Home » Design Without Borders: creativity with a conscience


In 2022, while the future of work remains unclear for many global industries, freelance designers are finding clarity in what works for them. Motivated by a life of freedom and flexibility, they’re taking charge of their time, their craft, and where they channel their creativity; from the messages they promote, to the clients they align themselves with.

Creativity with a conscience

From healthcare to the environment and racial injustice, each year brings a new global crisis into focus. We’ve seen designers transform into content creators and organizers, creating visual toolkits for protests and sharing impactful content on social media.

We’re calling this phenomenon “creativity with a conscience.” According to findings taken from our report on the freelance design industry, the top 5 issues that designers deem most important this year are:

  • Healthcare/public health
  • Climate change
  • Racial justice
  • Income equality
  • Child welfare

In light of these findings, we challenged our community to design a poster for a cause they care deeply about. From shining the spotlight on LGBTQA+ voices to protecting the rainforests and keeping the waterways clean, entries poured in. The three winners featured below will have $500 USD donated to the non-profit of their choice. Read on to see what matters to them, the causes they nominated and how they channeled their creativity for good.

JUSTSAYGAY by margorite




The Florida law ‘Don’t say Gay’ is currently endangering many LGBTQA+ members and children.




For margorite, this “illustration is based on the movement born to battle this law which reads #JUSTSAYGAY. As a way of saying that we, the members of the LGBTQA+ community, won’t be silenced, stopped or censored ever again.”

mermaid ocean environmental poster
Change Starts With You by lulunamostu

Illustrator lulunamostu is based in Amsterdam, but her heart is still in her native Bosnia & Herzegovina. The non-profit organization she nominated focuses on creating a sustainable future for every living creature, including animals.




Simple things like not using plastic products or riding a bike instead of a motor vehicle are the first steps to making a change.”




We Exist indigenous poster Peru
We Exist by Mar Sifuentes

Mar Sifuentes’ poster features hand-illustrated women from Latin America in honor of an organization whose mission is to strengthen the capacities of indigenous women leaders from different regions of Peru.




The importance of our countries lies in indigenous traditions and cultures, and we must strive to speak more about and honor them.




Designers are feeling more empowered than ever to make a difference through their art. Though that’s one way designers can work on projects that matter to them, it’s not the only way. Here’s how else “creativity with a conscience” is playing out:

Our 2022 Design Without Borders report dives deep into the collective struggles, triumphs, and possibilities of one of the most diverse and globally accessible industries to date. With insights and opinions from 10,000 freelancers from 144 countries around the world, see the year through the eyes of creatives.

View the report findings
See a fresh perspective on freelance





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