If you’re interested in doing pro bono graphic design work, it’s important to educate yourself about smart ways to do it. Once you’ve got some guidelines, you can approach your pro bono work with creativity; unless your client specifically requests it, you don’t need to limit yourself to a brochure. Consider these ideas for pro bono designing.
Think outside design. Sure, you’re a graphic designer, but your pro bono work doesn’t need to be done in front of a computer. Consider offering free art or design classes at a local community center, after-school program, hospital, or nursing care facility. You’ll be using your skills, interacting with others, and teaching design to those who might not otherwise have the ability to take classes.
It’s not about a brochure. Consider other ways to use design. If your client is trying to spread a message, consider designing a t-shirt. If your nonprofit is renovating a run-down building, consider painting a mural for the walls or even doing some environmental design to organize the layout of the building.
Reach as far as possible. Or take a cue from nonprofit organization Art with Heart’s founder Steffanie Lorig: knowing a young girl who was fighting cancer inspired her to help organize and create the art-therapy activity book Oodles of Doodles, designed to help hospitalized children work through the pain.
For more ideas and inspiration, check out this article about one designer’s attempt at pro bono work for a good cause in his city.
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