A Graphic Designer’s Code of Ethics

AIGA Looking over the Graphic Designer’s Code of Ethics, I found some things which run somewhat contradictory to each other. I think this is interesting:

7.1 A professional designer, while engaged in the practice or instruction of design, shall not knowingly do or fail to do anything that constitutes a deliberate or  reckless disregard for the health and safety of the communities in which he or she lives and practices or the privacy of the individuals and businesses therein.  A professional designer shall take a responsible role in the visual portrayal of people, the consumption of natural resources, and the protection of animals nd   the environment.

7.2 A professional designer is encouraged to contribute five percent of his or her time to projects in the public good-projects that serve society and improve the human experience.

7.3 A professional designer shall consider environmental, economic, social and cultural implications of his or her work and minimize the adverse impacts.

7.7 A professional designer shall strive to understand and support the principles of free speech, freedom of assembly, and access to an open marketplace of ideas and shall act accordingly.

As I see it, this (7.1) means that the greater majority of advertisements should not, by the value of the designer’s conscience, exist. Considering that advertisements make up a rather large portion of many designer’s jobs, this is a problem. Further (7.2), charity is always something that everyone in every honest career should think about, but strictly defining it seems very odd. Next (7.3), most of a graphic designer’s work today is digital, and beyond the literal (making art designs) designers don’t usually have a choice with regards to the informational content. On the other hand (7.4), we’re designers, and art is an expression of free speech. To that point, if our views run counter to other’s ideas, we shouldn’t let those ideas stop us from designing things our way. Assuming, of course, that we aren’t being paid to design things another way.

On the whole though, The Designer’s Code of Ethics is filled with guidelines which are very good and make a lot of sense. I encourage anyone who is interested to check it out.

AIGA. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.aiga.org/media/images/logo.gif

AIGA. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.aiga.org/standards-professional-practice/

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