Often times agencies and creative studios take on design projects that are outside the typical commercial domain. Creative people have the option of using their marketing skills to expose an audience to issues related to equality and to influence their audience to rethink how social issues are handled. Design is all about creating the world you want to live in. With clear call to actions and interactive designs, creative thinkers can introduce out-of-the-box ways of thinking that may change human interact and form a new standard for how we treat each other.
The terms equity and equality are occasionally used interchangeably, which can lead to confusion because while these concepts are linked, there are also important differences between them: Equity, involves trying to understand others and this gives people what they need to enjoy full, healthy lives. Equality, in contrast, means that everyone gets the same thing in order to enjoy full and healthy lives. Like equity, equality aims to promote fairness and justice, but it can only work if everyone starts from the same place and needs the same exact kind of help.
Design is one of the most powerful forces in our lives, whether or not we are aware of it, and can also be inspiring, empowering and enlightening.
-Alice Rawsthorn, a British design critic
Equality is a global issue that varies in different societies and cultures. Keep mind that equity is giving everyone what they need to live a successful life, and equality is treating everyone the same. There four main principles that a graphic designer an implement in order to be more inclusive and considerate of the diversity that we have in this world:
1. Clarify the Language
Language shapes our reality and gives meaning to how we identify patterns. Designers can inform an audience from various backgrounds through a visual interface that informs the viewer where they should direct their eyes and what to pay attention to based on universal principles. Debbie Millman from Design Matters said in an interview with Linda.com that “Branding in many ways is a manifestation of the human condition. The condition of branding reflects the condition of our culture. We use branding to help understand construct, to understand intention, to understand motivation, to understand people. It’s a language that we rely on now to signal our afflictions [and] to telegraph our whims. On it’s worse day [we use branding] to project ideas about who we want other people to think we are. And on its best day it helps us connect with like minded people, with like minded visions and like minded values, and to feel apart of something bigger than who we are on our own.”
2. Feature The Call To Action Predominately
A call to action is an advertising and marketing concept, a request/direction to ‘do something’ -often the next step that a consumer could take toward the purchase of a product or service. “A call to action answers the [unspoken] question, ‘That’s interesting. Now what?” Another explanation of a call to action is that a call to action aims to persuade a visitor to perform a certain act immediately. “Buy Now!” and “Register Today!” are some common commands. The call to action is intended to improve the market’s response rate to the ad copy, as its absence may cause a visitor to forget about the ad and move on to other things. As a Designer you need to feature a call to action predominately, you have to do everything in your power to win the heart of your customers and gain first time supporters. It’s a competitive market so you have to stand out from the rest, convince your clients and show them that you are the best. Placing the call to action in a position that everyone can see is an example of equality. Also, A/B testing allows you customize the language using in your call-to-action. For example, spanish speaking clients can navigate your sales funnel in a language that’s familiar to them, and English speaking clients can navigate in their native language. Digital marketing ads allows designers to tailor their ads to the person viewing them, which generates more opportunities for equity in the world.
3. Target Audience: Design to Accommodate Differences, not to Treat Everyone The Same
Often times designers are pigeonholed and asked to repeat design styles and strategies that are proven to work. Once a graphic designer has retained clients who have outlined a defined set of requirements and expectations from their designer, this causes less freedom for creativity and branching out to new audiences. Designers need to stretch their muscles and gain new clients ever so often that will challenge them to revamp their process and to try something new that’s tailored to the needs of this new customer. The graphic designer must learn to unlearn certain routines procedures which have become a part of their muscle memory after working for scores of hours on previous projects. Graphic designers must open their self up to experience the feelings and desires of each unique client, and try to understand their needs. This experience might require asking the right questions so that the designer has a clear picture of who the target audience is, and how they are different from anyone else. The designer needs to unlearn the knowledge that they acquired from the last project(s), become ingrained with the requirements of the new client.
4. Question Assumptions and Make Adjustments
As a designer, you need to ask the right questions to get the right answers. Questions must not be limited to the scope of work and must not be as crude as ‘what exactly do you want me to make?’ The most important questions perhaps pertain to the motivations, inspirations and expectations of the person who first came to incept the design. These questions shall then lead the designer towards who the target audience is and what customers already love about a particular product or service. It is vital that the graphic designer has no misconception about the project or they risk producing something different from what the client needs. Research, asking questions, and observing the world around you will help you to avoid miscommunications. Often times designs require many rounds of revisions before a client is satisfied. It’s important to remain flexible and to make adjustments each step of the way. Most importantly, a designer must be confident about what is being delivered. If the imagery is well researched, tested for your target market, and proven to inspire others, then it’s safe to say that design is a winner. Because people come from different places and need different things, a designer must be selective on who their target is and how to effectively persuade them.