January 7, 2022

How to design for social impact?

How to design for social impact?

How to design for social impact?

Visual designs have the capabilities to make social impacts. It could be a campaign for good causes, humanitarian, or small-scale initiatives to trigger good habits among the communities. For example, spreading awareness on poverty, health conditions, encouraging the community to reduce plastic waste, educating the world on global warming, and more.

Your design could make a difference that helps others and make the world a better place.A design has the ability to communicate with the public that leads to action through impactful visuals. These 6 tips could help you to craft a design for social impact

6 ways to craft a design for social impact

  • Set a clear campaign goal
    Understand the purpose of the campaign. Craft your design according to the campaign’s message and mission.

    This could help you to choose the right elements for your design that will support you to communicate through your design. 

Credit: Canva 
  • Evoke emotion
    Experiment with colors, images, and fonts to evoke some emotions in  the audience. What should your audience feel when looking at your design? Surprise, angry, or sad?

    Read how Emotional Design could lead to action.
Credit: Canva

  • Tell the story, display data.
    The elements of your design should be able to tell the story of the campaign. Educate the public with the current issues that need their support and attention.

    By displaying valid and reliable data, you will achieve trust from the audience.


  • Inform the audience on the impact that could make
    Let your audience know the social impact they will make through your design. What difference will it make if they join the campaign? Will it help to rescue endangered animals? Reduce the cases of domestic violence in the country? They will get more information on a particular serious issue that could save their lives and their loved ones?

  Credit: Pinterest

  • Design with empathy
    Be mindful of cultural sensitivities and other ethical issues that might need to be taken into consideration.

    You have a higher chance of getting support from the people who are living with a particular issue on the campaign you are supporting and the design you have crafted acts as the voice to share their struggles with the world. 

  • Insert CTA
    State clearly what needs to be done to stop the issue from occurring. If it is through a donation, share the bank account number. If it is through human action, let them know the habit they should start practicing to stop the issue from occurring. Provide phone numbers, email, social media accounts, or other details that simplify the audience to take immediate and necessary action. 

The On-going Process of Social Impact Lifecycle


  1.        Attract the audience to know about the issue.
  2.        Inform and provoke the audience with information.
  3.        Triggers action.        

The reasons why design is able to make a social impact:

  • Make an impact on a larger scale.
  • Create a visual identity for the campaign through visual design.
  • Accessible to reach out to audiences: online and offline.
  • Effective and faster campaign implementation process.
  • It works!

Example of design for social impact:

  Anti-Pollution Ad by Ferdi Rizkiyanto (Credit: Environmental Design Group)


        New Fish Forward campaign: Fish Gone, People Gone (Credit:


Credit: Kaitlyn Van Gorkom


        Wildlife campaign by WWF. (Credit:

  Stoptober: the 28-day stop smoking challenge. (Credit: British Lung Foundation