AIGA Guidelines for Graphic Designers

Reading the AIGA Design and Business Ethics Handbook has made me aware of how to conduct myself as a professional graphic designer. Some of the topics discussed in this handbook were writing briefs for clients to fill out so that there is an understanding of their purpose for the project they are creating, conducting designer to client agreements and contracts, usage of copyrighted photos, illustrations, vectors any artwork to be purchased and credited by the owner and budgeting. This sets the tone for me to know how to handle clients and business in the future. This entails for me to be more specific of what I want and to make sure to have everything in writing where the client and I can agree and be on the same page of design projects. I have always had some good relationships with clients where I was in charge of taking over their projects. The usage of using copyrighted photos has made me question about how to get permission to use them. I usually reach out to photographers or models to use their photos and give them credit as well as a copy of the artwork that is being designed. I was once told that even if there are photos that do not have a copyrighted symbol, they were still copyrighted. There are free stock image sites that can be used but sometimes it doesnt have what you are looking for. How do you handle a situation like this? How do you keep yourself protected? There seems to be so much details and laws that it becomes very overwhelming. In the New York Times article, graphic designer Shepard Fairey, designed the 2008 presidential campaign “Hope” poster is being sued  by AP (Associated Press) for incorporating the photo of Barack Obama in his design. Why should a designer face jail time for using a photo? Yes, there are penalties, but jail time? Is it really that serious? On both sides, I can understand the usage of photos but there is also the one who approves the final say for these projects. This case teaches a lesson to be extra careful of using anything that is liscensed or copyrighted.

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