An article recently appeared on good.is, entitled Rebrand Your ‘Hood for Good. There is much to garner here particularly if you happen to be one in the great mass of millennials seeking to ‘be the change’ in your city, town, neighborhood, whistle-stop, etc. (And lets face it…who isn’t these days?)
This week, the Little Things team is in Cincinnati, OH working on a variety of projects with the Haile Foundation. One such project is called CoSign, an initiative that brings together visual artists, small-business owners and professional sign fabricators to design, create and install a critical mass of new business signage in Cincinnati’s Northside neighborhood, igniting a spark of economic vitality.
I’ve been spending a good amount of time in recent weeks developing visual tools for D:hive, a talent retention and attraction experiment in Detroit. Though I still find myself in constant grapple with the graphic design profession, I’ve been humbly reminded this week that graphic design, though often perceived as the court jester among the design disciplines (a bit trivial next to architecture, urban planning and product design, no?) is in fact a skill and craft worthy of applause.
I am continually inspired by the work of CUP (Center for Urban Pedagogy), in New York City. Bringing together individuals of varying backgrounds, CUP produces educational tools, workshops and project-based curricula that aim to demystify complex city policy and planning issues. The organization’s approach to public engagement through civic education is largely driven by access to (and a value of) high-caliber graphic design. When it comes to making complex information accessible and enjoyable to a public audience, graphic design cannot be an afterthought, or an “only if we can afford it” component. Good design matters. In a big way.