What are Ethics?

Ethics or moral philosophy is the branch of philosophy that involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct. Ethics is a rational study of moral dilemmas in human action. Morals are shortly defined as codes of conduct (implicit or explicit) that are based on personal long-lasting beliefs and values or those of surrounding society.

Ethics in Design

While researching ethics in design I came across some really useful online articles that explained it the ethics towards graphic designers rather well. The article was titled ‘How ethical are your design practices?’ Below I have included some parts of the article that I thought were important/ link in well with this project.

  • ‘Do you work with a client whose product or values you don’t agree with? If, for example, you’re anti-smoking, would you accept Marlboro as a client?’
  • ‘If I was financially secure, and if I felt strongly about it, no, I wouldn’t take the client. If I wasn’t busy and needed the money, I would think about it… within reason.’
  • Alcohol causes many more problems than cigarettes, and I’ve designed lots of alcohol packaging. Where do you draw the line?

On this topic my opinion is that as a designer you need to decide whether doing something will be worth you time and what effect it will have on you in the future. Explained in the article it mentions that designing packaging for cigarette companies don’t make people want to start smoking, it only assists people who do smoke in choosing a brand. As the designer you need to judge whether your designs are inflicting other lives or just making something look aesthetically pleasing. I believe that smoking has a negative effect on the body but at the same time if I designed some packaging for a cigarette brand I know it wouldn’t change someone’s mind to wanting to start smoking, an individual starting to smoke usually comes from personal feelings or peer pressure.

I feel though I may be more inclined to turn down a brief that falsely advertises something to be what it’s not. Also if I had been given a brief for a client such as a clothing line who use real fur and leather it would depend on my current client base seeing as doing something such as to help advertise and promote real fur products may cause judgement and loss from other well paying and trusting clients.