Article 4: Designing For Good | Sharing Good News

Last winter, GDUSA introduced a “Designing For Good” feature category as part of our annual American Graphic Design Awards™ competition. The idea resonated: we saw several hundred entries and roughly 50 winning pieces were selected.

This is the fourth in a series of articles that take a deeper look at the winners of the new category, their motivations, their creative strategies, the impact of their winning projects — and why these creative professionals are engaged in and committed to socially responsible design. 

Robert Half, the world’s first and largest specialized talent solutions, is the founding sponsor of this initiative which encompasses graphic communications that advance positive social and environmental action and social justice impact; promote diversity, equity and inclusion; and aim to make communities and the world a better place for people and nature. 


Article 4: Designing For Good | Sharing Good News

Our first article examined how and why creatives view graphic design as a powerful force for good, the second drilled down on the real world impact of these award-winning projects, and our third piece explored the special communications challenges presented by projects intend to advance positive social goals.

This time around, we look at a practical, and sometimes underestimated, aspect of this process: sharing the good news as a way to leverage benefits for the client AND the creative firm, agency or department.

For the client, the benefit is obvious: the win can encourage more engagement, generate enthusiasm and pride, and encourage more and better communications outreach going forward. For the design organization’s perspective, the benefits can be more nuanced: to help spread the client’s message and mission, yes, but also to build internal morale, to encourage current clients to expand their communications activities, to attract new clients, and to create a more positive and desirable workplace culture.


“The award elevates our status as a design team”


In this connection, we asked our award-winners a series of three questions: Have you shared or promoted the win? To whom? And what do you believe was gained?

The answer to the first question provoked a near unanimous response. 75% of the winners said they had made the effort to share the good news about the win, while another 20% say they have plans to do so in the near future. Only one respondent said “no” to promotion.


“Good vibes for good people.”


The second question — with whom did you choose to share the specific fact of the award — the most frequent response was “the client” (95%) followed by internal firm or department management and colleagues (75%) and, finally, the broader consumer audience (60%).


“Validation of our efforts is a huge win.”


As for the third and final question – the potential benefits of winning the award and publicizing the victory — the results are intriguing.

Most designers (70%) see the award as another way to contribute to, and give credence to, the overall mission of the client.

Many designers, firms, agencies and departments also view the win as a way to leverage other beneficial outcomes: 60% view it as a way to affirm their expertise and obtain new clients; 55% hoped the recognition would help generate more business from the current client; and 50% believe the win contributes to improved workplace morale with the corollary advantage of helping recruit and keep creative talent.


A few interesting quotes:

“Everyone loves a win! It was felt all around the internal team at Jacques Pepin Foundation. Good vibes for good people.”

— Stacy Karzen was honored for her design of invitations and materials for the organization’s recent 5th Anniversary Celebration of JPF.



“When my firm is recognized, my client’s and their efforts are recognized. Validation of our efforts is a huge win for all involved. It has reinforced to me and my clients that we have the ability to produce national-level campaigns even though we are small in size.”

— Annabel Mangold of Mangold Design won her award for the “Tell Your Partner Clinic Poster Series” on behalf of the National Coalition of STD Directors.


“Winning a graphic design competition can bring many benefits to a client. Some of the most significant benefits include increased visibility and recognition, improved credibility, enhanced reputation and help in achieving its mission.”

— Craig Calsbeek of CCGD was recognized for event branding for The San Diego River Park Foundation



“This award elevates our status as a design team, giving credibility to our work and the value we bring to the organization. It also gives our designers well-deserved recognition, making them feel empowered to take on more challenges and creative risks.”

— Steven Palmer of GM Financial served as creative director for the company’s 2022 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Annual Report



“I hope these wins shed light not only on the work I have done for my clients but also on their missions. I also hope to show the impact CEDC has made on the nonprofit community since 1984… And finally, I hope this recognition motivates more designers to work with small nonprofits who need help sharing their causes and missions with the world.”

— Beth Ponticello, creative director of CEDC, scored wins for the Catholic Climate Covenant and for the Catholic Mobilizing Network



The win and recognition will increase awareness of resources for suicide prevention like this and others, such as the national suicide hotline number, 988, and organizations alike who do amazing things for prevention. As an agency, Oomph hopes that through this recognition, we will be connected to more organizations that have great causes that need effective and impactful design to communicate the positive change they can support.

— Alyssa Varsanyi was honored for their work for Suicide Prevention Now (SPN).


“Liberty Mutual makes massive investments in the communities we serve and we hope bringing legitimacy to these efforts will show our customers, colleagues and communities more of who we are as a brand versus just the products we sell.”

— Michael Wood of Liberty Mutual was art director for Liberty Mutual Community Investment’s “You Know Homeless Youth” campaign.