Design Policy Advocacy
Design Policy Advocacy
Design Policy Advocacy

AIGA is engaged in an extended campaign to raise awareness of the value of effective information design in the public sector. The purpose of the campaign is to make information design an integral part of national legislative reform initiatives, including election reform, Social Security reform, Medicare reform, immigration reform, tax reform, the census and e-government.

The goal is not only to raise awareness but to see that designers become part of policy discussions, by demonstrating that designers can make a meaningful contribution through their mastery of integrative design thinking. By improving the quality of federal, state and local governmental design as a means to improve democracy, AIGA's efforts will set an example for both the public and private sectors.

Recent results

Building on the success of AIGA Design for Democracy's work with ballot and election design reform, AIGA continues to support the Election Design Fellows program and advocate for the designer's role in society through the following initiatives:


  • AIGA Design for Democracy publishes the first set of “Election Field Guides to Ensure Voter Intent,” distilling election design best practices into pocket guides for designers and county election officials.
  • AIGA Executive Director Richard Grefé meets with design education leaders in Washington, D.C., to develop new criteria for accrediting design education programs, based on input from the Designer of 2015 project, design educators conferences and members on the competencies required for design today.
  • AIGA develops materials on drafting a prototype for a transnational design policy for the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Design Innovation, in preparation for the working group presentation at the WEF Annual Meeting.
  • AIGA issues an official position on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) proposed by the U.S. House of Representatives and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), a parallel bill introduced in the Senate.  


  • AIGA launches Design for Good, a movement to ignite, accelerate and amplify design-driven social change, and updates the AIGA professional standards to encourage designers to contribute five percent of their time to projects with positive social impact.
  • In a letter to the Obama 2012 campaign leadership, AIGA urges the campaign to reconsider a jobs poster contest which asked designers to work speculatively to promote the Obama administration’s jobs program.
  • AIGA brings members’ attention to the wide-scale infringement of creative rights by the website Logo Garden, ultimately issuing an action alert to AIGA members after a series of conversations with the founder.
  • AIGA publishes a statement on The U.S. Department of the Interior’s use of crowdsourcing, encouraging members to engage in continuous advocacy and persuasive demonstrations of the value of professional designers.


  • AIGA proposes to use the Adelphi Charter as the core beliefs guiding AIGA's stance on intellectual property law, in order to provide a set of principles that guide the association’s position in legislation and on regulations.
  • AIGA, along with American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), Graphic Artists Guild and Picture Archive Council of America (PACA), files an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals in an effort to protect designers’ interests.
  • AIGA advocates for better U.S. Census data on the design economy by filing recommendations for changes in the classification of design to be used in the 2012 Economic Census.


  • AIGA Design for Democracy provides a vision for clear disclosure of credit card terms for The New York Times and contacts legislators, advocating that national credit card industry reform efforts include requirements about how consumer credit card terms are communicated.
  • Design for Democracy makes recommendations to Obama's transition team to advocate for the role of communications and service design in improving government service.
  • AIGA publishes a list of recommendations in support of design’s role in the civic experience, many of which reinforce and complement the findings of the U.S. National Design Policy Initiative.


  • AIGA participates in the U.S. National Design Policy Initiative, which advocates for a governmental plan of action to support design in service of U.S. economic competitiveness and democratic governance. A copy of the group's policy brief—Redesigning America's Future—is mailed to all Members of Congress in January 2009.
  • AIGA Executive Director Richard Grefé represents AIGA at the inaugural meeting of the Council on Competitiveness, an organization of corporate and university CEOs developing and advocating far-reaching policies for improving U.S. competitiveness, which believes strongly that design thinking is a key driver of innovation.
  • AIGA partners with INDEX: and the Aspen Institute to launch the Aspen DesignChallenge, a global call to students for a design solution to an environmental problem.
  • AIGA sends copies of Marcia Lausen’s Design for Democracy: Ballot and Election Design to all members of Congress, Secretaries of State and chief state election officials.

Tags Article Design for Democracy