I hang out a lot on social media and design sites looking for inspiration; things that challenge me and ideas to steal. A habit I picked up from “Steal Like an Artist,” by Austin Kleon.
I am always on the lookout for design and messaging that stands out from the crowd. Louise Fisher’s Instagram page for her studio, “The Design Pond,” impacted me to keep on thinking past the social media “swipe.”
#designforgood is Louise’s number one social media tag, and her forthright dedication to her work benefiting others is what caught my attention.
I wanted to know how, why and what #designforgood is for Louise, who is a successful leading designer based in Central Victoria.
For me, business and creativity is so interconnected. By being interconnected, I mean creativity drives business and the outcomes of creativity make business. But also, my curiosity and enthusiasm is continually renewed by the possibility of story telling. I thought perhaps a discussion with Louise might grow my understanding of story, design and the possibility of change for good.
Luckily, Louise and I have our businesses located in the Synergize Hub, so over a tea, I got to ask Louise, “How does design do good?”
“In my crazy imagination, design is a super-power that can be for good or evil,” Louise shares with me.
“Design can connect people and ignite them to action. They can be motivated to buy a can of coke, or to donate to charity.”
TM: What was the inspiration or evolution of your thinking behind #designforgood?
LF: When I was at Uni and we were learning about design and marketing, we watched a documentary on Maccas. It was all about getting kids to nag their parents to take them to Maccas for tea. It was then I started wondering—is design for me?
One of my lectures was working on an amazing project for blind children, and I realised that I didn’t have to work for a big advertising company and that designing for good in our world is what I wanted to do.
TM: Can you give me an example of what designing for good could mean?
LF: Recently, I completed a project for the disability sector. It was an infographic for people with disability to assist them to make decisions. Rather than a form full of words, I designed symbols and other graphics to communicate information.
This sort of design really does have an immediate empowering impact on someone’s life.
TM: I love your Instagram account and the inspiration and influence #designforgood may have on others. How has #designforgood crafted your career and your business, The Design Pond?
LF: #designforgood is the purpose that I have found behind all the work I do.
If I didn’t have the idea of #designforgood, I would have left this career long ago. It is the ‘why’ and the ‘what’ that drives me to do what I do, and keep on trying.
When I think back to when I was figuring out what I wanted to do in my life and how I could contribute, I was thinking medicine or becoming a vet.
Then I discovered I am good visually and creatively—it was during the time I was thinking about university options—and I really wanted to serve my purpose. I was worried graphic design was selfish because it fed my creativity, but when I figured out I can serve my creativity and help others, #designforgood became a perfect mix.
TM: Your business is going really well—what role has #designforgood played in this?
LF: I have been directing The Design Pond, for four years now. I have great clients and collaborators.
#designforgood really establishes an effective platform for doing business and great collaboration. It demonstrates my values of trust, loyalty and great work for great causes.
I am not sure if I would describe myself as successful, as “the road to success is always under construction.” But if success is being ready and energetic to get to work everyday I think I am pretty close!