Meghan Wolfe speaks softly but wields a mighty design wand. The way she waves it to create order, arrest attention and move hearts, well, it’s practically magical. The young designer has risen to the ranks of art director in her five years with Greteman Group, a creative powerhouse that serves clients around the globe. When Wolfe chose the field of graphic design, she plunged in, determined to shake things up. She experiments. Seeks unconventional solutions. Explores nuances of color and typography. Creates work that vibrates with vitality.
How did you become involved in designing for good, any thoughts on why design is an effective tool for this goal, and any specific examples you might like to mention or are particularly proud of.
I’ve always sought a career that has an affect on the greater good. I find inspiration all around but especially in nature. The glorious flowers that color our world and the plants that yield our food, for example, don’t just happen. Pollinating bees make them possible. When I learned of their endangerment, I knew I wanted to bring attention to this major issue. Our agency created the Free to Bee campaign, which I championed and helped execute. Our hope was this campaign would generate buzz about these winged wonders. Providing simple suggestions to help bees thrive made it easy for anyone to take action in their own backyard.
We created a microsite and using social media, email blasts and press releases, invited one and all to wing their way over. A sharable :40 video (set to the sound of Flight of the Bumblebee) added to the fun. Visitors plant virtual gardens for bees. They scroll over objects and little-known facts pop up. (Are you aware that honeybees never sleep and their faster-than-the-eye wings stroke 11,400 times a minute?)
The site communicates bees’ vital role in pollinating flowers, fruit trees and crops. (Bees play a part in almost every bite of food we eat.) Whimsical graphics and playful animation make learning fun. In addition to the site, Greteman Group issued a donation to Botanica, the Wichita Gardens. Its 18 acres of wildflower meadows, canopied woodlands, formal gardens and water features offer sanctuary for pollinators and humans alike.
Any special challenges, opportunities, urgencies in 2018?
As of August, a ban on pesticides linked to declining bee populations has been lifted, which poses a grave threat to pollinating insects.) And climate change continues to pose a threat to bee colonies. Beekeepers reported an increase in honeybee deaths over the last year, citing abnormal weather patterns as the possible cause. The battle is far from over. We must do what we can to protect our pollinators. Which means Free to Bee will continue to be relevant for some time to come.