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Who am I helping? Who will benefit? Where do I want to focus my efforts? Can a for-profit do socially responsible work? Does it have to come from a non-profit? What is good for society? Who decides? Does socially aware design have to be highly visible? Can it be behind the scenes? Can a social symbol become irrelevant?

As a purely theoretical design exploration, write a whole bunch of relatable sentences and phrases, playing with tone: fun, serious, somber, angry…. Write everything down. Get it all out of your head. And so, this happened…

Be a decent human being. They need you. The definition of unconditional love. They love you. They depend on you. You are their world. To them, you are everything. Man’s best friend. Total goofballs. Absolute sweetheart. Don’t throw them away. They are our protectors. We are their protectors. Rescue them and they will rescue you. Who rescued who? Pet owners live happier lives. Animal cruelty sucks. Hero’s needed, adopt. Cats kick ass. Dogs are pretty awesome. 2.7 million adoptable animals euthanized yearly ** 6-8 million animals enter shelters each year ** (** Make the world suck less. Don’t text and ride. Don’t text and drive. Pay attention. Put trash where it belongs. Stop signs aren’t suggestions. Say please & thank you. Be conscientious. Be courteous. Be respectful. You’re not entitled to anything. Big change starts with small steps. Follow the rules. The rules of the road aren’t just for cars. Stop signs are for everybody on the road. Traffic laws are for everyone. Start making a difference today. Change begins with you. 9 billion tons of litter ends up in the ocean every year. * $11.5 billion is spent every year to clean up litter. * 50% of littered items are cigarette butts. * (* Share the road, share the rules of the road. Volunteer some time, make a difference. Everyone is important in a society. Do something. Don’t just talk about change. Everyone has to wait in line. You are not special. We are ALL human beings. If you see trash, pick it up. Smile and say thank you. Slow drivers keep to the right. Use turn signals, indicate your intentions. Be helpful. Be courteous. Return your shopping cart to the right place. Look people in the eyes. Make eye contact. You don’t have to like everyone, just be nice. Writing sentences is hard. Respect your surroundings. Care for your environment. Take a walk. Sit in silence. Don’t be self-absorbed. Be kind to others. Do unto others… Do something nice for a stranger. Pay it forward. Hold the door for someone. Let someone have your seat on the bus/train. Challenge those around you to make a difference. Make helping others part of your everyday life. Community service doesn’t have to be court ordered. Be a problem solver. Little things make a difference. Do awesome shit. Love what you do. Smoking isn’t sexy. You are NOT the center of the universe. Recycle, reuse, repurpose. Don’t be wasteful. Forget what you don’t have, remember what you do. Rude people suck. Smile and say hi to a stranger. Help someone in need. Help build community. Don’t wait for someone else to act. Stop turning a blind eye. Ignoring the problem won’t make it go away. The homeless are people to. Be a parent to your children. Be somebody’s hero.

Two final sentences were selected, and the first phase of poster development was started. Phase 1 was to be typography only: no shapes, just words and letterforms. The two sentences that were selected were “Helping others: make it a habit” and “Be a decent human being.” The following are the various design iterations of those posters.

Phase 2 of the project was to create a series of posters using only shapes which portrayed the original two sentences “Helping others: make it a habit” and “Be a decent human being.” The following are the initial design iterations for those explorations.

The final phase of the project was to combine one type-only poster with one shape-only poster to see what the resulting design/composition would look like. The following are the final results of those pairings.

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