Part 02

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

2a) Designers are not magicians to make something out of nowhere or are always originals with every single idea. Design, creativity, and ideas are hard to find and come up with, therefore we use others’ works to either draw inspiration or incorporate them into our own work, creating something totally new. All of this is okay, and a is a common practice in the industry. But failing to credit the work by someone else is harmful in many ways: it can hurt not only our reputation as designers but our entire careers.

It is important to recognize that we all do not possess every single skill required for a given project. In the past, as a professional who already works in the field as well as a student, I have found myself outsourcing many times, even during the ideating phase of a project. However, before everything goes into production and definitely before putting the work out into the world, I make sure to check the licensing and/or crediting requirements of any assets that I outsourced.

2b) The negative of failing to credit work that is not our own becomes evident in the case of Fairey vs. The Associated Press. It cost him and his family hard times. Tampering with evidence showed that he knew it was an unethical practice, but he did it anyway, exemplifying disrespect of values not just on a professional level, but on a personal level as well. So even though the dispute was finally settled. His reputation, credibility, and career are forever stained.

Adhering to ethics not only gives us peace of mind but also helps us uphold our personal values of respecting others’ creativity, originality, and efforts. As designers, ethical behavior helps us build trust and reliability, which in turn attracts serious clients. Moreover, it helps us earn the respect of others in the industry.


Part 01

Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

1a) By prioritizing ethics in our work, we ensure that our clients are protected from all the negative consequences of unethical practices; the first chapter from Design Business + Ethics by AIGA discusses and stresses the importance of ethical practices that reflect this statement. The chapter “A Client’s Guide to Design” emphasizes that client-and-designer clear communication, transparency, and mutual understanding are essential to fostering a good relationship, one that is founded on trust and respect, and for protecting the integrity of the work as well as the client from negative consequences of unethical practices, which in turn can hurt both parties. At my internship, this is not something I stress about because I use screenshots of the platform for the release notes and help desk articles to show step-by-step instructions that I am tasked with. I also work with data, which I then feed into the organization’s platform to produce sites and visual interfaces for the client.

1b) In my second internship blog entry I briefly touched on paperwork, activating logins, and accessing the backend parts of the organization’s website and custom platform. But before getting to that part, I had to sign at least two different confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements that look very similar to this example. How I am navigating that in terms of journaling about my experience and what I am working on, is to generalize the description of the work, making sure I am not going into granular details, not disclosing client information and the data we gather for me to work with for their internal sites.