09. 09. 2022ARTICLE


Creating awareness of design as a possible career path.


The summer of 2020 was a wakeup call for the nation, and for each of us as individuals. Doubly so for a white male like myself. The Black Lives Matter movement was an internal examination for each of us to reflect on our unconscious biases and how that affects our daily personal interactions. Particularly as business owners; our hiring, promotions and development practices. At Tether, we have always had a policy of including diverse candidates when we hire for a position but we still fell short of where we should be as a diverse agency.

Beyond diversity training and education what else could we do? What was within our skill set and ability to effect change immediately? That’s when we landed on the concept of DesignLab. The brief to ourselves was to create a curriculum for junior and seniors in high school that would create awareness of design and advertising as a possible career path. Our goal was to work with diverse high schools and help grow the next generation of creatives. Our vision; to inspire students to study design or advertising so they could join our world of creativity. We started with Garfield High School, a Seattle-based school known for supporting the arts. We worked with a high school consultant to make sure we approached our curriculum in a relevant manner before partnering with administrators and teachers to set up our program.

DesignLab consists of an initial presentation by Tether creatives that highlight ‘what we do.’ We show the journey from initial creative idea to finished brand identity and all the exciting consumer touchpoints; websites, apps, retail stores, events, advertising, products, etc. Next steps include a series of sessions with the students where we walk them through the fundamentals of design and use our creative process to mentor them to create their own personal brand; logo, graphic elements, colors, etc. After their final presentation to us and each other, we gave them each a certification of completion along with stickers of their final personal brand.

We are now working on standardizing our curriculum and then making it accessible for any school or community organization to download and use in their communities to create awareness of design as a potential career path.

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