Ethics in Graphic Design

Ethics in Graphic Design


My supervisor had instructed and insisted that I make a brand new logo or revamp their current one. They had no contact or memory of who made their initial first logo. After conversing for awhile, we agreed to revamp their current logo. I told them I will not be taking credit for as I am simply redoing the design just for higher quality. The ownership still belongs to the artist who originally made the logo, I just cleaned the pixels and quality of the image better.


My internship did not require a confidentiality or non disclosure agreement. I only had direct contact with my supervisor and the president of the organization. Nothing shared or posted online.


At the time, when I was beginning graphic design, I use to mimic the style or effect of another designer. i made sure to avoid straight plagiarism. At times when I was learning the graphic design world through school, I started reaching out the artist or designer directly. I would show them the work I was inspired from. and then my piece and what I mimicked or tried to do with it! I made sure they were comfortable and acknowledged me giving them the credit they deserved.


The Fairey case is a serious and common issue that I dislike within the graphic design community. As much as I love design, we do not get to see the original version of their design. It is very very vital and serious that Garcia gets the money and credit and recognition he deserves for even having the shot and getting the experience to be close with Obama. It was unfair to see that Fairey did not go out his way to credit the artist and settled with a replica. On top of that to make a huge profit off of it. Fairey violated a code of conduct which was copyright! He purposely went out his way to avoid the legal fight by destroying any sources that revealed his use of Garcia’s work.

Fairey would have never went through this if he complied and acknowledged Garcia. He had to go as far as getting a criminal case for stealing his work, “Last year Mr. Fairey admitted that he had misstated which A.P. photo he had used for the Obama image and that he had submitted false images and deleted others to conceal his actions, leading to a criminal investigation in addition to the civil case.” which is far from okay and no artist should ever do. He learned that credit is very vital and serious no matter how much you have a vision for a campaign or brand.

This legal issue reminds me of many designers discrediting small black and brown businesses of today. Or even using cultural figures, history or items for their fashion ‘trend’. Such as Marc Jacobs, he hosted a show in summer 2017 where every white model was wearing ‘dreads’ and he refused and pretended he didn’t know this was a black women’s protective style. A year later, he even mimicked middle eastern culture by putting turbans on the same white models again. Completely discrediting and disregarding the cultural aspect again  or what he said was “for the collection cited the 70s as the inspiration but made no reference to the head wrap’s origins.” He had been using the excuse of not knowing the culture instead of paying homage. This is something we need to start doing and recognizing credit especially if it’s from a culture that isn’t yours.




Srivastava, Akarshi, and Akarshi SrivastavaAkarshi is a Fashion Journalist at She has completed her bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design from Amity University. “Cultural Appropriation in Fashion: A Complete Guide.” Shilpa Ahuja, 28 Mar. 2022,,new%20but%20prevailing%20for%20decades.

Kennedy, Randy. “Shepard Fairey and the A.P. Settle Legal Dispute.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 12 Jan. 2011,

Photo by Sora Shimazaki: (Image source)

Self Reflect/Reflection (#7)

Self Reflect/Reflection


This is my final journal entry. I thoroughly enjoyed talking and sharing about my internship. I had learned a lot of lessons and tricks and the graphic design community. I finally got to be in the space I always dreamed to be in. Surrounded by other creatives and sharing. In this internship, I gained clients, friends, criticism, and more skills of design. I learned to appreciate and love design more since I get to express myself while getting paid and working on it. I get to try trends and designs I have seen with others. This opened another door of how the graphic design world would be. Sitting in conferences, talking to huge bosses, meeting with clients with a contract and deal, this was so real for me. It even helped with my creative block I have been having. I haven’t gotten the chance to draw or design on my own. I want to expand my portfolio and my communication skills to advance myself in my career.

Photo by Jill Wellington from Pexels:

This class also educated me on supporting myself after college, assuring my career, and keeping my head clear and positive. I enjoyed this class thoroughly and will keep these tips and experiences in mind.


Award Ceremony (#6)

Award Ceremony

Today I had gotten the chance to meet the CEO and Executives all at once at a huge New York City award event. It all started at exactly 9am, where my boss was running around like a wild mouse on a chase. She demanded food, flowers, dresses and so much more. I was terrified to even speak. It was such a mad man test. I was her minion for the day and did all errands with her. She even secretly cheated on me with another designer! I was so shocked and shaking my head because she absolutely loathed and hated the posters so much that I produced better ones within 2 minutes of my hands. She wasted so much money but was happy with the new design I made. It was now 11:00. After our mini design crash, we had to pick up the trophies. These weren’t the kids trophies you get when you step up. This was the Grammy award trophies. I was shocked and never seen awards like these in person. But, my boss was not satisfied. She wanted even bigger and extravagant. I don’t even want to talk about her budget but she wanted just more. This took 3 hours. Literally sitting waiting and arguing for bigger gold trophies. We started losing track and completely forgot that we had to secure our reservation at the place we rented. We rushed soooooo fast. Our makeup and outfits were barely done but we had to get this done.

Photo by Rachel Claire:


We eventually had other help and our team come to make extra preparations and soon enough we had a lovely night with an easy success. We started having small drinks and food and once again, lost track of time. This was just so much fun. I got to meet a lot of politicians as well. The faces of New York all dancing to electric slide. It was nice seeing and being reminded that we are all human and trying.

Design Chill Day (#5)

Design Chill Day

Today, I got to sit in my cube with just my iPad and laptop and Pinterest and instagram. My main inspiration and vigor for design comes from these two apps. I get to  pull and like the designs of others and take the challenge of making my own or even using it as motivation to expand my knowledge on photoshop, illustrator or indesign. My team and I were usually talking about new posters and simply making more advertising and it was a fun conversation. I got to show them my favorite instagrammers/designers. I even let them search and choose their own so I can explain why design is more than design but it is character. It shows what you are and what you like in anything. Bold, thin. big, small. large kerning or leading. It all mattered.

(1) Photo by Mikechie Esparagoza:

(2) Photo by Polina Zimmerman:


I learned and taught my colleagues about their design choices and how we can implement a little of all their personalities in future posters. It gives more heart and care when we start putting ourselves into our passion or liking.




Nike Event (#4)

Nike Event

Today, my supervisor had luckily got us into a nike event as a surprise and gift for us for interning with her. It was an event where women of color shown us how to DJ and what it is like being a DJ. We also found out that many DJ artists were designers or 9 to 5 regular people with an active night life. Their passion and fire was within DJ’ing at night for others. We learned about tone, sound, amplifiers, effects, pitching and speeding. They lectured us for about an hour before we got to practice ourselves.


Photo by Francesco Paggiaro:


This was exciting but scary since the equipment was very expensive and large. Every button has such a unique effect that me and my partner took turns. Steadily we made a slow and fun beat with some pitches and funny effects. Eventually we stopped when we started getting confused with what we were doing. Our mentor stepped back in and we began to pack up since this was a late night event. We connected with instagrams and numbers to hang out. The event was nice and very supportive. The fun was well needed for us. We even got free sneakers just for coming. Each sneaker had our name on it and it was so cool. We couldn’t stop talking about it on the train. This was truly a fun day.

Rebranding (#3)


Today was another creative and long day. It was mainly me resetting and revamping assets for my internship company. From my lasts posters I incorporated more of those same assets for their rebranding and revamping of their company. Simply redoing the banners for their LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. I stayed with purple since I rarely see purple branding myself.

Here was the outcome of all of them:



Posters (#2)



Today, I was assigned to make posters for Juneteenth and for my boss and our company. I get to let my creativity flow. They showed me their previous posts and wanted to keep some elements. Yet they were not so eligible or attractive. I was honest about it and told them if I was walking past and saw this poster, I wouldn’t even spare a second to read because the color mixtures and large and thin texts.


As you can see, there wasn’t a consistent theme and their logo makes pop ups instead of steadily staying in the design. Therefore, I took matters into my own hands and incorporated their bold text, trendy girly colors and script fonts into something better and consistent.


This was my take on how the posts should look and what the campaign. I then showed my supervisor (the one in the picture) how she felt about them and she was head over heels. She couldn’t stop hyping it and I was more than honored to have someone outside of friends and family to love my work. This was very motivating. She showed the other executive members and soon enough we were planning a total new look for BW4BG.

Meeting executives (#1)


Their first logo.


 Meeting executives.

this was a nerve wracking experience.

In other jobs and internships I had dealt with this was my first meeting. I usually get to be in the side lines and have my design as a way to communicate from criticism or praise. I gained this internship by reaching out directly to the director and showing her my work. Immediately she made me the creative lead of her new companyThis company was an opportunity for black girls and other girls of color to be fully supported into colleges as long as they stay on top of their classes. It was an an amazing program and of course I wanted to join and be apart of this all women, especially black women, support and company. After being recruited, I went into research about the company and their current logos and designs. I was warned briefly that they had very low quality rushed edits and designs because they wanted to achieve some type of audience.

I understood, the excitement and thrill to promote an all women company with an all black women team to boost black and brown girls. I got to work by suggesting a revamp at first and presentation on what we want, as a brand, to look like. Before I can finalize my own drafts, I was sent a link for zoom. I was only told in a minute that this was the team and executive CEOS that is sponsoring and participating in the program. I was so so nervous. I just watched how everybody talked to each other and immediately I got comfortable. I introduced myself and showed my ideas I had so far. It became a fun flowing conversation ad they were happy to meet a designer like me and happy to work with me. As for me, my first professional clients with a huge company.