To this you might say 'oh but what idealistic and unrealistic thinking, only spewed by designers who've already made their mark in the industry—furthermore, how do I pay my bills by just doing good?'. A valid point perhaps, but dare I ask you to consider myself, a graphic design graduate, with a mere 80 pence to my name as of today, living in London, a city that charges you for breathing, and consider that the plight for producing honourable and ethical work does not stop at the esteemed or well-known designers. If anything, more and more creatives in my generation are turning to a life of making things that leads to good. Example: Temi Coker, Jendella Benson, just to name a few.
So in view of this, two years after university, and 4 design jobs later, I've come to the conclusion that I'd like to do something worthwhile, even if the cost is security and comfort (success defined by worldly-thinking). Though it may seem unrealistic to say 'hey! I'm gonna do something to contribute to bettering the world, or at least my community'. I believe that it's exactly what most designers should be aiming for. I think as commercial advertising designers, we need to be aware of the unique privilege that we have. We have the capacity to inspire, deflect, inform and persuade.
Art movements like De Stijl or Bauhaus, and designers such as Johannes Itten and Piet Mondrian prove that design was larger than just making people buy stuff. It was political, uncomfortable and most importantly it was about challenging the norms. Consider the manifesto of the Bauhaus movement:
"Architects, sculptors, painters – we all must return to craftsmanship! For there is no such thing as “art by profession”. There is no essential difference between the artist and the artisan. The artist is an exalted artisan. Merciful heaven, in rare moments of illumination beyond man’s will, may allow art to blossom from the work of his hand, but the foundations of proficiency are indispensable to every artist. This is the original source of creative design".
The passion! the reason! the dominion! Is this way of reinvention possible? Let's forget about whether or not it is necessary, forget of reasons, think of concepts. In more ways than one, design has always existed as long as there has been communication between humans. It's been about making thoughts into solid objects and philosophies into things you can see. Design and Typography has for the most part been about making solid the things that are intangible.
"have fun, because if you don't have that then what do you have?"