Design Can Change

Design Can Change
Design Can Change logo.png



Design Can Change is an initiative aimed at uniting the world's graphic designers to use their influence and purchasing power to combat climate change[1] . It was developed by smashLAB, a design firm based in Vancouver, BC.


According to the website, the Design Can Change initiative intends to:

  • Bring together the design community to leverage our collective strength
  • Establish a set of definitive standards that we can all readily implement
  • Showcase the work of designers committed to the environment
  • Promote designers and studios who embrace sustainable practices
  • Raise awareness of the importance of sustainable-thinking

One of its objectives was to highlight the fact that designers influence the buying decisions of businesses and organizations with massive advertising budgets and being in control of such vast purse strings gives committed designers the ability to make a huge difference.[2]


At the core of the initiative is a pledge that asks for a designer’s commitment to a sustainable practice and green mindset. The pledge's five guidelines require that its signators:

  • engage in the topic,
  • consider their choices carefully,
  • put their knowledge to use,
  • share information with others, and
  • unite with the community to spark change.

Designers who take the pledge are listed in the site's searchable directory of like-minded studios.[3]


When the Design Can Change website went live in April 2007, it was one of the first websites dedicated to the graphic designer's relationship to the issues surrounding climate change and one of a few online resources for sustainable graphic design.

Design Can Change quickly gained significant recognition with the international design community,[4] and by May 2008, it had acquired over 1800 pledges from designers in 77 different countries.[5] Since its launch, it has won awards[6] and received mentions on popular design portals, industry publications, and hundreds of blogs. Articles about the initiative have been published by The Vancouver Sun[1] and The Globe and Mail.[5]

As a result of Design Can Change, smashLAB’s Creative Director, Eric Karjaluoto, has been invited to speaking events put on by design associations such as HOW Magazine, AIGA, and New Media BC.

In April 2008, TIME Magazine selected Design Can Change for inclusion in the Design 100. TIME's annual Design 100 lists "the people and ideas behind today's most influential design".[7]


  1. ^ a b Brian Morton (2008-05-21). "Smash climate change". The Vancouver Sun. p. D5 or online. 
  2. ^ Dana Rouse (September/October 2007). "STEP 2007 Best of the Web". STEP inside design. p. 142 or online. 
  3. ^ "In Review". Metropolis. June 2007. p. 104 or online. 
  4. ^ Denise Ryan (2008-01-26). "Fashion designers make a statement". The Vancouver Sun. p. archived online. 
  5. ^ a b Jennifer Hollett (2008-05-17). "Smashing global warming with greener design". The Globe and Mail. p. L7 or online. 
  6. ^ "Creative excellence takes centre stage at Vancouver's 18th annual Lotus Awards". The Vancouver Sun. 2007-11-22. p. archived online. 
  7. ^ "The Design 100". TIME Magazine. Summer 2008. p. 45 or online. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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