Ideas That Matter Shows How Design (And Print) Can Change Lives

Sappi North America has announced its call for entries for its 2017 Ideas that Matter grant program, inviting designers to show the world how design – specifically print – can play an important role in changing lives for the better. Sappi established the Ideas that Matter grant program 18 years ago to fund designers who apply their creative talents to causes that address significant issues facing our society. Over more than a decade and a half, Sappi has witnessed firsthand how the creative and integrated work of designers can change society. With so many media choices available, states Sappi, “print is at the heart of influential and effective messaging and a perfect complement to promote positive social causes.”

Patti Groh, Marketing Communications Director, Sappi North America, explains:  “Over the course of the Ideas that Matter program, Sappi has financed more than 500 charitable programs designed to better our lives, our communities and our planet. The breadth, quality and impact of projects we’ve supported have made a meaningful difference in people’s lives across the globe. Social design impacts society in a positive way so we’re honored to annually provide support for the work of designers and nonprofits.”

This year’s panel of judges include: Dana Arnett of VSA Partners; Randy J. Hunt of Etsy; Matthew Manos of verynice; and De Nichols of Civic Creatures.

Ideas that Matter Come to Life

Since 1999, the program has provided nearly $13 million to support causes that change lives, communities, and ultimately, the planet. The 2016 winners included Design Museum Foundation, The Blank Page for SOLA/School of Leadership in Afghanistan, MICA in support of Johns Hopkins University Lerner Center for Public Health, Felicidad for Ashoka, Center for Design in the Public Interest/UC Davis for the Hill Country Health and Wellness Center, McSweeney’s for 826 National, Parsons The New School for Design to support The Point CDC and Art Center College of Design/Design Matters for Coaniquem BCF/The Burned Children Foundation. Videos of previous winners can be viewed on Sappi’s Ideas that Matter website. Additional information is available on Sappi’s Facebook page, Twitter at @SappiNA, and Instagram.

 Selection Criteria and How to Enter

Ideas that Matter proposals are evaluated on creativity, potential effectiveness and practicality by an annually selected, independent panel of judges who are influential in the design industry. The call for Ideas that Matter submissions is open to individual designers, design firms, agencies, in-house corporate design departments, design instructors, individual design students and design student groups. Only applicants in North America may apply. Grant awards range from $5,000 to $50,000 USD per project. Each application must include an IRS 501 (c) 3 letter or Canadian equivalent of the applicant’s nonprofit organization. Applications for the 2017 program must be submitted and postmarked no later than July 7, 2017. Judging takes place in August, grants are announced in September, and awards distributed in October.