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We have a moral responsibility

We have a moral responsibility

When it comes to design and marketing we can package up and sell just about anything to anyone when you do it right. You know the age old saying a good salesman can sell ice to the eskimos!  Well that is true in some sense because it is our job to position a product or service in the market to make it desirable to a potential customer who didn’t realised they need it. We are selling something that really is more than what it is sometimes, it is a distortion of the truth.

From time to time a designer and marketer will be faced with a moral dilemma when they come across a potential client that has a product or service that is dangerous, exploiting child labour or will be damaging to your health if you eat or drink it for example. We must then decide, do we want to be part of ‘selling’ something that we don’t agree with?  We have to weigh up why are we designers and marketers in the first place and what power we have over the market and what our morals are before taking on work.

Milton Glasser really summed up this dilemma when in 2002 he wrote an article for Metropolis Magazine about design ethics where he created the ’12 steps to hell for a designer’.  Milton Glaser for those that don’t know him will be familiar with his work, his most famous the ‘I heart NY’ symbol. He would be in his 70’s now and a most successful designer in his time. Have a look at Milton’s words in this You Tube clip and remember to always do what is morally right for you. I believe you should be proud of every job you do.

Yours in Design


Belinda Vesey-Brown About the author