Ethics in Graphic Design 1

COMD 4900 Internship

Ethics in Graphic Design

The internship I am in is a non-profit organization where they generate income for other non-profits through cause marketing. They work with for-profit businesses to help get money to other non-profits that need it. I currently have the task of creating some graphics to draw in influencers and other people with large social followings in order to promote a sweepstakes they are running, where the grand prize is $4,000 and a $1,000 donation to the winners charity of choice.

1a) Trademarks and Logos

The work being done for the organization relies on reaching out to influencers and doing so in an engaging way, using design to draw them in and help spread awareness of the sweepstakes. For the most part, all design assets like logos and style guide are made available for me to use in the designs I come up with  in order to accomplish those goals. The ethics lessons I read about make sure to highlight the importance of copyright, fair use, and the use of photography in our work. In the case of the internship, all of the provided logos do have a style guide that lays out how to use the assets in my designs. The copyright in this case hasn’t been an issue so far since all of the assets provided can be used how I want to, but I must follow the style guides laid out by the organization. The use of outside images is encouraged so long as we are able to use them properly and with the right attribution.

In the internship there are images provided that we can use in our work alongside the branding items we were given. We are encouraged to use these elements in our work in order to create designs that we can send to influencers to increase awareness of the sweepstakes.

Crawford, Tad. “Use of Photography.” Design Business and Ethics, American Institute of Graphic Arts, New York, NY, 2007, pp. 90–95.

Crawford, Tad. “Guide to Copyright.” Design Business and Ethics, American Institute of Graphic Arts, New York, NY, 2007, pp. 80–87.



1b) NDA’s/Confidentiality Agreements

There were no NDA’s or confidentiality agreements for me to sign, but there are meetings that must be attended every week. The only contract I had to sign was an agreement that was given to my supervisor for the internship and it outlines what is expected of me while working for the organization. There wasn’t any discussion about confidentiality with trade secrets but there must be some protected information when it comes to donor lists, contacts, email lists and confidential documents that a non-profit wouldn’t want to have shown, yet none of these have come up during my interview and subsequent on-boarding process.

Stim, R. (2013, May 14). Using Nondisclosure Agreements to Protect Business Trade Secrets. Retrieved June 2, 2022, from

Protecting trade secrets and confidential information: TIPS for nonprofit organizations: Insights. Venable LLP. (n.d.). Retrieved June 2, 2022, from


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