As we’re all painfully aware, it’s an election year and we’re at that point in the cycle when many—if not most—of us have had enough. And as with anything that’s complicated and overwhelming, it’s tempting to choose to tune out, even when it’s important for each of us to participate.
This is when good design comes in. Good design can have a huge impact on retaining—or regaining—the attention of the unengaged. It helps drive good decisions. Cutting through the clutter, good design zeroes in on what’s important, and helps people understand what needs to get done. In an election year, good design has the power to re-engage people and encourage them to participate.
In general election years since 2008, the American Institute for Graphic Arts (AIGA), the professional association for designers—in partnership with the League of Women Voters—has sponsored a civic engagement initiative to promote public involvement in the election. In its Get Out the Vote campaign, AIGA members are invited to create nonpartisan posters and videos that inspire the American public to participate. The goal is to wield the power of design to motivate people to vote.
Get Out the Vote is also part of AIGA’s larger initiative, the Design for Democracy project, which applies design tools and thinking to increase civic participation by making interactions between the U.S. government and its citizens more understandable, efficient, and trustworthy.
As a designer, using my skills to help educate and engage people to better their lives is what I live for. For many years I used my talents to design and sell products, services, and goods to people—all of whom needed what was being sold to them—but I never felt fully connected to my work. That is different today. The work we do here every day at Benz—communicating about benefits to employees across the country (and abroad)—excites me, makes me happy, and fully engages me.
AIGA’s Get Out the Vote campaign is an opportunity for designers across the nation to use their talents to help drive engagement and participation and, at the same time, demonstrate the value of design to the public.
And my personal favorite:
SVP Communications Leader