Jury President Su Mathews Hale's passion for design manifested itself from a young age, quickly rising up the ranks from associate partner at Pentagram Design to Lippincott senior partner just two years after moving to the firm.
Soon to be serving as only the fifth female AIGA President in the organisation's history, Hale is committed to calling attention to women’s achievement in the field and empowering women in design. Here she celebrates the growing diversity in the creative industry and calls for work that can, bit by bit, change the world.
"Profound change is all around us — politically, economically, technologically, and socially. It’s the kind of change that can be overwhelming. At the same time, we are experiencing a renaissance of progress. Innovation continues to expand in every sector, impacting the way we work, relate and live in ways we never imagined.
So what is our role as designers amongst all this change? We need to continue to reinvent ourselves, stay relevant, serve an increasingly diverse community and have a voice in the issues that matter.
This last point is particularly important. In my role as President of AIGA I have had the unique opportunity to meet with so many designers from across the United States and around the world. The passion they have for being involved in social issues is palpable. My advice to them, and to you, is to seek out those opportunities, however big or small. To lend your ideas, your skills, your time, and your curiosity to help solve the greatest issues of our time. Challenge the status quo. Use your unique power as a design thinker and doer to advocate for others and help shape the conversations that matter most.
For me, as a woman, an Asian American and a mother, my passion has been diversity and gender equality. I’ve been fortunate to partner with Deborah Adler and some of the best minds in the industry to create an initiative called Women Lead through AIGA. Our mission is to foster and celebrate women’s achievements throughout the design industry, to raise awareness of gender-related issues, and to help designers connect with one another with openness and compassion, both in the industry and beyond. Although the initiative is focused on women, it doesn’t exclude men, and in fact, must incorporate their ideas and engagement in order for change to take shape.
I’d like to believe that the initiative has been instrumental in getting people to think about diversity more, and look for diversity when recruiting talent, speakers and even judges in design competitions (thank you D&AD for allowing me to join such an esteemed and diverse group of judges this year). Even if we can move the needle a little, then our efforts will be well spent.
There is certainly no shortage of problems to help solve and as designers, I urge you to embrace your unique skills and perspectives to play a role in getting involved in something that you're passionate about. Individually, your contributions can make a difference. Collectively, they can change the world."
If you think you have a campaign that deserves a Pencil, enter your work into the D&AD Professional Awards and see if our judges agree. When it comes to awards, nothing matters more.