Diversity and Inclusion in Design Matter

By Lindsey Smith, Art Director and Marzia Motta, Art Director

People spend an average of 7.5 hours daily with media.

From the display wall of glossy magazine covers to the social media pop-up ads that splash across our screens, we’re continuously viewing and digesting media. The individuals featured and how they’re portrayed have a great impact on us because we, consciously and unconsciously, internalize these messages.

Behind the multitude of marketing visuals is a graphic designer who intentionally and tactfully brings these messages to life. Ideally, the tone, messaging, and visuals are designed to blend together and create a memorable experience.

At Hatcher, as we dive into each new design project, we not only bring our ideas, but also collective experiences and unintentional biases to our work. We strive to represent audiences who may have different interests, experiences, and likes than we do, but we must also serve as each other’s checks and balances to ensure accurate representation and inclusion. For this reason, having a diverse design team is so crucial.

According to AIGA.org, a professional association for design, in 1990, approximately 93% of professional American designers were Caucasian. In the last 30 years, that number decreased only by 7% with 86% of professional American designers being Caucasian. By 2050, approximately 50% of the country will be people of color. With this current trend, the designer diversity numbers will continue to fail to reflect the general population.

It becomes clear why marginalized groups and minorities often find themselves underrepresented in the media and advertising. Working with a diverse team reflects inclusion and sense of belonging in the workplace and in the work we produce.

Some 62% of Americans feel that a brand’s diversity has a direct impact on how they perceive its products and services, while 69% of Black consumers say they’re more likely to connect to brands that positively reflect their racial identity.

A 2019 Google.com Future of Marketing article on inclusive ads affecting consumer behavior noted, “By bringing in the talents of those who have traditionally been overlooked, you unlock true creative expression — and build an organization able to check its biases.” As designers, we must pay attention to the choice of imagery, people, typography, colors, and patterns to avoid stereotypes. Correcting potential issues is made easier by a larger and more diverse team.

As Hatcher’s Senior Creative Director, Reece Quiñones, says, “…building diverse creative teams has always been intentional and an essential strategy. We each bring our own perspective, experiences, thoughts, and ideas to the table and, as a result, we’re able to produce inspired and inclusive solutions that help shift the narrative and capture the hearts and minds of audiences.”

The more diversity we welcome in our team, the more representation will appear in our work, and the better we can serve our clients’ missions.