Designing for Good: Celebrating Creators Who Make Positive Change

Lucy Marino is executive director of the marketing and creative practice at global talent solutions firm Robert Half. Robert Half, the world’s first and largest specialized talent solutions, is the sponsor of the Designing for Good category for Graphic Design USA’s American Graphic Design Awards, 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. 


When organizations consider their most powerful business tools, more and more leaders are realizing design’s impact on the experience of their brand and, ultimately, the bottom line. We know well-designed campaigns, advertisements, websites and products can have a profound influence on how an audience feels, acts and reacts to the world around them.

Having worked with the creative community for more than 25 years, I can say with confidence that designers are hugely valuable business contributors because they are exceptionally attuned to their audiences. They understand what resonates and how to convey concepts effectively. And they are storytellers, translating complex ideas into compelling visuals that leave a lasting, multilayered impression.


The Power and Impact of Design

I have seen great design drive change and create meaningful impact that couldn’t have happened any other way. Because design is more than aesthetics; it’s a strategic tool for messaging, shifting perceptions and fostering connections — raising awareness of issues and causes.

What can good design do?

• Through visual design, we can tell stories, reveal truths and crystallize the essence of a message or matter. And the products of design are instruments to activate audiences to embrace a cause, idea or action.

• Organizations become more dimensional and attractive to their clients and customers through design like visual branding, user interfaces and marketing collateral. When done thoughtfully, it elevates a brand’s reputation and instills trust and loyalty.

• Within communities, design can be a catalyst for change. From public awareness campaigns to community spaces, it shapes the way people interact with their surroundings. It can promote inclusivity, accessibility and a sense of belonging among diverse groups.


Designers as Change Agents

The work of a designer can be isolating at times. And it can be tricky, as creators must constantly generate fresh ideas, hoping the well doesn’t run dry. They really are a special type.

And the best ones I know seek purpose in their work. They aspire to create designs that go beyond aesthetics to make a tangible impact in the communities where they live and on society and the future of humanity.

These artists deserve to see their work extend beyond the confines of pixels and paper to build their own legacies of positive change.


The Designing for Good Award

Our vision of elevating design and designers to their earned place as champions for change led Robert Half to team up with Graphic Design USA (GDUSA) to launch the Designing for Good category of the GDUSA American Graphic Design Awards in 2022.

The Designing for Good Award celebrates graphic communications that advance positive social and environmental action; champion social justice; promote diversity, equity and inclusion; and strive to improve communities and the world at large.

Entries in this category cover topics that embrace DEI, sustainability, women’s empowerment, health and safety, fundraising for communities, and more.

As sponsor and co-creator of the award, Robert Half hopes to encourage businesses across every industry to recognize and celebrate the efforts of creatives in their midst who are making a difference. We want to share our conviction that today’s designers seek more than a job — they yearn to be part of organizations that share similar values and are committed to creating a better world.

Design is not just about making things look good; it’s a tool for driving change for the better. The Designing for Good Award will shine a beacon of recognition on creatives who are using their skills for the greater good, testifying to the power of purposeful design as a force for positive change.