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Working for a cause

As a Creative Director at a design agency you get to work on a wide range of projects. It’s part of what makes it such a challenging (and stimulating) job. One moment you’ll be thrashing out a brand book for a global chemical manufacturer; the next you’re writing copy for a local startup Champagne business; then of course there’s a team to manage.

Switching from one mindset to another like this, often quite quickly, undoubtedly demands a flexible mind. A mind that needs to keep fresh to stay creative as well as productive. And creativity is all too often the most elusive part of any creative’s job. If you’ve ever suffered from ‘writer’s block’ you’ll know what I’m talking about. Sometimes, your mind just isn’t up for it, and often ideas will spring from nowhere.

There are lots of ways to promote creative thought, lots of techniques to facilitate it and give it space. Go for a walk, change your routine, take a nap! The most fundamental commodity for real creativity is inspiration, and that doesn’t always mean browsing the internet or going to art galleries. I’m talking about inspiration that comes from the heart. Being inspired by a cause. A passion. The greater good.

Most of us would like to feel that the work we do every day makes a positive difference to the world. Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily how capitalism works – and without getting too heavily philosophical about this – most of us spend our time working to make money, or making it for others. In the design world, it’s advertising that often occupies the uncomfortable end of the ethical spectrum. As a designer, art director or copywriter, you’re often creating content for soulless global companies, ultimately helping to line the pockets of their billionaire owners. The satisfaction of creating great work can sometimes be overshadowed by the uneasy feeling that in doing so, your morals are being compromised. So, when a job comes along that is creatively challenging and genuinely offers the opportunity to directly affect the lives of people for a worthy cause, it’s not too hard to be inspired.

ICE have been working on just such a project up in North Yorkshire, for our client Amey, at Allerton Waste Recovery Park. The primary purpose of the Park is to reduce waste to landfill – a very worthy cause on its own – but it also extracts recyclable materials from everyday household waste and generates enough electricity for over 40,000 homes. In short, it does a lot of good. Our involvement has been to create engaging content for the Park’s Visitor Centre; a place to educate the local community about the importance of waste management, and hopefully change their consumer habits for the better. The studio at ICE are always a really enthusiastic bunch, but their engagement rose a few notches as the project progressed, and by the end we had a team of highly committed recyclers. That passion really shone through and the work we delivered continues to be a great source of pride in the studio. Read the case study to find out more. It’s always nice to feel a little smug about your work!

By David Doyle
Posted: 10th September 2018
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