[design tip] Free to use high-quality photos = Unsplash

An uncomplicated site with gorgeous, downloadable high-res images… for free?

No strings attached, no attributions, no licensing credits — not even a shout out needed kind of free?

Indeed. Thanks to Creative Commons Zero and many talented artists, Unsplash has saved me in ordinate amounts of time hunting for affordable stock photos. On top of that, my nonprofit and artist clients are beyond appreciative of how far we can stretch their limited design budgets.

I’m all about artists getting their due and sensitive to the plight of folks expecting us (designers) to work for free, or “for the exposure”. So I’m simply awed at the sheer quality and range of these images– not to mention the generosity of these photographers’ contributions to public domain art.

Browse and enjoy > https://unsplash.com


From the Unsplash website:

Unsplash License

“All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash.”


[quick links] Impact Design’s 2014 & 2015 roundups and a new report on media for social change.


Jumping right into February 2015, check out a pair of purposeful posts on design with impact and media for social change.

First, via Impact Design Hub’s great blog, we have a couple of good design reads sure to inspire.

Our second quick link comes from a reader suggestion to  check out the Ripple Strategies report, “The Ripple Effect: How to Use the Media for Social Change.” I’ve finally taken a closer look, and so should you.  Part one lays out the new media landscape, while part two delves into developing a “solutions” media campaign.

There you have it — two great resources to celebrate Month Two (aka February)! Sound off in the comments on what you’ve found fascinating or most useful from these links.

[quick link] Impact! Designing for Social Change

Today’s quick link > “Impact! Designing for Social Change” offers graduate-level intensive workshops for professionals and students interested in design for social advocacy.

Hosted at the School for Visual Arts,  the workshops feature sessions with faculty of designers, innovators, and social entrepreneurs. The program addresses the intersection of commercial and non-profit interests in this emerging “social design” sector:

To remain competitive, corporations are looking for innovation and impact in the area of social change as it relates to their businesses. The non-profit world is seeking new ways to support their constituencies through design strategy. This six-week summer intensive will introduce participants to the growing field of design for social advocacy.

Their impressive curriculum subject areas sound absolutely fascinating and so right up this blog’s alley.  (That’s #AwesomeDesignForSocialChange Alley, btw). I honestly wish I was still living near NYC  so I could participate!  (Also, I realize I’ve posted this a bit late and past the current Summer session enrollment date, but just sign up for alerts on the site to get news on their upcoming Fall 2013 session.)

The Impact! site is chock-full of resources and useful info, including archived webinar sessions on topics like:

Also don’t miss browsing their gallery of past Impact Projects which feature learning-in-action projects in social entrepreneurship, community education, environment, health, and politics to name a few.

Design Effect

New Girl

Local Focus