“Ink and Smiles for the Common Good”
Some days, it seems as if our world has become a reservoir for holiday detritus, a sound booth for obnoxious traffic noises, and a soap box for obsessions with gadgets. Money, power, and a lack of real thinking seem to pull the strings while those watching the show are hoping this isn't the last act. A bleak picture, yes, but life isn't a static image; it's a play with unlimited encores, each one a new opportunity for a better future. And in the spirit of a better tomorrow, two designers from Philadelphia, PA created innovative projects to make sure our performance as a culture is sound.
Founded by graphic designer Melissa Morris Ivone, this endeavor has one simple goal: encouraging individuals to be proactively nice. The background story for this effort begins with an elevator and an already wavering confidence in the public's perception of common courtesy; the best part is that the story doesn't have an ending.
From the website…
"Operation NICE encourages individuals to be proactively NICE. Stop by to read some positive, upbeat news stories (yes, they exist) about nice people. Download some tools (coming soon!) to help you in your quest to communicate the concept of niceness. Share a story or two about how someone made your day."
When first exposed to this powerful application of creativity, I was thoroughly impressed. I've been witness to solid displays of creativity before but this endeavor was unique, practical, and humanitarian in the same breath. A real show-stopper. As an innovative application of graphic design skills, Operation NICE is an outstanding idea with brilliant execution; as an effort towards making the world a better place, it stands firm, its legs determined to lead us into a better future.
The Ink Initiative
Founded by graphic designer Keith Bowman (Executive Creative Director for The Design Bureau of Amerika), this brilliant initiative combines years of limitless talent and a love of screen printing into one effort: to give back to the community through donated profits from custom poster sales.
From the website...
"There really are only two goals for The Ink Initiative. The first goal is simply to be able to supply non-profit organizations with additional funds to help them distribute aid to communities. The second goal is to hopefully inspire other talented people to take stock of their own talents and get them to start their own "initiatives" to aid their local / global communities. I think this second goal is just as important if not more so than the first."
When I first visited the website, I was blown away. The ideas, the skill, the powerful creation story, it was refreshing and inspiring; I‘ve been a loyal follower ever since. Keith's work and creative approach inspire designers from all walks of life; he's always happy to share his creative process with others and regularly encourages the efforts of other creative individuals. When you combine that with a good cause, a genuine effort towards positive change is created and ultimately, the world becomes a better place one silk screened poster at a time.
So here we are, in the midst of thinking about the next big holiday, horns still honking, and gadgets still commanding the daily lives of many. But we're not alone. We have Operation NICE and The Ink Initiative at our side. Their efforts are proof that innovative minds are at work to ensure our world moves forward, in a positive direction, one smile and one poster at a time.
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