I can’t recall when or where I first heard of Make a Mark, a 12-hour creative make-a-thon benefiting local humanitarian causes, but as soon as I did, I knew that I had to participate. I firmly believe in using design as a tool to make the world a better place, so once I heard that I could be paired up with a local non-profit and donate my time and expertise to help them solve a creative problem I was hooked. My interest in participating was only increased knowing that I would get to work on a team of creatives.
I’ve never run a marathon, but I imagine this was the design equivalent. From learning about the client, their goals, and their audience, to rounds and rounds of revisions, each of the challenges could’ve taken 12 weeks instead of just 12 hours.
As a freelancer, I don’t often get the opportunity to collaborate with other designers. And prior to freelancing full-time, I worked in-house on a team of just two or even one. Up until this weekend, I hadn’t realized that it had been years since I’ve collaborated in this capacity. And never before have I been on a team of creatives that worked together so seamlessly. Perhaps this was due to the time constraints, with only a day to work, we knew there was no time to mess around. Perhaps this was due to the fact that the last time I worked with this many designers I was an undergrad working on a fictional project where the stakes were much lower. Regardless, it was an honor to work on such a wonderful team and such a worthy cause. Thank you Aly Agoff, Aurelia Kare, Esen Pence, and Ian Kimble for being the best team-mates.
12 hours + 5 designers + 1 non-profit = 1 book cover, 2 event schedules, 20 infographics
Urban Creators tagline is “Educate, Energize, Empower, Unite.” They use food, art, and education to build equity and self-determination in their neighborhood. For the past 10 years they have made a profound impact on their community in North Philadelphia. I have lived most of my life in the Greater Philadelphia area so it was very meaningful for me to be able to help a local cause that is doing incredible things including transforming 3 acres of land into a network of farms and gardens and providing 117 jobs for local youth.
I am in awe of what Urban Creators has done, much as I was in awe of seeing what each of the other non-profits has done and what their creative teams were able to accomplish in a day. From branding, promotional videos, to a functioning app (seriously, how did they do that in 12 hours?!), it was an inspiring day. I definitely plan on returning for Make a Mark PHL 2020.