There’s no one better at telling people a message and getting them to act on it than the communications industry. There’s nothing more instant form of communicating a message than a poster.
But sadly most of the time our industry spends its time promoting beer and trainers rather than issues that really matter. It’s compounded by the fact that as a young creative trying to make your career you have to fill your portfolio with work for big brands to get noticed.
Work for charities is nice, but doesn’t pay the bills.
We found this incredibly frustrating. To make a stand against this
collective apathy we decided to create our own project to reward creativity in social communication and provide charities with a database of communication tools they could use for campaigns.
We created Good 50×70, an independent, non-profit initiative with
the following aims:
- to promote the value of social communication in the creative community,
- to provide charities with a (free) database of communication tools,
- to inspire the public via graphic design.
Our focus is an annual contest to design posters confronting seven of the critical issues affecting today’s world.
We chose posters as the media for the contest as they’re the most direct way to convey a message and can be easily translated to other media.
Seven charities each provide a brief on a global issue.
Anyone who wishes can enter a poster on any topic that inspires them. The best 30 responses to each brief (as selected by our jury) are collected in a catalogue and exhibited around the world. All the posters entered are supplied to the charities for them to use as potential communication tools.
There aren’t any ‘winners’, unless you count the charities.
The point of entering is to produce something that might make
a difference in the world.
What more could you ask for as a creative than that?
To make it as easy to enter as possible from all over the world,
we host the competition entirely on our website. All you have to do to enter is upload your poster. That’s it. In our first year we received over 1600 entries, the second 2700 entries from 163 countries around the world, including Iran, China, Zimbabwe and India.
But it’s not all about the competition. While we want to encourage
as many people as possible to enter, we passionately believe that
to change the status quo in the creative industries we need to engage and involve the next generation of creative talent.
So we offer workshops for Design schools and Universities where
we give lectures on social communication, help the students design posters and mount an exhibition of everything they produce. We’ve held workshops so far in Mexico and Italy, with more planned for later in 2009.
We might not change anything with Good 50×70, but if we can wake up the Graphic Design and creative communities to the power they have to be a force for change in the world, we’ll really have achieved something.