can make.

Social impact: making a difference to way people live and work is vitally important. Good networks and good relationships; enabling society to function effectively.

Environmental impact: everyone makes an environmental impact, it’s up to individuals whether it is positive or negative. Design can help clients make a positive impact by monitoring design’s chain of custody.

Value impact: reputation is everything. Using design to help client’s build (and maintain) their reputation means they can attract better clients, better staff and build a better culture.


How does this relate to climate change and *Creatives Making Morrison Understand*?

It relates because design and design thinking help simplify the complex. Good design helps sift facts and figures: keep the important ones and let others fall through. That’s what you’ll see in the *Creatives Making Morrison Understand* posters.

Stay tuned, all will be revealed here on Thursday 19 March 6pm EST.


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.

An archive of her design work at
Her current work can be viewed at and

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