Back in 1970, a 23 year old graphic designer by the name of Gary Anderson entered a competition launched by the Container Corporation of America. The brief was simple: design a logo that could be used on recycled paper products.
Anderson won the competition and The Universal Recycling Symbol is one of the most famous works of 20th century graphic design.
Here in 2019, newly launched platform Two Degrees°Creative are looking to use the creative industries to combat climate change on a consumer level, making small changes to affect the big picture.
Founder Ryan McGill has kicked things off with a brief of his own: designers from across the globe are being asked to submit their own take on Anderson’s iconic work. He tells It’s Nice That that so far, the likes of DIA and Joseph Lebus have barrelled into the Two Degrees°Creative inbox.
“I had entered a poster into WeltFormat’s poster competition, Now What?? about the global climate tipping point, but it was a flop and never got anywhere. But the idea about doing design for climate change and design for good really stuck with me. Then it came to me while sitting on a beach in Ibiza, weirdly,” says Ryan when we ask if he had a road to Damascus moment on channelling his creative energies into climate change solutions.
Having thought about the general impact creativity has on all walks of life, he realised that he wanted to create “a single place for people to connect to the subject, through the creative industries, initiatives and sustainable projects,” with the end goal of forming a community of creatives dedicated to climate change.
Ryan stresses that these Insta-worthy briefs aren’t the be-all and end-all of the platform, noting that “We want to work with agencies, brands, creatives even governments and councils on new, or existing projects and ideas to help move forward in the right direction.”
In addition to this, he informs us that Two Degrees°Creative intends to be an “action-focused” platform. He uses a mooted project around e-waste to explain how this works. Most of us relegate unwanted electronic devices to dusty drawers, and Ryan and his team want that to change.
“We’ll be running creative donation campaigns for old devices and passing them on to companies that genuinely recycle for good,” he says. “This could be done through a new style of donation bin or a clever campaign with a drop off zone. This will again run on the same open brief model and then we will connect the winning solution to some form of funding and bring it to life.”
The devices that can’t be salvaged for future-use will find themselves broken down into components and then sent out to artists in order to create work that raises further awareness about the impact each of us has on the planet we call home.
We look forward to seeing how the whole thing pans out.