This is the latest in a monthly series in which industry leaders describe the projects and products that give them the most joy and pride. This month, graphic design influencer Debbie Millman reflects on a professional project with personal impact.
It’s hard to pick the number one “favorite” thing I’ve ever worked on. What I’ve chosen is a project that — of all the work I’ve done over the course of my 32-plus years of working in the design business — actually makes my entire life make sense.
The project I’ve chosen is the work I designed for NO MORE. The idea for NO MORE was born in December 2009 at a meeting of domestic violence and sexual abuse groups that got together to discuss how to engage the public, the world, in their shared cause. The concern that the participants were trying to address was that despite the progress that had been made to date on these issues over the past several decades, there continued (and continues) to be a paramount need to connect with the broader public and make these issues more visible everywhere.
The concept behind the NO MORE effort reflects the overarching aspiration to create a society in which there is no more sexual assault, domestic violence, or child abuse. The goal for our work was to galvanize, change, and unify all people, organizations, companies, and communities to bring an end to sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse forever.
Sterling Brands, along with Christine Mau, a senior global design director at Kimberly Clark, developed the groundbreaking name, strategy, and visual identity for NO MORE. At the heart of the identity is the vanishing point — a powerful symbol rendered in a custom-formulated shade of blue, designed to signal broad social change. Like the peace sign, the yellow “support our troops” ribbon, the red AIDS ribbon, and the pink breast cancer ribbon, our goal was to use the symbol to help spark a national dialogue and move the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault to a higher plane on the public’s agenda.
The mark stands for hope — a light at the end of the tunnel and a safe, inclusive, stigma-free zone for discussion in the charge to erase sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse. The symbol can be worn and displayed by anyone — influencers and the public — to express their commitment to the cause. It is now being used by the many organizations working in the field of domestic violence and sexual assault in their efforts to generate awareness, education, prevention, and funding. It was also the centerpiece of the Joyful Heart Foundation’s public service announcements, led by Law and Order: SVU superstar Mariska Hargitay and Joyful Heart CEO Maile Zambuto.
Too often, domestic violence and sexual assault remain hidden in the shadows, riddled with shame and stigma for the victims. We hope to help eradicate that with our efforts. To date, the mark has been seen more than one billion times, and has helped raise hundreds of millions of dollars to help change minds, change lives, and change the world.