PARTNER/VP, CREATIVE DIRECTOR
THE REPUBLIK, RALEIGH NC
Matt Shapiro is Partner, VP/Creative Director at The Republik, a group of free thinkers willing to push one another into powerful collisions of insights that dismantle the tenets of size, money, and power to meaningfully impact lives.
Tell us how and why you became involved in socially responsible communications, any thoughts on why design can be an especially effective tool for this goal, and, if you wish, give us an example of a project of which you are proud.
As creatives, we are natural problem solvers. I believe it is our responsibility to use our privilege and influence to help promote the causes we believe in and uplift our community. As a young musician, I used that platform to promote organizations and missions for good. The natural progression into my advertising and design career provided a much more useful application, to be honest. Design is a powerful tool that connects people, and can break down various barriers. Republik chooses to align itself with organizations that desire a positive social impact, such as our client Happy Dirt (www.happydirt.com), whose mission is to make healthy organic food accessible to everyone and delivered in sustainable packaging. We also recently did a rebranding and awareness campaign for Harmony NC LGBT+ Allied Chamber of Commerce, an organization that nurtures and supports the growth of LGBT+ business professionals. We find this kind of work brings a sense of pride that is incomparable. It only drives us to do more and to do it better.
Given the confluence of events and challenges our society now faces, does this moment in time present any special opportunities, urgencies, or obstacles to designing for good?
There are two main obstacles we foresee challenging creatives. The first is relevancy, as we move into next year we will continue to see the shift in how design, advertising, and marketing is consumed. The speed at which this cycle happens will continue to accelerate and we will have to find ways to cope with that. The second, an “Us vs Them” mentality has created a sense of division but as creatives, we have the power to influence positive change by using design to communicate, educate, promote good, to make this world a better place. It’s at the heart of our “job” to do some good every chance we can.