Ethical design practices ensure a prosperous industry for all designers.
It has been our goal since the year 2000 to reach out to graphic and web designers worldwide and educate them about the importance of ethical design practices. What are these ethical guidelines? Why should graphic designers follow them? And how does it affect the future of our industry?
For many graphic designers ethics is part of their everyday life. Decisions are based on the greater good of the industry, and not just one’s own personal gain; decisions which leave a positive influence on not just the client, but elevate the graphic design industry into a realm of the elite – one with stringent guidelines, impeccable standards, and a professional image that no one can rival.
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link – and the graphic design industry has a lot of weak links which could ultimately cause its demise. Inexperienced and overnight graphic or web designer wannabe’s (most of whom are no more than desktop publishers with a new found appreciation for templates and template sites) have for long devalued an industry full of educated, talented, bright, hardworking individuals who go about doing their business the right way.
It is time for all true graphic and web designer professionals to unite against unethical design practices, and move towards the betterment of their profession.
1Do Not Display Your Price
Creativity is not a tangible item, so you shouldn’t treat it as one. By displaying a “one size fits all” price, you are devaluing the creative process, your time, your skills, and the industry.
2Do Not Participate in Spec Work
Never perform free work for a potential client just to prove you are qualified. Companies take advantage of designers by stealing ideas and creative direction without paying for it.
3Do Not Participate in Crowd Sourcing
To cut costs, companies pin designers against each other in the name of “competition” to see who will perform better work for less money. Both you, and the design industry lose.
4Do Not Offer Unlimited Anything
By offering unlimited revisions, you are devaluing your time, your expertise, and the design industry. Do you see a doctor or lawyer offer their time on an unlimited basis?
5Do Not Steal Intellectual Property
Photographers, copy writers, and artists depend on designers to license their intellectual property for use on client projects. It’s illegal and immoral, and will cost you in the long run.
6Do Not Work Without a Contract or Down Payment
You must start work only when your client is contractually or monetarily vested in you. Get them used to the idea that you run a legitimate business, in a legitimate industry.
7Do Not Copy Others’ Work
Besides the obvious ethical implications, you and your client will both be in possession of stolen work, punishable by hefty fines and copyright infringement lawsuits.
Do you operate an ethical design firm? Email us your name, website address, and location. Upon review, we will send you our Eth1cs 1st badge, to proudly display to your clients and visitors.