Ryan | 2D Creative Lead
Designing with Heart
I’ve always been a massive animal lover and find it heart breaking how many dogs we have in the UK looking for a new beginning. As I couldn’t own a dog when first starting out as a creative professional, I decided to get my ‘dog fix’ by volunteering at a local dog rescue and some years later, our lives changed when my wife called me whilst attending a 2Heads event in Geneva. I had promised her if a pug (her favorite breed) ever came into the rescue, we would find a way to re-home it. I didn’t think this kind of breed would ever come into a local rescue but how wrong was I! From re-homing our first pug 7 years ago, we now have 3 rescue dogs, each with their own sad stories and as I got more involved with pugs, I realised I could do so much more for the breed.
Over the last few years, Pugs and French bulldogs have become very popular and to meet demand, puppy farming has taken over, leading to health issues, no health checks on dogs and created an evil black market for the latest ‘designer’ breed. New owners don’t know where their new family member was coming for them or what kind of problems they might have. I wanted to help and I realised the most valuable thing I could give these rescues was my design time..
I wanted to help Rescue centres raise awareness of some of the issues facing these ‘designer’ breeds and start to educate potential new dog owners when they start looking for a ‘cheap’ pug or french bulldog. Working with local charities, I was then given the opportunity to rebrand the UK’s largest pug charity, PDWRA (Pug Dog Welfare Rescue Association). Their brief was mixed, to create a brand and vision that appealed to the younger market (the age of the average pug owner is dropping) whilst also creating more awareness on the issues going on behind the scenes with rescuing pugs, health issues and their vet bills.
I also worked on a campaign with https://www.fapdf.org (French and Pug Dog foundation) that played with conceptions, drawing the eye to the juxtaposition of beautiful puppy and a luxury leather handbag, then disrupting the norm as the viewer interprets the message and changes their perception. Dogs are not luxury items, they should not be victims of fashion, they are beautiful individual beings and should be bred responsibly. The campaign has been hugely successful in raising awareness and it warms my heart and all the hearts here at 2Heads to use design for good.
I am also now working with Dbarc.org.uk, through which my lovely pug Lucy came into my life. More on Lucy’s story and our charity work will follow in a few weeks on our Blog …