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22 votes
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How do I treat requests for work for causes that go against my personal principles?

I made a promise to myself to never use my powers for evil. I've created many pieces which sell, what I would see as, ethically borderline in terms of the product itself. Meaning... snake oil. A ...
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20 votes

An error in printed book is my fault: what do I do?

It's her responsibility. That's why you provide proofs that she can freely take as long as she wants to review. A good trick is to make them write by email that they approve the proof. You ask it ...
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14 votes
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Is it appropriate to use lower quality design to make a product look cheap?

Sometimes yes. It so happens that companies sometimes hedge their bets by selling products both in bulk to chains and as premium under their own brand. According to Tim Harford (The undercover ...
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14 votes

How to handle client requests to violate copyrights?

One could solve the conflict by changing the perspective: See the task "use this image" as implying "take care of the license" The client proposes to use an image, and it looks like he has not ...
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14 votes

When does the designer pay for a reprint

The designer would have to really screw up on their end, not just in design, but in the handling of the project to ever pay for a reprint. Or they'd have to really want to salvage the client and be ...
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11 votes

New identity under a larger identity?

You should contact the original agency and talk about this with them. Just ask whether the original contract allows for this situation. Emphasise subtly that as you read it, you interpret things as if ...
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10 votes

An error in printed book is my fault: what do I do?

If the client was provided a proof, he/she signed off on that proof, and the error was missed by the client, it is the client's responsibility. However, you should have written approval before ...
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9 votes
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Does graphic design have an ethical responsibility?

Yes. As designers we are responsible for the impact our work has on individuals, society, and even the world. If you've never seen it, I recommend watching this talk from Mike Monteiro. It's called, ...
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9 votes

An error in printed book is my fault: what do I do?

This depends on your contract with said client. It also somewhat depends on the situation and size of error. But in general: NO, if you provided a proof and gave a review and client says send to print ...
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8 votes
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Is it ethical to include template-based works in your portfolio?

It depends..... Disregarding the implications of derivative work, that's a legal matter and different. Template systems are meant to be altered in many instances. There are a ton of positions out ...
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7 votes
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Should I give the editable/master file to the print shop people?

I've worked in the PrePress department of several print shops. More often than not, hi-res pdfs with printer's marks were all we needed, but there were times that we asked for the native files so that ...
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6 votes

Client requested artwork to print themselves

This is probably a personal matter. And you're best off agreeing to it, in no uncertain terms, because this will make it clear that you're not afraid of competition, at all. You can't know the ...
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5 votes

How do I treat requests for work for causes that go against my personal principles?

If you are a freelance designer, it's entirely up to you. You can tell them outright that you choose to not promote the ideology, or you can simply say that your current workload doesn't allow for you ...
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  • 3,611
5 votes

Downloading a commercial font from a free source. Would that make an issue?

If the font is being redistributed illegally, you're still liable for using it without a valid licence. The probability of getting caught depends on how you use it, but it is still illegal.
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  • 7,136
4 votes

Is it appropriate to use lower quality design to make a product look cheap?

Old question I know.... There's a saying among those in direct mail and sales design... "Ugly Sales" It is often the case that a design which is less "high-brow" has a better ...
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  • 197k
4 votes

Is it appropriate to use lower quality design to make a product look cheap?

Short answer yes. This is really about branding and continuity. If the style of the brand is lower level, discount, goofy sort of things, Gorgeous marketing won't be as effective. If the pieces don'...
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4 votes

Is it appropriate to use lower quality design to make a product look cheap?

I think that certain points have to be taken into consideration, here. What is 'good design'? I believe that it is a contextual issue. Good design is the ability of the designer to draw people in to ...
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4 votes

How do I treat requests for work for causes that go against my personal principles?

I'll offer some counter-arguments. How would I feel if someone denied me service because of my background or heritage? Not good. So why would I ever deny someone else service? That doesn't bridge ...
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  • 22.9k
4 votes

How do I treat requests for work for causes that go against my personal principles?

From a personal ethics point of view, something that works for me (after careful evaluation) is this simple principle: Would I use the product myself? If yes, I shouldn't have a problem working with ...
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  • 26.1k
3 votes

How do I treat requests for work for causes that go against my personal principles?

That's hard to see what exactly is against your morality in this case. How bad it is? The "evils" of some are the "gods" of others... No one can say they'll never do any design that is helping a ...
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  • 13.5k
3 votes

Does graphic design have an ethical responsibility?

Do we have a responsibility, not only our clients but to the audience and society as a whole? Yes. Just as anyone in any profession does. And if so - at what point do the needs of the audience ...
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  • 49.8k
3 votes

Has anyone charged a percentage on printing costs?

Very old question.... If I cover printing for a piece, I charge the printing costs + 20% up front as a minimum. I've been burned by clients refusing to pay for printing due to some error they missed ...
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  • 197k
3 votes

How do I treat requests for work for causes that go against my personal principles?

I'm adding this because we did have a discussion about this and it might help others. Personally I would weigh the scales. If you do not think in any way you would be able to do a quality design ...
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3 votes

Graphic design job getting asked to copy other work

Obviously this has been answered multiple times already... But I have to put in my two cents. Firstly, has anyone mentioned copyright infringement? This link to Wikipedia denotes that copyright ...
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3 votes

Is it ethical to include template-based works in your portfolio?

I would say this depends on how you position yourself and the work. If your portfolio is based around the design part, then focus on that and only showcase your own designs. If instead you position ...
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3 votes
Accepted

How should I handle a client who is asking me to copy?

It can happen that you live in a place where western copyright laws are not respected and companies such as Nike or Coca Cola simply have no power to collect their money from individuals. The business ...
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2 votes

Client requested artwork to print themselves

In my experience(I'm with a printer), most designers I deal with are hired to design a project. They are paid to create a design and once complete, that design is the customers. The designers usually ...
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2 votes

Client requested artwork to print themselves

It depends on what your business strategy is, and thus none of us can give you a ultimate answer. Some designers never release any source files unless specifically agreed upon before the first ...
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  • 55.1k
2 votes

Should I give the editable/master file to the print shop people?

If you can't trust your print shop, find another. (This, from a prepress guy in a print shop.) Sometimes prepress needs your editable "source" file or "live" file to adjust/repair things for output. ...
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2 votes

Is it ethical to include template-based works in your portfolio?

It's a scam if you let someone to think that you have created this from scratch. When the truth is revealed, you're stamped. Be sure that it's clearly shown what was got from the outside source and ...
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