The Designer’s Oath

Designer Badges

As designers, we spend a lot of time creating standard guides for our clients. But, what of our own standards? And ethics in this profession? As the reach and influence of the designer grows, the more we should consider our practices and their effect.

After discussing this with Duane King, and a bit of back-and-forth thinking about the responsibilities of our profession, we decided a short, concise declaration of purpose and guidelines seemed to make the most sense. It could clearly define the ethical practice of our craft for the better understanding of all parties involved: designer, client and audience. Conveniently, we already had a great example of such a statement: the Hippocratic Oath. So, we decided to create a variation of it that would be more applicable to our profession.

You may notice that the word “audience” is used many times when you would expect to see the word “client.” Ultimately, we believe the highest allegiance of a visual communicator belongs to their client’s (or their own) audience. When communicating messages to our audience, we ask for their attention, consideration and trust. We should be so kind as to reciprocate that gift with something of great value, truth and dependancy.

  1. To teach design to the sons and daughters of my teachers and to continue learning.
  2. To practice design to the best of my ability for my clients.
  3. Never to do deliberate harm to or annoy the audience for anyone else’s interest.
  4. To communicate messages worthy of the audience’s attention.
  5. To keep the good of the audience as the highest priority.

Maxing Out Your Triangle

Maxing Out Your Triangle

I find that most people take on new jobs, projects and hobbies for three reasons: To learn something new, to pay the bills, or because they love doing it. These three things fulfill some of our very basic needs—they give us stability, excitement, ways to contribute and opportunities to grow. If you’re with me so far, then allow me to present the love-growth-cash triangle.



A merry band of typeface provocateurs is styling down to the letter. Find out more about House Industries in Issue 129 of Fast Company.

Font or Typeface?

Font or Typeface

There’s a great post and discussion on FontFeed by Yves Peters that explains the importance of speaking the same language when using typographic terms. Since these terms have evolved over time and seen several transitions in technology they tend to be interpreted in varying ways.