Ethical design – what makes us tick


We aim to be an ethical, affordable, creative extra pair of hands, freeing you to get on with the small job of saving the world.


Do you sometimes wish for a reliable extra pair of hands?

So, you’ve spent weeks (maybe including some nights) perfecting your message. You’ve sweated over it, maybe even missed other deadlines because of it. Finally, it is ready to take flight and head off to its intended audience.

The design and production budget for your project is a little on the lean side, but perhaps that won’t matter. After all, there are umpteen designers out there who can get it produced for you – some even say they can turn it around in a couple of days.

But then the doubts set in – what if the designers don’t ‘get’ your ethical message? What if there need to be lots of last minute amends once the design is underway – will they be ok with that? When you look down their list of credentials, some of the designers’ clients are far from ethical, but at least they can work within your budget, so that’s a plus… isn’t it?

How we can help with your ethical design project

This kind of situation is where Wave can help you, and where we have been helping our not for profit and ethical design clients for the last 30 years.

From our inception, it was our passion to work with game changers, people who genuinely care. Three decades later we still have that desire to work on projects that make a difference, but now we are experts in our field – in creating effective ethical design communications for the charity, co-operative, education and health sectors. Our specialist subject is affordable, successful third sector design and production in all media.

Recent projects we have worked on include third sector annual reports, charity websites, fundraising campaigns, multimedia resources for education, online healthcare toolkits and campaign identities.

We know that our clients have budgets they are accountable for, that deadlines can be tight, that goalposts can move and that this may not be the only project in your life. Our design co-operative aims to be as flexible as we know you need us to be. We can’t offer our work for free, but we are super skilled in working with restricted budgets, and we love it when our client’s projects exceed their expectations.

But that is all pretty standard right? Creative work by friendly people who know what they are talking about and have some great samples of work on their site. We do all of that, but what is also important to us is being a workers’ co-operative with ethical values. Being an ethical business ourselves means we truly practice what we preach.

Why we can be trusted

We have chosen to specialise in ethical design, working with socially responsible organisations like yours for the last 30 years, giving us the edge in the ‘ethical design for good suppliers’ category. We understand the sector, not just the good that you do but also the issues and challenges that can make your days less than rosy. We don’t want to work on projects that pay well but make the planet a less happy place.

With us, you can be sure that you are not just another job or just another client. We know your work is vital and we use our sector knowledge and expert design team to make sure your messages have the wings they deserve. We aim to be your ethical, affordable, creative extra hands, leaving you to get on with the small job of saving the world.


The first project we worked on with Wave was building a new website on a very tight budget with a challenging brief. I was a new client, and they were a new co-operative agency for us. I was so pleased and relieved when we delivered the new website on time and on budget. Everyone I worked with made the whole process seamless, jargon-free and very enjoyable.

I have not looked back since – Wave not only maintain the fab website but also produce all our print marketing materials too. I can always rely on them for fresh ideas!

Daisy Ilchovska, Marketing and Communications Manager ,  Dorset Community Foundation