Do Good Design

do good design

by David Berman, with foreword by Erik Spiekermann, Pearson/Peachpit [Follow David on Twitter] [Join Facebook group] [Hear interview] [See keynote] [Improve the Wikipedia article]

How does design help choose presidents?
How has design thinking positioned the world’s most
valuable companies?
Why does the U.S. economy struggle to compete?
Why do we really have an environmental crisis?
Design matters. Like never before.

Disarming the weapons of mass deception.
Design creates so much of what we see, what we use, and what we experience. In a time of unprecedented
environmental, social, and economic crises, designers must choose what their young profession will be about: inventing deceptions that encourage more consumption – or helping repair the world.

Do Good Design is a call to action:
This book alerts us to the role design plays in persuading global audiences to fulfill invented needs.
The book then outlines a sustainable approach to both the practice and the consumption of design. All  professionals will be inspired by the message of how we can feel better and do better while holding onto
our principles.

In a time where anything has become possible, design thinking offers a way forward for us all.

Today, everyone is a designer.
And the future of civilization is our common design project. What will you do?

This site is about the book, the pledge that professionals can make, and stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things in their professional lives to create good.

Paper vs. electronic: There are 3 ways to see the book:. 1. Paper 2. View online at 3. PDF (from

The paper edition includes 45 days of Safari access.

Instructors and media: Request an instructor or media review copy Press release (Word .doc) [Join our classroom guide wiki]

To publish an excerpt or interview David, contact publicist Laura Pexton (+1-510-558-4166).

Book News

October 19, 2016

Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and David Berman swap Do Good ideas!

Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and David Berman sitting in chairs talking about Do Good Design book

June 13, 2013

Ethics in Graphic Design blog: “Take the Pledge” or download the blog PDF icon[998 kb]

April 22, 2013

Design Edge Canada news about 2013 Edition Earth Day launch: New ‘Do Good Design’ edition sports eco-friendly pages or download the interview PDF icon[148 kb]

April 22, 2013

Interview on Felt & Wire blog: David Berman wants to help you “Do Good Design” or download the interview PDF icon[2,365 kb]

April 22, 2013

Press Release: Mohawk Paper Featured in Re-Release of Do Good Design

April 15, 2013

Do Good Design 2013 English edition Earth Day press release

January 05, 2011

Indonesian and Korean editions of Do Good book launched.

December 07, 2010

Chinese edition of Do Good book launched.

April 18, 2010

Praise from Vint Cerf, Vice President, Google: “I found great resonance with your ideas.”

December 15, 2009

Do Good Design reviewed by influential Designboom blog

August 12, 2009

Listen to David speaks with lan Saunders on ByDesign, on ABC Australian national radio (audio, 11 minutes)

July 17, 2009

As part of David’s speaking tour in Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne, see David speak at Melbourne’s State of Design Festival (video, 30 minutes)

July 2009

Do Good Design reviewed in Eye Magazine #72 (online extract)

July 2009

Review in Communications Arts Magazine

June 2009

Do Good Design reviewed in Print Magazine, by Ellen Shapiro

March 23, 2009

Berman interviewed on CBC’s All In A Day (9 meg MP3 | 9 min, 40 sec)

March 22, 2009

Robert L. Peters reviews Do Good Design

March 18, 2009

Duffbert book review

March 6, 2009

Do Good Design excerpted at

February 28, 2009

Do Good Design gets thumbs up from Noah Scalin at ALR

Febuary 3, 2009

Do Good Design gets rave review at Design Taxi

January 31, 2009

David podcast interview on Author Talk

January 11, 2009

Do Good Design in UK book stores

January 10, 2009

Do Good Design at Otto Architecture+Design

January 10, 2009

Do Good Design and Colalife: things go better…

January 8, 2009

Do Good Design on anamorphosis

January 8, 2009

Do Good Design Facebook group opens

January 8, 2009

Do Good Design headlines Icograda’s 1st enews of 2009

January 7, 2009

Ken Garland takes the Do Good Pledge

January 2, 2009

Peachpit’s official press release (Word .doc)

January 1, 2009

Do Good Design full review at

December 23, 2008

Do Good Design in Industry News on RGD Ontario Web site

December 18, 2008

Do Good Design pre-ships in the USA

December 16, 2008

Design Edge Web site features Do Good Design

December 14, 2008 names Do Good Design the CreativePro Book of the Week

the do good pledge

Do Good Pledge animation In his book Do Good Design, David Berman explains why all professionals (and organizations) should take the pledge.YouTube of Berman in Hong Kong on the pledge[View an excerpt from the book that includes the chapter about the pledge PDF icon]


1. I will be true to my profession.
2. I will be true to myself.
3. I will spend at least 10% of my professional time helping repair the world.

Take the Pledge

Please complete all fields. To change your pledge later, submit again with the new number of hours.

  • Show my name on this Web site
  • We won't display your email address: we use it to uniquely identify you in our database.
  • Please enter a value between 1 and 80.
  • Get future Do Good news from David?
  • Get news from Peachpit?
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



tell us your story

Click an image to read the Doing Good story behind the design. Created with flickrSLiDR.

In Do Good Design, David tells many stories of ordinary designers doing extraordinary good with their professional opportunities and skills. Here’s your chance to share your story (about yourself or someone else you admire).

Here’s how to share your story:

To share your Doing Good story, visit our “Do Good Design: Tell Us Your Stories” group on Flickr, and post your story and the image that goes with it, and embed Web links too. (If you don’t already have a free Flickr account, create one at Stories posted to our Flickr group then appear in the slideshow that streams onto this page.

RSS Subscribe to Do Good Design: Tell Us Your Story discussion threads

go deeper: resources for doing good

"Don't just do good design, do good." - David Berman

As promised in Do Good Design, here’s information that goes deeper, or that changes more often than paper can easily accomodate. We’ll keep adding as people keep asking. Suggestions welcomed!

Links to content mentioned in Do Good Design

Chapter 2: Beyond Green

Aspen Design Challenge

Chapter 3: Pop Landscape

Colalife: Simon Berry’s courageous campaign to fulfill what I was only dreaming about on page 40. Go, Simon, Go!

Chapter 5: Where The Truth Lies

To go deeper on Distancing Ourselves, consider reading up on The Mascotting of Native America by Jason Edward Black

Chapter 7: Losing Our Senses

Coal: The New Joe Camel?

Chapter 8: Tobacco Advertising

Tobacco Wiki

Tobacco advertising collection at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (Pollay Collection)

Ad gallery at Tobacco-Free Kids

Stanford Prevention Research Center

UCSF Tobacco Archives

American Legacy Foundation tobacco links

Tobacco news and Information

Extensive Links on tobacco from UCSF

Chapter 1o: How We Do Good Is How We Do Good

Chapter 11: Professional Climate Change

Cradle To Cradle, by William McDonough and Michael Braungart, North Point Press, 2002

Design for the World

Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) Code of Ethics, 2000 Click to download Seven Habits of Highly Effective Web Sites article [30KB]

Rules of Professional Conduct, Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario

Chapter 12: What One Professional Can Do

Designers Accord (a global coalition of designers, educators, researchers, engineers, and corporate leaders, working together to create positive environmental and social impact)

Appendix B

Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) Code of Ethics, 2000
Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) Journal, 2000 [30KB]

Rules of Professional Conduct, Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario

Sustainable design resources

AIGA Center for Sustainable Design

America’s Second Harvest

Blue Ocean Institute


Chef’s Collaborative (sustainable catering)

Climate Trust

CO2 Stats (green renewable energy certificates for Web sites)

Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES) – Green Hotel Initiative

Consumers Union eco-labels

Convention Industry Council green meetings report

Cradle To Cradle, by William McDonough and Michael Braungart, North Point Press, 2002

Designers Accord (a global coalition of designers, educators, researchers, engineers, and corporate leaders, working together to create positive environmental and social impact)

The Design Activist’s Handbook: How to Change the World (Or at Least Your Part of It) with Socially Conscious Design, by Noah Scalin and Michelle Taute

Design Anarchy by Kalle Lasn


EcoLogical Solutions

Energy Star program

Environment Canada green meetings technical document

EnviroTote (1-800-TOTEBAG)

Fairware (environmentally-friendly promotional products) 604-732-3247


German Energy Agency

Green Globe 21


“Green” Hotels Association

Green Lodging News

Green Meetings Industry Council

Green Seal – Environmental Standard for Lodging Properties

How Much Is Enough, by Alan B Durning

http://wwwIMEX Green Meetings Award

International Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus – Sustainable Tourism

opens in a new browser windowInternational Union for the Conservation of Nature responsible tourism handbook PDF icon

Local Harvest: Why Buy Local

Lovely As A Tree

Massive Change, By Bruce Mau, Phaidon Press, 2004

MPI Meeting Professional magazine, on greener meetings

Meeting Strategies Worldwide

Monterey Bay Aquarium seafood watch

More Associates sustainable innovation practice

Meeting Planners International NMID 2006 economic impact white paper (section on green meetings)

Neenah Paper footprint calculator

Oceans Alive

Oceans Blue Foundation (OBF) green meetings

PCMA Annual Meeting 2007 green meetings international document

Professional Convention Management Association’s “Environmental Considerations”

Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Web site

Project H Design

ReNewable Products (makers of EarthShell) 1-866-387-3233

Renourish by Eric Benson

Story of Stuff

Sustainable Travel Magazine – Bello Mundo: sustainable travelmagazine

Terra Choice Environmental Services

Three Trees Don’t Make A Forest

U.S. Dept. of Agriculture – The National Organic Program

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Green Conference Initiative

U.S. EPA Indoor Environments Division

U.S. EPA WasteWise

U.S. EPA WAVE water efficiency

Utrecht Manifest social design

Voluntourism online newsletter

World Centric fair trade and eco store

World Urban Forum greening initiative

Ethics & social responsibility resources

Abstract Dynamics Web site


Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario


Cradle to Cradle: Remaking The Way We Make Things

Creative For A Cause

Danish Designers Manifesto: The Role of Design in The 21st Century

Design 21

Design Altruism Project

Design Cares

Design For the Other 90%

Design Without Borders (Norsk Form)


Graphic Material

Green Graphic Design


Icograda Competitions Regulations & Guidelines (English) [673KB]

ICSID Competition Guidelines (English) [120KB]

Massive Change



Society of Graphic Designers of Canada

Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) Pro Bono Policy (English) [26KB]

Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) Grievance Procedure (English) [33KB]

Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) Journal, Number 5, article on Code of Ethics (English) [1800KB]

Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) Competition Guidelines (English) [46KB]

SustainAble: A handbook of Materials and Applications for Graphic Designers and Their Clients

The Graphic Imperative

One Response to “Do Good Design

  1. […] Do Good Design is structured in a way that questions creative directors, art directors, graphics designers, photographers and other creative pros on where they stand in an industry that is currently on an unsustainable path. Berman covers where we were fifty years ago in the world of branding, advertising and design, and where we are now. His comparisons show that while time and technology have rapidly changed our innovation and accountability, in some cases, has not kept up. Berman praises those who are trailblazers in sustainability and strategic design, and provides readers with questions that should be taken into consideration when deciding whether you will be part of the problem or become a viable solution. […]

Add Your Comment