Sep 22, 2022 • 5 min read

Portraying Diversity in Design: Suggestions from Artists

Diversity is still a grey area for a lot of folks to this day, some call it a buzzword and some hold it very close to their hearts. We all have a different outlook on how Diversity resonates with us.

The million-dollar question is: What really is Diversity? What does it have to do with design?

Well, We get it and are here to establish a clear train of thought regarding the concept of diversity. We as designers have an innate ability to influence more than we may realize, the kind of designs we put out there speaks a lot about our perception of diversity.

You may have seen many renowned brands like Dove, Gucci, Nike launch successful campaigns around diversity and inclusion to amplify voices of color, gender, sizes, etc. Not just that, even in the field of technology the growth of diversity is accelerating. The biggest example being the Google Pixel 2 campaign.

Here are some suggestions from Artists around the world to Portray Diversity in Design:

Be Inclusive with Character Designing

“While designing characters, be authentic and inclusive. By inclusive I mean to include people regardless of their color, size, orientation, or story. We are all humans and like to belong.” - Josh, 34, Illinois

Establishing subtle differences in Appearance

“As an Indian, it really pains me when brands portray all of us looking the same. I mean we have so many religions and values, to begin with. I would advise designers to establish subtle differences in Appearance pertaining to gender, religion, values, etc.” - Karan, 28, Haryana

A lot of research dedicated to culture is mandatory for a seamless result. Designers have to really go beyond the surface to represent everyone they are targeting. Establishing subtle differences is vital. Example: If a brand wants to venture into the UAE market, they have to be mindful to include both Hijabi and Non-Hijabi women in campaigns.

Do not Stereotype!!

“When I moved to Canada from Japan, People assumed I loved anime but in reality, I have never seen a single episode of any anime. My advice would be for designers to not go based on stereotypes, rather to target Individuality of people.” - Haruto, 23, Ontario

We all have a set of preconceived notions in our subconscious minds due to the internet. It is very important to not reflect any of those stereotypes in your design. Prejudice is not limited to any race, creed, or nation. You can experience it anywhere at any point. Prejudice and Stereotyping date back in the History of human civilization, Wars were fought due to prejudice holding people against each other. We should ignore, if not eradicate stereotypes as designers at the end of the day need to pay respect to individuality and humanity.

Travel, if you can

“What elevated my work was when I traveled to different places to experience the culture firsthand. My advice for my fellow designers would be to save up to travel, you will thank me!” - Naka, 43, DR Congo

Traveling helps you see the world from a different perspective. It not only helps you learn about different cultures, but you also grow tremendously from these experiences. We understand that the pandemic situation and sometimes our wallets don’t align with our travel schedules. We feel that travel is not just something you can do in person, it’s a journey wherein you have to thoroughly research which teaches you so much and indirectly impacts your designs as well.

Work in teams

“You’re asking me how I learned about different cultures? Through Teams!! I always chose a diverse team so I could learn about how different cultures function. It truly gave me a lot of insights.” - Mateo, 20, Toledo

This is surely an unexpected parameter to measure diversity but hey, It works! If you think on a deeper level, working in a team fosters equality a lot more than we can imagine. You can get to know a lot about someone’s culture if you are working with them on a project like their values, morals, perception, etc.

Well, We hope you gained some great insights from the experience of these Artists. We had a lot of fun hearing about their takeaways. DM us on Instagram @apricweb to share what advice you would give to a designer with regards to Diversity!