AIGA Chicago’s Good Day

Written by
AIGA Chicago
June 20, 2013

As one of the largest AIGA chapters, with a remarkably strong community and many individuals and organizations already in place, AIGA Chicago has the opportunity to create a cascading effect of change in the city. We want to help people who can spread that help to their own communities. This is why we want to tap into Chicago’s other significant human resource: community organizers, government workers, non-profits, foundations, teachers, activists and many other change agents.

We believe we can empower these people with knowledge and tools to communicate their messages and work more effectively. And in return, they can teach designers a lot about community and creating change. Design thinking includes strategy, writing, interpersonal communication, networking, tech smarts and so much more—and all of these are things designers practice almost unconsciously every day.

This is a one-day event aimed at teaching organizations about design in all its forms.

It will be led by AIGA members like you—hopefully specifically you—and other experts in the community, who’ll come together to share knowledge and tools in many areas. This event will include intro-level classes on branding, typography, photography, the web, social media, strategy, marketing, design thinking; audits of organization brands; self-promotion basics. We’ll offer classes in English and Spanish, to broaden our reach in the community. It will be a jam-packed day, with a massive amount of content that attendees can pick and choose from as their needs dictate. We’re looking at this event to happen this fall, for an audience in the hundreds, not dozens.


**This is where you come in. We need to hear from you about how this day will get built. What classes and features you think these organizations need to get out of this event? What do you think they need to learn? And, more importantly, what would you want to teach others? Please let us know; we really want to hear from you.**


To get you thinking, here are examples of topics for classes:

– Business Development
Fundraising, Grant Writing, Where to Find Grants, Leveraging the Community, Interviewing Techniques, Interpersonal Communication, Management, Legal, Volunteers, Governance of Board Structure, Staffing, Strategic Planning, Bookkeeping, Public Speaking, Writing, Sales, Goal Setting, Partnerships, Marketing, Research

– Design and Communication
Typography, Branding, Presentation / Newsletter Design, Photography, Social Media, Website Development, Brand Strategy, Content Management, Email Communication

– Evaluation
Brand Audit, Media Audit, Portfolio Review


To us, this is the ultimate way that designers can do good in Chicago—by helping all the non-profits and organizations here that need you and your knowledge and talents the most. Please feel out this form to be considered as a breakout presenter on our Good Day. We are aiming to hold the event in the Fall and should have a finite date within the next month.


AIGA encourages thoughtful, responsible discourse. Please add comments judiciously, and refrain from maligning any individual, institution or body of work. Read our policy on commenting.

2 responses to “AIGA Chicago’s Good Day”

  1. Steve Quinn says:

    I think it would be good to focus on the value of design, how to work with a designer, what designers can do (and maybe cannot do) for organizations, rather than focusing on attempting to teach design to laypersons in a day. Don’t we want them to hire designers and to work with them, rather than attempting to do this themselves, poorly probably?

    • AIGA Chicago says:

      Steve, thanks so much for your post, and you raise a point that’s a very important part of this initiative. There are two major aims of Good Day: to educate community activists about the breadth of design and skills of designers; and to provide an outlet for many, many designers to give their time, energy and talents to people who need it. But a third aim is absolutely to encourage long-term interaction between those working in the community and those working in design. The goal isn’t to boil down the complexities and contexts of design into a single day—that’s both impossible and ill-advised!—the goal is to have this day serve as the beginning of a relationship that can be cultivated and continually added to throughout the year. That’s a big reason why we’re making sure every Good Day participant gets a year of AIGA membership as part of the fee.

      Much of this day will depend on our instructor members encouraging that long-term relationship with design and designers—the only way true change in the community has ever come about is through ongoing work and growth. On both sides.

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