GDUSA’s 2021 Responsible Designers

Sponsored by Domtar

Shown above: Oriel Davis-Lyons, Creative Director, Spotify

As a complement to our perennial and popular special reports — “People To Watch” (newsworthy designers) and “Students To Watch” (rising graduates of note) and “Educators To Watch” (influential teachers) — we have added an annual “Responsible Designers To Watch” to the editorial mix. Growing naturally out of our longtime coverage of “green design,” this pivot recognizes that creative professionals are embracing responsibility writ large in terms of how sustainably they create and produce, yes, but more broadly how, when, why and for whom they work.

It’s our version of “Designing For Good.”

The common thread: these are creative and thought leaders who use design principles, talents and skills to make the world a better place as they see it. And, in 2021, this is especially meaningful since they are working against the backdrop of a transformational pandemic that won’t quit, a reckoning with racial and economic inequality, a political class that cannot find the equanimity to compromise, a new interest by client corporations and institutions in taking public stances, a social media environment that generates more heat than light, and — at bottom — a crying need to heal the fraying social fabric.

For nearly six decades, GDUSA has argued that graphic design is a valuable tool for shaping commerce, culture and causes, and should be recognized and rewarded as such. Never has this proposition been more true.

– Gordon Kaye, Editor

PS: A special thanks to Domtar, which has been the enthusiastic and exclusive sponsor of this special feature for many years. To learn more about Domtar papers and the company’s sustainable practices, visit Paper.Domtar.Com or Paper.Domtar.Com/Paper-Matters-Podcast.


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