Say Hello…

Posted on September 22, 2008

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So I’ll agree design alone can’t change the world. But we as designers, communicators, creatives… whatever you call yourself…we can use our craft to help effect change. In fact there are lots of creatives who are effecting the forces and direction of society and culture by focusing efforts and actions on the things they believe in. The tremendous out pouring of creative diversity and effort around Obama’s campaign is astounding. I mean there is some really great work being done by world class creatives in an effort to support their beliefs and hope. Hell, even I have joined in on that by helping out with communication material for the San Francisco event, Baracktoberfest. Will a logo or t-shirt design change the world on its own? Not even close. But it is a contribution. The Designers Accord, an effort founded Valerie Casey, asks creatives to sign a contract that obliges them  to bring change into every project they engage on.

I recently attended a Meetup event put on by the Principals of Leap Pad interactive whose Meetup was not only about connecting with other creatives in the area, but also about coming together so that our combined efforts could effect some amount of change. The idea I brought to the table was about starting a movement. The world is an angry place. Wars, politics and general upheaval are all around us. But in an effort to effect change I am suggested a simple thing. Say “Hello”. Being an avid cyclist I am constantly amazed by the lack of solidarity within this community. When passing another rider I always wave or extend at least a head nod. More often than not this is not reciprocated. This phenomena extends far beyond my isolated physical exploit of cycling in to my many other interests. How hard is it to just say ” hello”, wave, or acknowledge back to the passerby doing or obviously connected to the same thing you are? I mean there is already a connection there. So connect with it. How hard is it for folks who have something in common, be it cycling, skiing, running, underwater basket weaving whatever. I even see this in my chosen profession of design. Were not gun fighters folks, I am not here to steal your ideas, I have plenty of my own in fact. I’d like to share them with you. Would the world improve if we all just acknowledged one another? It just might. We would all be better off sharing our collective knowledge and energy.

The “Say Hello” project will address this. I intend to invite my peers in to help. We will start with simply…smartly designed t-shirts, buttons and bumper stickers that simply say “hello”. The proceeds from the sales of the shirts can be directed to a cause of your choice. Those who partipate will become envoys for solidarity and general good will. Stay tuned for more. And remember to acknowledge your bretheren who ever they may be.

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