Monique Maloney


Monique Maloney is the director of graphic design at Prison Fellowship, a nonprofit organization that helps to transform the lives of people in prison and their families and advocate for a more restorative criminal justice system.

Monique considers herself a lifelong artist. A member of a creative family, she fondly recalls Saturday mornings spent painting watercolors at the side of her grandfather. After studying graphic design, she developed into an award-winning designer and illustrator. She later earned an MFA from Marywood University and became a design educator, helping students hone their skills and develop their passion. Since 2004, Monique has worked to bring clients’ core creative goals and brand stories to life. With a wide range of industry experience in corporate communications, brand development, and publishing.

A Virginia resident, she finds additional outlets in tackling home improvement projects, learning how to use power tools, color coding her bookshelves, hoarding art supplies, and attempting pickleball with her family and friends. Her favorite personal design projects feature floral themes and bold colors that add beauty to the world.

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.

In all my design work, whether in a for-profit or nonprofit context, I strive to build relationships based on empathy. I want to use my creative skillset to help amplify the voices of those who need to be heard. That’s true whether it’s a small business that wants to contribute something useful or beautiful to its local community, or a nonprofit that is making a positive impact on the world.

I joined Prison Fellowship in 2021. The pandemic was still having a big impact on all of our lives, but it was especially difficult for prisoners, who lost out on rehabilitative programming, and their families, who often had to spend months without visits. One of my favorite internal design clients is Prison Fellowship Angel Tree, a program that helps restore relationships between incarcerated parents and their children, allowing them to feel connected despite the distance. It’s a joy to participate in this meaningful work by devising creative solutions that help more parents and volunteers participate.

Given the confluence of events and challenges our society now faces, does this moment in time present any special opportunities, urgencies, obstacles to designing for good?

Design is more than aesthetics; it’s creative problem-solving. When I look at the world around me, I continually see both beauty and problems that can be addressed. The past few years have been especially challenging and heavy. Mr. Rogers famously said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Helpers are needed, and if design can motivate, persuade, and affect behavior, why wouldn’t we try to use those skills to better the world around us and overcome those challenges?