The Design Marathon encourages collaboration and strengthens the design community in Charlottesville.

About Design Marathon

The Design Marathon is an event in which graphic designers, architects and landscape architects give back to the community by providing pro-bono design services to deserving Charlottesville non-profits.

The Origin of Design Marathon

When I was in high school we had an annual Dance Marathon. All the dancers (or wallflowers…it was high school) solicited pledges from family and friends to dance from 8pm-8am. The collected money was given to a nonprofit the students selected. We, the students, had a great time dancing, eating pizza at two o’clock in the morning and staying up all night with relatively few adults to keep tabs on us. At that time it was mostly about the fun of it, making a big donation to a nonprofit was a bonus.

Fast forward to January 2008, Charlottesville-Virginia, my team at Alloy Workshop was talking about the work we do for nonprofits. We’ve worked pro-bono, reduced rate, and sometimes for season tickets – and we were sure others had too. We thought it would be cool to get a bunch of designers together to do what we would do anyway, but structure it in a way where we worked collaboratively, potentially across disciplines, all night long. The all-night part was nixed early on, but the concept was clear – The Design Marathon would be an event where designers could come together and take on design challenges with a fixed-time deadline, build a professional community of service-oriented designers, and use our design-powers for good to help our community.

Interested in Using Your Design Superpowers for Good?

DM6 has selected

Cultivate Charlottesville

as our Client Partner. Cultivate Charlottesville is an umbrella organization to three non-profits that focus on food access and equity: City Schoolyard Garden, Urban Agriculture Collective of Charlottesville, and Charlottesville Food Justice Network.

Our design challenge is to create a comprehensive visual identity, brochure, coordinated event logos, and look-and-feel for a new website.

Design Marathon Outcomes

The Design Marathon has served 42 area nonprofits. Below you will find a sample of the work that has been produced by 100+ local professional and student designers.

Help Happens Here: ID

Mountaintop Montessori: ID


Cville Rail: ID

Shelter for Help in Emergency: ID

Special Olympics of VA: ID

Quality Community Council: ID

Kid Pan Alley: ID

Jackson-Via School: Garden Project

Buford School: Garden Project

C4K: Renovation Design

Market Central: ID

BBBS: Annual Report

Community Action on Obesity: ID

Rivanna River Basin Comm: Marketing

Vocal Virginia: Marketing

Camp Holiday Trails: Marketing


PHA: ID and Marketing

AIDS/HIV Services Group: Marketing

CYFS (Ready Kids): Playscape Design

Music Resource Center: ID

Blue Ridge Area Food Bank: Marketing

© 2019 Creative Might LLC

Community Action on Obesity: ID