Creativity for change!

In the fight to gain attention for charities and grassroots causes, design and creative thinking is more important than ever. Here, we look at how creativity can engage people in causes and galvanise wider audiences

Earlier this year, footballer Marcus Rashford and Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge joined forces for a new initiative in the fight against food poverty – an issue thrust into the spotlight during the pandemic, largely thanks to Rashford’s staunch campaigning and pressuring of the government regarding free school meals. The year-long initiative, named Full Time, features a selection of simple, accessible recipes and video tutorials, wrapped up in a campaign designed to remove the ­stigma surrounding food vouchers.

The identity for Full Time features bright colours and a fun use of illustration and photography. “The idea was driven by two people wanting to make a change,” says Jonathan Hubbard, creative director and co-founder at The Clearing, which designed the campaign. “The danger with that, once you get a brand agency involved, is it can become really slick, or it has commercial values attached to it. Obviously, we wanted to make it look professional but you don’t want to make it look like some business has come in and just used these people to endorse a product.”

The Clearing came up with the name and created the simple yet vibrant design system around it that brought together two figures from different worlds, each with their own tone, audience and personal ‘brand’. It was a case of finding the ­commonalities between them, which might not have been so easy with your average chef. However, with Kerridge it worked. “He’s very down to earth and very connected to his working-class roots,” Hubbard says. “He’s also a massive football fan. I think there’s good chemistry between them.”

Top: Still from Wasteminster film for Greenpeace, directed by Jorik Dozy and Sil van der Woerd at Studio Birthplace; Above: The Clearing’s branding for food poverty initiative Full Time

Despite food poverty being very much a political issue, the campaign was designed to steer clear of that space and instead offer guidance to people whose lives and circum­stances are often bandied about for political point scoring. “You don’t want to wrap that up in a way that’s in any way judgmental,” Hubbard says, ­highlighting that with this particular campaign, positivity is key.

Hubbard also notes that there is a highly engaging wave of smaller ­causes such as Full Time, or activist groups such as Extinction Rebellion, that have emerged in recent years. He believes these newer grassroots initiatives in particular have embraced creative thinking when it comes to creating awareness and stirring change.