Where Art Meets Altruism: Design for Social Change

Amsterdam, the Netherlands | 19 Jan 2021

Design and art have always reflected the cutting-edge of social change. 

Whether it’s championing women’s rights, supporting marginalized communities, or raising awareness about pollution; the intersection of art and altruism is a beautiful thing. Some campaigns, branding initiatives, or designs are so impactful that they stay with us for the long run.

Support Inform - Making This World A Better Place For The Disabled by SimplePlan Media

Support Inform

SimplePlan Media’s inspired campaign aims to shed light on the struggles faced by the specially-abled community and how we can work together to make life easier, and the world more inclusive, for those living with disabilities. It’s specifically aimed at the workforce and helping employees of all different abilities work harmoniously.

The campaign hinges around “The Orb,” a sleek and practical design. The Orb can visually show capacity issues and can be tailored to anyone on the disability spectrum. This simple shape is used to designate where the disability lies and gives you an idea of what challenges the person may face, leading to better workplace communication and respect. With simple visuals and an educational product, Support Inform can destigmatize disabilities and help specially-abled people have an easier time in the world.

The Industry - Mapping the Dutch Drug Economy by Submarine Channel

The Industry - Mapping the Dutch Drug Economy

Submarine Channel’s The Industry- Mapping the Dutch Drug Economy gives viewers a unique and humanized look into the Dutch Drug Economy through a series of personal stories and 3D models. By pulling back the veil on one of the most notorious drug fueled countries on the planet, this project takes away the mystique and intrigue of the drug world and allows us to understand the individual people who operate within it.

By explaining how this industry works, the project sheds light on distribution chains, where Dutch drugs come from, and the people who work on the ground to keep the infamous market going.

Create.Refresh by Purpose


The Create.Refresh campaign by Purpose operates with a singular mandate in mind; that creativity can’t be censored. When the EU looked to push new copyright laws that would limit creative expression online, Create.Refresh pushed back with a colorful, easy to understand campaign that fully expressed the plight of independent artists.

In addition to its powerful message, Create.Refresh also attracted some major star power, including French president Emmanuel Macron, to rally behind its cause.   

#TazzadoroLovesEarth by Giulio Patrizi Srls

Antigua Tazzadoro

The #TazzadoroLovesEarth project is the brainchild of Giulio Patrizi Srls and aims to marry the legendary Antigua Tazzadoro company’s image with eco-awareness and love for the planet. Antigua Tazzadoro is a craft coffee company that’s been a staple in Rome since 1944. Its image as a boutique coffee manufacturer is well known, but the company wanted to tie in their respect for the land and coffee growing process. Thus, #TazzadoroLovesEarth was born.

At its heart, this initiative requests that we begin to think more about where our food is coming from and the process of how it lands on our plate, bowl, or glass. Antigua Tazzadoro is also interested in taking care of the people behind the coffee beans, paying particular attention to fair wages and good working conditions for coffee growers. #TazzadoroLovesEarth is visually exciting, creative, bright, and gets the message across perfectly.

CurrenTime by Huachen Xin


As Huachen Xin’s inspired project, CurrenTime challenges us to think about our energy consumption and be more informed and ethical stewards of the environment. The clock is minimalistic, with a white background and black numbers that you plug into the wall. As your energy uses increases, the hands move, giving you a visual representation of how much energy you are using.

CurrenTime takes something that is entirely intangible and gives it form. It’s an effective way to address overconsumption and a brilliant move on the part of Huachen Xin.

For more examples of how the design world interprets and impacts social change, visit our Design for Social Change winners

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