The Potential and Capacity of Design || Design Activism

For this project, students became design activists.

Young people are in a powerful position. They are passionate, motivated, socially aware, digitally connected and radical thinkers. This superpower can be used for good to reach out and create a movement using the power of design.

Graphic designers, as design activists, are in a powerful position to visually create and support these types of movements by creating strong messages using their talents as a designer to create a positive impact in the world.

A hero message, a vibrant colour, and a powerful font style all add up to aid these messages to grab people’s attention and get messages noticed.


Mentored By: Jennifer Barrett – TICE Founder, Sharon Armstrong – Graphic Designer and Illustrator and Mark Pattinson, Senior Graphic Designer.

Project Contributors: Sam Laverick – Freelance Graphic Designer & Art Director


The Brief:

For this project, students researched design activism and delved into graphic design history. They looked into various movements which gave them a clear understanding of how the impact of these movements, along with powerful creative messaging, create an impact on a range of global topics.

Working as design activists, students were required to support a young activist of their choice. This could be someone they knew or simply someone they admired – but ultimately, someone they felt could be supported with their design skills. It could be elevating a local charity, supporting a cause or anything else they felt needed awareness and action.

From there, they had to brand the movement and create a brand ‘DIY Movement Toolkit ’ for an insightful and engaging social change campaign.


Project Results:

Please view the final results of the students’ work from Marden High School

Design Activism Project
Dillion Burgess, Marden High School
Emma Melvin, Marden High School

What did the students gain out of their TICE experience?

Please tell us your chosen project and why you chose this one?

I picked Design to Voice because I wanted to gain an insight into the campaigns that young people have been running and I wanted to learn what it is like to be a Graphic Designer.” Dillion, Marden High School.

I chose Design to Voice because I have never done anything like it before. It was something new which I thought would be fun to try.” Emma, Marden High School.

What do you think you will take away from doing this project?

I will take away design skills that I have learned, which I will be able to apply in the future.” Emma, Marden High School.

A further insight into the work of a graphic designer, especially one working for a campaign.” Dillion, Marden High School.

What was your favourite part of the project?

My favourite part was sketching my ideas for my logo and coming up with ideas.” Dillion, Marden High School.

What would you say to any young person thinking about doing a TICE project?

“I would say to be confident and don’t doubt the work you have made, you don’t have to be good at art to make a good piece of work.” Dillion, Marden High School


And finally…

Thank you and well done, not only to the students but to the teachers and staff at Marden High School. Thank you to the companies that have supported and contributed to this project, and the TICE team that plugged away at the project week after week.

To the students – we hope you have enjoyed this project, we hope in years to come that you can proudly present an industry-written project you did, achieved, and quite frankly smashed. Well done and congratulations from everyone here at TICE.

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