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Zerofee. Good Thinking:

Good Thinking: an ethical design blog

Zerofee. An ethical design agency

Written by Zerofee // Mar 16th 2009 // No comments // Tweet this
Zerofee founders, Paul Buck and Ela Kosmaczewska.

Zero­fee founders, Paul Buck and Ela Kosmaczewska

Zero­fee is an eth­i­cal design agency, and this is our blog. We cre­ate iden­tity and design for print and dig­i­tal media, but not for irre­spon­si­ble brands or com­pa­nies. Why Zero­fee? Along­side com­mer­cial work, we con­stantly donate design to financially–challenged char­i­ties and good causes.

Zero­fee began as a non-commercial design ‘project’ in 2001, out of a desire to estab­lish a source of pro­fes­sional assis­tance for worth­while, inspir­ing organ­i­sa­tions or indi­vid­u­als with causes that would ben­e­fit from the input of expe­ri­enced graphic design­ers. Form­ing Zero­fee threw our respec­tive roles in London-based design agen­cies into a harsh light; often thank­less, unin­spir­ing work for blue chip, cor­po­rate clients who con­tributed lit­tle to soci­ety or, worse still, actively dam­aged the world we live in at a local, national and global level. It’s dif­fi­cult to care about bul­ly­ing point-of-sale for van­ity prod­ucts when you’d rather be devel­op­ing visual com­mu­ni­ca­tions for a pio­neer­ing char­ity like TRAID.

We were stirred into fur­ther action dur­ing 2005 by a groundswell of eth­i­cal and envi­ron­men­tal con­scious­ness and – the mother of inven­tion – redun­dancy. At this time, we’d seen through unsuc­cess­ful attempts to obtain start–up funding/grants from var­i­ous appro­pri­ate sources; demor­al­is­ing, but edu­ca­tional processes that help Zero­fee define what we con­sid­ered to be a unique set of char­ac­ter­is­tics for a design agency. Along­side an ongo­ing of pol­icy of design dona­tion, Zero­fee func­tions as a busi­ness with­out pur­su­ing or accept­ing work from irre­spon­si­ble sources, com­pa­nies and brands that, amongst other things, dis­play bla­tant envi­ron­men­tal dis­re­gard, any form of exploita­tion or busi­ness philoso­phies that place profit before wel­fare. We thought some dis­cern­ing peo­ple would like that, and they do.

We’re deter­mined to stay true to those val­ues while prac­tic­ing design for respon­si­ble clients of all types and sizes, not just those within the ‘third-sector’. Design dona­tion ben­e­fits from our com­bined, ongo­ing expe­ri­ence (20 years plus, in case you’re won­der­ing) of work­ing with sophis­ti­cated and diverse cor­po­rate design buy­ers; our com­mer­cial work ben­e­fits from the insights and effi­cien­cies derived from cre­at­ing excel­lent design solu­tions (you be the judge) with no bud­get whatsoever.

You can visit the Zero­fee web­site and get in touch if you’d like to know more about any­thing we do or believe in – we’re extremely excited by our unique agency, the work that we do and very happy to share our suc­cesses – and fail­ures – with you.

Oh, a note about design. Rather than strug­gle indef­i­nitely to find the time to design and develop some­thing from scratch, we opted to select a min­i­mal, clean theme by Derek Pun­salan called ‘The Unstan­dard’ and cus­tomise it to suit our pur­poses (and fetish for Dutch grey­board) so we could scratch the writ­ing itch we’d devel­oped. As such, Derek deserves a good por­tion of any admi­ra­tion you might have for the look and func­tion­al­ity of Good Think­ing and, if you fol­low the pre­vi­ous link, you can gauge the extent of our mod­i­fi­ca­tion and addi­tional design work. We’ll no doubt develop it fur­ther or entirely over­haul the design if time allows.





Zerofee tweets:

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Zerofee. Good Thinking.

Zero­fee is an eth­i­cal design agency, and this is our blog. We cre­ate iden­tity and design for print and dig­i­tal media, but not for irre­spon­si­ble brands or com­pa­nies. Why Zero­fee? Along­side com­mer­cial work, we con­stantly donate design to financially–challenged char­i­ties and good causes.