As Shea and Kolko alluded to in the quotes from yesterday’s post, designers acting as social entrepreneurs change the graphic design profession, and have successfully used design to bring people together. The next few posts will show you how.
First, let’s talk about Es Tiempo (a 2009 project from Designmatters). It’s probably not a secret that I have a soft spot for Latino/a culture in the US. I gravitated toward this project by Designmatters because it aimed to help Latinas lower their risk of complications from cervical cancer by reminding them to get regularly screened.
Shea summarized this work in his book Designing for Social Change:
Instead of creating an awareness campaign as outsiders, the Designmatters crew immersed themselves in the community through interviews, focus groups, and doctor visits. Through social immersion they found that the barriers for women getting the screen were not what they had thought — they were, instead, cultural barriers. The team learned a lot about Hispanic culture through the immersion process, and were able to create a campaign around an appropriate symbol: the Jacaranda tree, which blossoms every spring. The team used the tree as a gentle reminder along with the tagline, “Es importante. Es facil. Es tiempo,” (It is important. It is easy. It is time.). The campaign resulted in more Latinas getting their cervical cancer checkups. Because of the social immersion — social design — the Designmatters team was able to create a solution that was not only appropriate for the situation, but also garnered the desired results.
Here are some examples of the campaign in action.