Pro bono design support for Black-led organizations and small businesses.
In response to the compounded crises of COVID-19 and the murders of Breyona Taylor, Tony McDade, and George Floyd, and hundreds more whose lives were stolen by police and white supremacy, we're extending support to Black-led organizations and small businesses.
Designers Available (D/A) connects social justice organizations with communication designers for pro bono collaborations. Designers Available was founded by Joelle Riffle, an independent designer, artist, and administrator in November 2016. Joelle works full-time as communication and brand manager at a youth writing non-profit and runs an online visual journal called aslittlefear.co. The Designers Available network is made up of over 300 creatives around the world. Contact info (at) designersavailable.com for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
A strategic communications plan supported by powerful visual design can help organizations level up in their ability to reach their audiences of supporters and those they help to serve.
Does my organization qualify for Designers Available support?
We recommend that organizations and businesses consider the following questions and considerations for work we are most interested in supporting.
- Are you a small social justice non-profit and grassroots organizations?
- We can only support organizations in the United States at this time.
- You don’t have to be a 501(C)3 or otherwise incorporated.
- We're most interested in working with organizations that don't have a communications or design staff and are not working in design in any discipline.
What can Designers Available do for my organization?
Our designers can partner with you to create the following and more:
- A brand identity including logos and recommended typography, branded elements, and color and a plan for how to implement it
- Print and digital materials to drive a fundraising campaign
- Event collateral like invitations, printed programs, and presentations
- A robust and manageable strategy for you organization’s communications
- A website to centralize your organization's resources
What is it like to work with a designer.
- Designers Available offers pro-bono work. Please keep in mind that for paid design work, hourly rates for a designer could range anywhere from $30 to $150. This depends on the kind of work and the individual and the project.
- Even very small projects can take a few weeks to complete.
- We expect that partners and designers will collaborate to bring the best of all expertise to the work. Most designers are not experts in the work of your organization and we look to you to lead the conversation. We hope that both partners will trust the creative process and keep an open mind in the execution of design projects.
What does a design process look like.
Below is a sample outline of a project like branding or web design.
- Designer presents a few rough draft options. This option will mostly focus on concept rather than specifics of form and color.
- You will choose one option to move forward with and present feedback on what you’d like to see, what there should be more of, what there should be less of.
- Designer will revise the chosen draft option and incorporate your feedback. The draft will become more specific, often incorporating color. This will be much closer to what the final version will look like.
- You will offer feedback on specifics about this option. Consider this feedback to be the last moment to make big changes to the final design to stay on track. What you see next will be close to the final so bring up any concerns you have. Be sure to share this with any stakeholders if you haven’t already.
- Designer will revise the design and prepare a final design for your approval. This will be the final design before it is finalized.
- You will approve the final design or request an extension of the project, which will involve adding time to the project and if this was a paid project, would involve paying additional fees. Any feedback at this point should be highly specific.
- Once the design is approved, the designer will produce the final design and present you with the assets.
What happens after a design project.
- The designer will prepare the final files as well as help you understand anything you need to know to use the design work, such as a brand guideline, website log-in, or tutorial on making edits to your site.
- After this period has finished, you will be responsible for managing your design going forward. You will pay for hosting and domain names, hire designers and other production help, send to printers, etc.
- We’d love to know how the process went for you - What can D/A know about how to improve the experience for partners going forward. Let’s talk on the phone or meet in person for an exit interview.
Why pro bono?
We believe that design is a valuable language that everyone should have access to. We offer pro bono services as an introduction to what design has to offer. If you are interested in hiring a freelance designer, we are happy to connect you with someone in our network who can support you with paid work. We also think it’s important that creative work around social justice should be collaborations between those most affected by the issues in question.