Editorial – A design that’s changed laws in 17 countries? Now that’s effective

There were some great examples of the power of design last week at the Design Business Association’s Design Effectiveness Awards – as you might expect.


And it wasn’t just the commercial effectiveness that was being measured (although figures like a 465 per cent increase in the speed of share price growth following Grand Prix winner Smith & Milton’s Legal & General rebrand are certainly impressive.)

The story that stayed with me was of 300 Million’s gold-award-winning campaign for the Body Shop – Stop Sex Trafficking of Children and Young People. This campaign, the client said last night, has directly led to law changes in 17 countries.

An astounding result for a great project, and a compelling demonstration of design’s power to change things beyond the financial bottom line.


Although neither client nor consultancy really dwelt on it last night, one of the things that strikes me most about 300 Million’s work is how – for such a serious subject – the campaign itself is, well, really quite fun.

A striking graphic and colour scheme, an engaging tone of voice, even a specially developed ‘Soft Hands Kind Hearts’ hand-cream all add to the engagement.

The consultancy says its central idea was ‘to turn this terrible crime into a positive message – the future is in our hands.’

It’s an incredible achievement to create a design programme so effective that it can turn a company’s fortunes around, make employees happy to work for their company again or, in 300 Million’s case, change laws around the world.


It also takes a very special creative insight to come up with designs (like a lot of the optical illusion examples here) that surprise and delight.

And when you can combine the two – then that’s close to genius.

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  • Stephanie Brown November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Thanks Angus for such a wonderful analysis of this story. Writing this entry on behalf of 300million/The Body Shop was truly a labour of love. Whilst I’ve written over a dozen winning DEA entries, this one will probably always be the one for me that truly encapsulates the power of design.

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