A picture is worth 1,000 words.

I’ve heard that phrase 1,000 times, at least. And as a writer I’ve always kind of taken exception to it because, well, I love words. Sometimes to a fault. Ask anyone I work with here at ThoughtMatter. They’ll be able to tell you at least one instance where I’ve written way too many words and either had to kill my darlings on my own or have them do it for me. Even about 50 percent of my emails ought to come with a “tl;dr” label.

But to say a picture is worth 1,000 words is for the most part undeniably true, especially when you’re attempting to convey a powerful and important message and don’t have the time or space to get someone to read your 1,000 words. Or, as is often the case nowadays, you’re trying to get your point across amidst the divisive cacophony and information overload so prevalent and pervasive, both online and off.

The plain fact is, imagery has stopping power. The first step to making people pay attention is to make them look. Then, once their interest is piqued, the path toward positive changes can follow.

climate march poster
climate march poster

ThoughtMatter People’s Climate March posters

A well-designed piece is immensely valuable because it is one of the best ways to make your voice heard; to amplify your message and mission; to ensure that you are not merely shouting into the void.

Design makes it possible to convey a powerful message in pretty much any amount of space, be it a poster, logo, social media post or any of the other ways design can come to life. This applies to the work individuals, studios and agencies concept, create and produce in advertising, branding and marketing. But it also applies to efforts to promote and enact social change, an arena in which many creatives the world over are actively applying their skills and talents.

Untitled-1 ThoughtMatter NYC “I Voted” sticker design contest finalist

We’ve reached a moment when it’s an essential responsibility of the creative community to do great work for the greater good. Few times in recent history has it been more important to protest, to resist, to do everything in our power to make people listen when it comes change. And that means both the changes the majority of the public want to make and the various proposed changes so many of us desperately want to make sure get shut down. As a community and as individuals, we can help push for positive progression while resisting negative regression.

Through conceptual, creative and strategic design and outreach, we can elevate the impact we’re having on social issues. We can help organize the like-minded who are willing to work toward equality and against injustice.

Womens March poster ThoughtMatter Women’s March on Washington poster

Through design, we can make sure we’re heard. Especially by the people who don’t want to listen.

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