Ever since college, I’ve been educated with the importance of sustainability. This stems from the need to reverse climate change since our planet is rapidly burning up. The topic of sustainability is something I now have a passion for. The relationship between design and sustainability is a crucial one.
But on the other hand, we also have other social responsibilities as a designer. A new one that has caught my eye. That is to design with disability access in mind. This interest emerged from a video I watched by Molly Burke. She is “a Canadian YouTube personality and motivational speaker whose eponymous channel has more than 2 million subscribers. Burke was diagnosed at age four with retinitis pigmentosa, a condition that causes loss of vision. She lost most of her sight at age 14.” She is also an advocate for the visually impaired. In that video, she was addressing the issues she faces with the design of makeup and how difficult or easy it is to use.
Burke also goes through her favorite products as well as her least favorites. Starting off with eyeshadow palettes she explains that palettes like the James Charles one are over complicated, have no specific organization, and have too many colors to memorize. Then she shares one of her favorites from Tarte which has a clear grid system of light to dark and matte to shiny. She also acknowledges Two Faced’s better than sex mascara for includes a 3D element on their bottles. With the waterproof one with water drops on the outside of the bottle.
One of my original passions was makeup and I had never thought of these things that she brought up before and often take for granted. Even though her video is not specifically catered to a graphic designer I felt like it really informed me of issues I hadn’t experienced. I feel like as a design myself I have a certain social responsibility that I have to put out to help those voices that aren’t heard. I was inspired by the products that she had mentioned that took the initiative to be accessible.
I believe that businesses and design agencies should include designers with knowledge or experience of a disability. Either that or they should have a broad range of people to review their products and designs in order to be as inclusive as possible.