2014 Social Good Design Awards (So Good)

Download the 2013 app here.

Every year, the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD) invites submissions of graphic design projects done under the theme of communication design for social good; work with the power to incite action and make meaningful change in the way we live our lives.

Today important messages have to compete with an almost limitless array of information. As consumers of all this information, we become increasingly skilled at filtering out seemingly irrelevant communication that could otherwise influence the way we think and act for the better.

Today’s graphic designers have an ever greater responsibility to visualize the significant issues facing our society and find new and powerful ways to incite change in the way we behave. When we approach these issues creatively, we can make a real difference in the world. Ultimately, it is time for us to apply our creativity to shift thinking toward alternative solutions to ethical issues that impact our lives and the world we live in.

The Social Good Design Awards gives voice to the important work designers are doing and can do to change the way we think and act.


RGD invited submissions of communication design projects from all designers worldwide. Projects must have been created, conceived or produced between June 1, 2009 and July 1, 2014.


Each entry must include a project rationale that includes:

  • The issue it addresses
  • The client (if there was one)
  • A description of how the design affects positive change
  • How issues such as sustainability, accessibility and cultural sensitivity have been addressed
  • Any results that have been achieved
  • Submissions must include 1 to 4 images in either EPS, TIFF or PDF format

SUBMISSION FORM: rgdhub.wufoo.eu/forms/2014-social-good-design-awards


SUBMISSION FILES: Please upload here.


DEADLINE: June 27, 2014



  1. Not-For-Profit Client-Initiated Projects: This can include any communications-based projects where a not-for-profit and/or charity is the client. Some examples might be a print-based membership drive for a museum or Association; a non-profit organization’s new brand identity; a website to support an organization’s fundraising.
  2. For Profit Client-Initiated Projects: This can include any communications-based projects where a for-profit or publicly funded organization is the client. This might include a website funded by an energy company to reduce energy use; a poster series to promote handwashing in a hospital or a package design for a soft drink company that raises funds for a charity.
  3. Designer Initiated Projects: Work where no client is involved but that where a designer identifies a social cause that they would like to raise awareness for or where they identify a solution to an existing societal challenge. This might include a poster design to raise awareness of a particular issue of concern to the designer; a website design for a petition to demonstrate support of an issue that is of concern to the designer; a communications-based solution to change behaviour that is of concern to the designer.
  4. Government Initiated Projects: This can include any communications-based projects where a government department, governmental agency or crown corporation is the client. (The design team/designer may work internally or externally to the client.) Some examples might be a poster campaign to help prevent the flu by a health unit; a visual identity system for a government program or a strategic plan for a municipality.

Logo Cascades


All pieces printed on Cascades’ fine papers in any of the four categories are eligible for the Cascades Award. Selected by the judges, the winner will be offered 2 free tickets for the 2014 RGD DesignThinkers Conference.

Using paper with a small ecological footprint is a simple concrete and effective way of communicating your concerns for the environment.


Selection Criteria

  1. The project effectively promotes action in support of social change.
  2. The project demonstrates originality and creativity through advanced, unusual or clever solutions, uniqueness of materials, originality of components and/or creative use of resources.
  3. The project demonstrates good design, through the elegance and sophistication of core design concepts, the layout and use of space, typography, clever synergies of visual elements, artistic integration, etc.

Winning entries will be featured on the RGD website, in a printed catalogue (5,000 copies) and in a free iPad app, as well as recognized at the 2014 DesignThinkers conference.


  • Judges David Berman RGD, author of Do Good Design: How Design Can Change our World; Frances Edmonds, Director of Environmental Programs at HP Canada; Ben Hagon RGD, Founder and President of Hagon Design; and Dmitri Siegel, VP of E-commerce & Executive Creative Director at Patagonia selected 42 winning projects from 190 entries submitted from 7 countries.


    The projects listed below effectively promote action in support of social change with originality, creativity and the use of sophisticated design concepts. Winners will be featured in a printed catalog and free iPad app and will be recognized at the 2013 DesignThinkers conference.


    Winners 2013:


    Not-For-Profit Client-Initiated Projects:

    • Cossette (Canada): Habitat for Humanity 2011 Annual Report
    • On The Chase! (Canada): 'What is Social Innovation?'
    • Aveda (Canada): 'iWalkForWater'
    • Lyubava Fartushenko, Student, University of Alberta (Canada): 'Community-Based Design Education'
    • Anita Feng, Student, UQAM (Canada): 'Fukushima'
    • Faren Agency (Canada): 'Heading Home? Must be nice. Campaign for Tokens4Change for Youth Without Shelter'
    • Hambly & Woolley (Canada): 'Participaction's Bring Back Play Mobile App'
    • smashLAB (Canada): 'The Vancouver Aquarium Website'
    • Dalida Karić-Hadžiahmetović: 'Woman Is Not An Object'
    • Orangetango (Canada): 'Dr. Julien Foundation 2012 Fundraising'
    • Tamm + Kit (Canada): 'Global Development Volunteer Campaign'
    • K10 art+design (Canada): 'The Defi Canderel Event 2012/13 Fundraising Campaign'
    • Helena Ng Design (Canada): 'Alzheimer Society of Ontario - Finding Your Way Program Campaign Design Series'
    • Juniper Park (Canada): 'Story Planet: Intergalactic Travel Authority'
    • AIDS Committee of Toronto (Canada): 'My Sex Life: Info for Young Pox People'
    • Riordon Design (Canada): 'Street Level Website'
    • SQUAB Creative Studio (Canada):'The Professional's Guide To Becoming a Champion'


    For Profit Client-Initiated Projects:


    Designer Initiated Projects:


    Government Initiated Projects:


    2013 Partners

  • RGD was gratified by the community's response (over 200 submissions from 11 countries), the quality of work and the passion of the designers.


    The winning projects were on public display at The Gladstone Hotel in November, with a reception held on November 10. See pictures from the exhibit here. A catalogue featuring the winning work is also available. Click here to view a digital version.


    2012 Winners:


    Not-For-Profit (Client Initiated Projects):

    • Youth-led Community Organizing Reports. Design by Una Lee for Laidlaw Foundation
    • Side by Side Conference Branding. Design by Hagon Design for St. Joseph's International Outreach Program
    • 2007 Hungry City - Make Your Own Campaign. Design by Pivot Design Group for the Daily Bread Food Bank.
    • Women Lovin': A Sexual Health Guide for Queer Women. Designed and Illustrated by Jayme Spinks for ACT (AIDS Committee of Toronto) & CATIE (Canada's source for HIV and hepatitis C information).
    • Not Myself Today Campaign. Designed by Blok Design for Partners for Mental Health.
    • SHE Branding. Designed by Blok Design for SHE (Sustainable Health Enterprises)
    • Girl Guides of Canada 100th Anniversary Logo. Designed by AmoebaCorp for Girl Guides of Canada.
    • Observance and Memorial Exhibit. Designed by Emilio Genovese for Royal Ontario Museum.
    • Voice of Industry Website. Designed by Gil Martinez for Voice of Industry.
    • ArtHouse Branding. Designed by Branding for Good for ArtHouse.
    • Mozilla Webmakers Video Series. Designed by Smart Bubble Society Inc. for Mozilla Foundation.
    • Fare Share Food Bank Branding. Designed by Limelight Advertising & Design for Fare Share Food Bank.
    • Our Dreams Matter Too Report. Designed by Una Lee for Children and Youth.
    • Do The Happy Campaign. Designed by Oxygen for SickKids Foundation.
    • Mosquitoes Suck Tour. Designed by Naomi Francois for SoChange.
    • Equality Ping / Equality Deng Posters. Designed by Sha Feng.
    • Branksome Becomes Campaign. Designed by Clear Space for Branksome Hall.


    For-Profit (Client Initiated Projects):

    • Ensemble Branding. Designed by TAXI for Brand Aid Project.
    • Niagara Region Wind Corporation Branding. Designed by Clear Space for Niagara Region Wind Corporation.
    • Food Drive Poster. Designed by Jose Garcia and Tomas Hinojosa for PosterOne.
    • Una Lee Business Card. Designed by Una Lee for Una Lee.
    • Level Ground Branding & Packaging. Designed by Subplot for Level Ground Trading.
    • Gebran2005 Headline Typeface. Designed by Nadine Chahine.


    Designer Initiated Projects:

    • Dolphin's Smile Campaign. Designed by Antonia Goga.
    • Mexico Ciudad Futura Book. Designed by Blok Design.
    • Difference Engine Initiative: Ripple Effect Poster. Designed by Una Lee.
    • "To Be" Exhibition. Designed by Atanas Bozdarov.
    • Congo  Awareness Poster. Designed by Audrey Chia.
    • Rape is Not Love Poster. Designed by Samantha Dirksen.
    • Vegan Please Mobile App. Designed by Kate El-Bizri.
    • Toronto High School Rebranding. Designed by Yana Stepchenko.
    • Riceland Branding and Packaging. Designed by Qiannan Zhao.
    • Concepts for all Online Image Bank. Designed by Nelu Wolfensohn.
    • Secrets of the Magic School Book. Designed by Monika Krupa.


    2012 Partners: