Mark Haak

MARK_HAAK

DESIGN FOR GOOD, TORONTO ONTARIO

Design for Good was started by Mark Haak in 2007. It is a different kind of company working with charities, non-profits and businesses that believe creativity has enormous power for change, and that strong design can move people and get results. More than just socially conscious and environmentally responsible graphic designers, they are a community of passionate thinkers and doers who share beliefs and invest their energies in ethical organizations that are working together to make a positive and significant impact in our world. They help increase the impact of the work they are doing but also consider every opportunity to reduce an organization’s impact on the environment. And they work together to create strong branding, authentic messages and creative strategies that help organizations around the world connect with supporters and use that support to further their cause.

HOW AND WHY DID YOU BECOME INVOLVED WITH SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE AND/OR SUSTAINABLE PROJECTS, CLIENTS AND CAUSES?
After 15 years of running a traditional graphic design studio, I was searching for something more. After a month-long sabbatical to volunteer in Africa, which included helping set up a school, meeting with HIV patients, talking with education and awareness publications, and learning first-hand the impact clean water can have on a community, I returned home inspired to use the experience as a springboard to doing more to help others.

I considered moving to Uganda and working on the ground but realized that using my skills as a graphic designer could be a vital way to enable non-profits to expand their reach and further engage their supporters.

With that goal in mind, Design for Good to work was started with individuals and organizations who take socially and environmentally responsible action, spreading the message and helping them achieve their sustainable and humanitarian goals.

ARE THERE SPECIAL CHALLENGES OR OPPORTUNITIES IN PURSUING THESE GOALS IN 2017?
2017 is an incredible time and opportunity to use design for change. There is so much noise in the marketing world that it takes strong creative to stand out and be heard. Today, there are so many ways to increase exposure and accessibility to your messages of awareness and support and to engage and interact through social media, mobile, crowd sourcing or direct engagement with others to build a community of supporters.

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