Ethics and Moral Reasoning in Design Response and Final Post

Response Post

1. What additional information would you use to support your classmate’s connection between their research and the standards outlined by the AIGA? Cite your source(s).

Additional information is to be wary of the client-is-always-right philosophy. It is the designer’s duty to take care of the client but more specifically “it is the role of the ad agency to develop trust for the brand” (Snyder, 2011, p. 481). The client usually knows what problem they want to solve but they do not always know the solution. In the case of the Carl’s Jr. ads, the owner claims that the ads saved a lot of jobs but the fast food chain, “brought in $3.6 billion in sales in the United States last year[, 2018], down from recent years” despite understaffing restaurants and underpaying employees (Hsu, 2019). And often the ads were banned from television and cost them business. After one commercial stated women were not man enough for their burgers, it resulted in a backlash where one person commented, “I wanted to try this burger before seeing the ad. But it was before. Considering I am a female, it seems I won’t be capable of enjoying it for real, because I have ovaries” (Harris, 2014). While the ads gave the brand publicity, it did not seem to translate into sales. The client said they wanted the racy ads but what they wanted in reality was to promote sales so that they could compete with bigger chains like McDonald’s and Burger King. By always agreeing with the client the agency is sidestepping its responsibility “to be the ‘objective outsider’ advising the client, if necessary challenging long-held, tenaciously guarded perspectives and behaviors that may be operating to the client’s detriment” (Christians, Fackler, & McKee, 2017, p. 240). So, while a designer’s morals may clash with a client’s it is still the designer’s duty to bring it up because the public may have the same concerns.

 

2. What judgment would you make about the persuasiveness of your classmate’s statements? Explain.

The arguments utilize storytelling in an effective manner and provide a strong basis for persuasion. By integrating the hypothetical story of “Ethical Vision” from Media Ethics: Cases and Moral Reasoning it strengthens Ashley’s own argument because “researchers suggest that beliefs changed as a result of a story may even grow stronger over time” (Huber, 2017). The arguments are strong because they are based on direct quotes from sources. This could be strengthened further by including more than one quoted source to specify details. Once the reader is hooked, the middle of the story, in this case argument, can begin informing the audience by loading them with context and detail. This needs to be done carefully though because “this is the time to provide your readers with enough information to set the stage, but not so much that every aspect is revealed” (Huber, 2017). Everything would be tied up in the conclusion which is done in Ashley’s arguments.

 

3. How would you prioritize the 3 guidelines from the AIGA that your classmate identified as being the most important? Explain.

I would prioritize your responsibility to the client, then to the public, and then to the environment/society. It is important to do right by the client because they are the ones footing the bill. Usually though, a designer has to consider the other two in order to do right by the client. Designers have a business of working with clients to promote their message but the clients themselves also have a business that involves working with the public in a symbiotic relationship. So, if the designer angers the public with their advertisement and turns them against the client, the designer is not really doing their job. In the case with Groupon and the ad that made light of Tibetan hardships, thousands of consumers turned against them, hurting the brand’s image. The designer is meant to develop trust for the brand and that trust “cannot be built by advertising that is viewed as improper or unethical by the consumer” (Snyder, 2011, p. 481). Because of this, when designing, the designer is not working with just one party, they are working with two. The designer needs to “strive to be sensitive to cultural values and beliefs and engages in fair and balanced communication design that fosters and encourages mutual understanding” (AIGA, 2009, p. 35).

 

Final Post

Specifically, what did you learn from this discussion assignment that you will take with you when going forward in your career as a media designer?

I learned the most from the case studies. Learning where others have failed or how others dealt with ethical issues gave me an idea of what issues I may face and how to approach them. This research also showed me how ethics are more than just doing the right thing. If a designer paints a brand as uncaring or unethical, it impacts how the public will treat it or if they will distance themselves from it. In the case I studied about the “Wal-Marting Across America” blog, it talked about the ethical implications, but it also talked about how to make up for these stumbles. It discussed how to placate the public long enough to gather information and how to create an effective apology. Since I am human, mistakes are always a possibility. So, being able to apologize and fix relations will be a useful skill to keep under my sleeve. It would also be handy with working on brands that have made stumbles in the past.

 

References

AIGA. (2009). Design Business Ethics. New York, NY: Richard Grefé, AIGA. Retrieved from https://www.scribd.com/document/47555891/Design-Business-and-Ethics#fullscreen&from_embed

Christians, C. G., Fackler, M., & McKee, K. B. (2017). Media Ethics: Cases and Moral Reasoning (10th ed.). New York ; London: Routledge, Taylor et Francis Group.

Harris, J. (2014, April 9). Carl’s Jr. thinks women can’t handle its meaty burgers in new ad. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from https://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish/la-dd-carls-jr-women-cant-handle-burgers-20140409-story.html

Huber, A. M. (2017, November 22). Telling the Design Story. New York, NY: Routledge. Retrieved from https://ce.safaribooksonline.com/book/design/9781351849210

Hsu, T. (2019, November 13). Carl’s Jr.’s Marketing Plan: Pitch Burgers, Not Sex. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/13/business/media/new-carls-jr-ads.html

Snyder, W. (2011). Making the Case for Enhanced Advertising Ethics. Journal of Advertising Research51(3), 477–483. doi: 10.2501/jar-51-3-477-483

Ethics and Moral Reasoning in Design Initial Post

1. What ethical and or moral issues in the practice of media design did you uncover in your research paper for this course that connect with the standards of professional practice and business expectations for a professional media designer as outlined in the AIGA publication?

One issue involved doing no harm to the community. AIGA (2009) states that a designer “shall not knowingly do or fail to do anything that constitutes a deliberate or reckless disregard for health and safety of the communities” (p. 35). This is not always a clear-cut issue though, as shown in the case of Truvada. Truvada is a drug developed to help prevent contracting HIV. It is criticized for both advertising and not advertising enough. The drug could lower the risk of thousands of people. Because it only protects against HIV though, the worry was that it was “encouraging the continuation of unsafe sex and most likely contributing to the spread of other sexually transmitted infections” (Christians, Fackler, & McKee, 2017, p. 167). So, Gilead Sciences was left with a conundrum of how to get the message to those that needed it without accidently promoting unsafe sex practices. Their solution was to aim their marketing efforts on HIV specialists rather than primary care physicians. Another issue was about being clear and truthful to the public. There was a blog called “Wal-Marting Across America” where the author interviewed and photograph Wal-Mart employees. The site “appears to be a grassroots effort in support of Wal-Mart but is actually a front group created by Edelman”, the public relations firm that was working for Wal-Mart (Burns, 2008, p. 46). This is unethical because it tricks the public into reading an advertisement while disguising it as something else. This violates AIGA’s guideline where a designer “shall communicate the truth in all situations and at all times; his or her work shall not make false claims nor knowingly misinform” (AIGA, 2009, p. 34).

 

2. How could the issues you uncovered in your research paper have been avoided by following the AIGA guidelines?

The main solution to the problems that were found could be solved if the designers remembered their duty to others. In one case, a commercial for Groupon advertised that despite the turmoil in Tibet, they make an amazing fish curry and customers of Groupon can get a deal on it. This violates the guideline that states a “designer shall strive to be sensitive to cultural values and beliefs and engages in fair and balanced communication design that fosters and encourages mutual understanding” (AIGA, 2009, pg. 35). If the designers that made this commercial had taken into consideration the hardships of the Tibetan people, then it would not have received the backlash that it got. This commercial also failed at being an effective ad because, “it is the role of the ad agency to develop trust for the brand…however, [that trust] cannot be built by advertising that is viewed as improper or unethical by the consumer” (Snyder, 2011, p. 481). So, this agency failed in not only its duty to society but also in its duty to the client. In the case of The Philadelphia Inquirer they failed in their duty to other creatives, their employees. In its glory days, the paper had achieved many accolades and awards. Employees were said to “talk, wistfully, of the possibilities that awaited them each day they came to work” (Christians, Fackler, & McKee, 2017, p. 50). As the paper became popular, stakeholders wished to increase their profits which meant a decrease in the staff. When changes in the industry and the city came, they were ill prepared to deal with them because they did not have the manpower. If the stakeholders had more respect for their employees, they perhaps could have withstood the changing environment better.

 

3. Which 3 guidelines from the AIGA stood out to you as being the most important that you will be mindful of as you advance in your career as a media designer?

The first guideline is to “not knowingly do or fail to do anything that constitutes a deliberate or reckless disregard for the health and safety of the communities” (AIGA, 2009, p. 35). This one stood out to me because before the research paper I thought this would be the most obvious and easiest one to uphold. After reading about the case with Truvada though, I learned that doing the most good does not always have the clearest solution. The second guideline is to not undermine another designer. This struck a chord because of a book I read previous to this class that stated the “foundation of all successful design is solid relationships, whether that’s with your client and his/her team, with illustrators, photographers, or copywriters you work alongside, or the designers you choose to pass leads onto” (Airey, 2012). This is part of a warning not to waste a fellow designer’s time with a bad client/job or insult other designers. A lot of this business is built on connections and if we burn bridges, we could ruin our careers. The third guideline is that a “designer does not work on assignments that crate potential conflicts of interest” (AIGA, 2009, p. 38). This matters to me because Wichita is the air capital so there are a lot of aviation related companies. My father works for FlightSafety International and I have helped him with proprietary work at the company. So, when I apply to other aviation companies, I have to be careful how much information I divulge when explaining the work that makes me qualified. Saying the wrong thing could ruin my reputation and get my father in trouble.

 

References

AIGA. (2009). Design Business Ethics. New York, NY: Richard Grefé, AIGA. Retrieved from https://www.scribd.com/document/47555891/Design-Business-and-Ethics#fullscreen&from_embed

Airey, D. (2012, November). Work for Money, Design for Love. Pearson Education (us). Retrieved from https://ce.safaribooksonline.com/book/design/9780133052794

Burns, K. S. (2008). The Misuse of Social Media: Reactions to and Important Lessons from a Blog Fiasco. Journal of New Communications Research3(1), 41–54. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.oclc.fullsail.edu:81/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ufh&AN=43818148&site=ehost-live

Christians, C. G., Fackler, M., & McKee, K. B. (2017). Media Ethics: Cases and Moral Reasoning (10th ed.). New York ; London: Routledge, Taylor et Francis Group.

Snyder, W. (2011). Making the Case for Enhanced Advertising Ethics. Journal of Advertising Research51(3), 477–483. doi: 10.2501/jar-51-3-477-483

Legal Problems in Design Response & Final Post

Response Post

1. What additional kinds of legal problems can arise for media designers when they create content that incorporates images created by others, and how can they be avoided?

While using work from the public domain is the safest route and usually the best solution, there are some cases where you may have to use work that is not in the public domain. On bigger projects you may need to bring in other designers or if the client wants a website featuring their workplace or a work event you may need to bring in a professional photographer. As you state in your answer to the third question, these issues can be diverted with a clear and specific contract agreed to before the photoshoot. And while the photographer retains rights to the actual photo, you can still get some rights for your client. AIGA (2009) suggests adding a clause to the contract stating: “The photographer agrees not to license the design or images contained therein to competitors of the client” (p. 87). Gaining all rights to an image can be expensive but gaining production rights and protecting your client from competitive use can be enough.

 

2. What additional ways can media designers protect their own work from being used in other projects by their clients or by other designers, if that wasn’t the intention when creating the work?

Having a contract is a good way to protect yourself when working with a client but simply adding the copyright notice may not always be enough. Registering the design is required for legal actions but it also “allows the artist to make a record of the design and have that record held by a neutral party-the Copyright Office” (AIGA, 2009, p. 84). If you host images on a social media site, you should read their terms and conditions. Sites like Tumblr and Deviantart add clauses to their terms and conditions that give them some rights so they can use your work in thumbnails and suggestions. So, if a piece is “important enough to protect, it’s important enough to invest in that protection” (Weaver, 2017). The copyright notice is a good start, but official registration will give you even more protection.

 

3. What are some of the copyright issues to be concerned about when answering an RFP that haven’t been identified by your classmate?

Setting up a contract ahead of time helps to establish expectations like you said but it can also weed out shady clients. A designer featured in Work for Money, Design for Love talks about how clients that balk at paying upfront often will not pay at all and if “they want you, they’ll pay, and standing your ground is much better than caving in and finding your ideas being implemented by your client, or another designer, without you seeing a dime” (Airey, 2012). If your potential client raises an issue against basic securities when you present the contract, then it can warn you of red flags and save you from a potential headache. This method works well if you are able to get a client to agree to a contract ahead of time. Some RFPs will have you competing against other designers and will not sign anything until they pick a designer to move forward with. While you want to layout the scope of the project, the price, and the relationship you don’t want to reveal your niche or secret sauce. The client can spot this secret sauce and ask other bidders if they can do it which “educates your competitors on what you do; and…gives the competitor the chance to say, ‘Sure we can do that!’ whether or not its people were actually planning to do that in their initial response” (Deeb, 2012). Depending on what information you divulge, it can either kill or maintain your competitive edge.

 

Final Post

Specifically, what did you learn from this discussion assignment that you will take with you when going forward in your career as a media designer?

The two main things I will take away from this assignment is what rights to secure for myself and my client and how to set up the paperwork. I knew going in that copyrights and usage rights can make collaborations a potential minefield. The resource from AIGA helped me understand how to best provide for my client without making them spend exorbitant amounts on buying the complete rights or using only public domain. The research for this assignment also helped me learn how to better deal with the paperwork side of it. Many of the sources I looked at had excerpts or examples of terms and conditions that I can apply to my own work. This will help me both better communicate with the client and protect myself and my work. I have saved the AIGA source in my bookmarks for future reference. For Work for Money, Design for Love and Creative Truth I have taken notes of pertinent parts and I am going to check to see if my local library has copies.

 

References

AIGA. (2009). Design Business Ethics. New York, NY: Richard Grefé, AIGA. Retrieved from https://www.scribd.com/document/47555891/Design-Business-and-Ethics#fullscreen&from_embed.

Airey, D. (2012, November). Work for Money, Design for Love. Pearson Education (us). Retrieved from https://ce.safaribooksonline.com/book/design/9780133052794.

Deeb, G. (2015, October 27). The 10 Things You Need to Know When Responding to RFPs. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/252061.

Weaver, B. (2017). Creative Truth. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. Retrieved from https://ce.safaribooksonline.com/book/career-development/9781317541554.

Legal Problems in Design Initial Post

1. What kinds of legal problems can emerge and in what ways can media designers avoid them when creating work that incorporates images created by the designer or acquired from other sources, including photographers and illustrators?

The main legal issues that occur are who owns what and how can they be used. The number one way to avoid issues is to make sure all parties involved have the same understanding and that everything is written down. This is especially important if a project changes along the way. Having specifications written down helps to settle disagreements and “if the changes aren’t written down, it is easier to forget exactly what was discussed or misinterpret what was intended” (AIGA, 2009, p. 91). Specifying what a client has ownership to is also important to protect the designer. This means writing out that they only have rights to the reproduction of the final work. In Creative Truth the author states that the reason for this “is that if you become known for a particular style, a past client could come after you for copyright infringement since you’ve turned that work over to them” (Weaver, 2017). So rather than giving the entirety of the rights to the client, licensing the project to them provides more protections because the piece never really stops being yours. It is just a case of how you are sharing it with them.

 

2. How can media designers protect their own work from being used in other projects by their clients or by other designers, if that wasn’t the intention when creating the work?

One protection is keeping native files. Native files essentially open up the tools and process to the client cutting the designer off from future work. Another issue with handing over native files is in disputes. Creative Truth warns of clients that pay with a credit card and dispute the charges once they have the files. They suggest to only hand over native files when the designer is “being compensated appropriately, and your contracts cover what can be done with the files” (Weaver, 2017). A practice that a designer suggests in Work for Money, Design for Love is to create a custom work agreement or contract. The designer was quoted as saying that having a custom contract is “an investment worth its weight in gold in terms of protecting you from those who have no integrity and would seek to exploit your work for their gain at your expense” (Airey, 2012). By working with a lawyer to create a custom contract it helps to create a physical acknowledgment that the designer, client, and anyone else involved are under the same understanding.

 

3. What are some of the copyright issues to be concerned about when answering an RFP for a potential client?

The main concern is about handing over an idea or design before a formal agreement has been made. Responding to an RFP with a contract is the best way to set up for a successful interaction. Weaver (2017) explains that Discovery, “is essentially a paid workshop with the client to determine the right response to each of their needs or project requirements”. Discovery helps to identify the actual client problem and then settle on a way to best achieve that. The proposal needs the client situation, a description of the scope of the work and specific objectives, the time frame, and at least a price bracket if not a fixed price. A proposal should respect “the fact that most clients are overwhelmed with information and frequently received voluminous proposals” and that anything done to “make it easier for the client to understand the way you will work together can only help you seal the deal and initiate a successful project” (Airey, 2012). Another issue is time frame. AIGA (2009) suggests adding an expiration clause that specifies how long the offer will remain valid. If a client sits on a proposal for a long period, the designer can change the agreement based on changes in their pricing or availability.

 

References

AIGA. (2009). Design Business Ethics. New York, NY: Richard Grefé, AIGA. Retrieved from https://www.scribd.com/document/47555891/Design-Business-and-Ethics#fullscreen&from_embed.

Airey, D. (2012, November). Work for Money, Design for Love. Pearson Education (us). Retrieved from https://ce.safaribooksonline.com/book/design/9780133052794.

Weaver, B. (2017). Creative Truth. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. Retrieved from https://ce.safaribooksonline.com/book/career-development/9781317541554.