Codes of ethics

Code of ethics and codes of practice or conduct is a set if guidelines for professions their selected industry. Codes ‘send a clear message about the behavior that is expected of people working in the industry, and to provide an institutional standard against which unprofessional behavior can be Judged’ (Rush 2012) In professions like law and medicine codes of ethics and codes of practice have been around for years, they have helped form the standard for these professions.

These codes are regarded as a set of rules that every practitioner is expected to follow. Not following these odes can see a practitioner banned from practicing their profession. However in the creative industries, (which many a relatively new) these codes are rather more relaxed viewed, they are seen as a set of guidelines rather than a strict set of rules. You cannot be stopped from practicing if you do not follow the codes, although you may be frowned upon heavily, or banned from institution associations.

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Codes of practice and codes of ethics are developed by a group of industry practitioners, debating how they should be represented in the industry, and what they believe is vital. GAGA code of ethics is a basic outline of the industry standards for graphic designers. I find the code quite vague, much of it is open for interpretation egg. ‘shall be fair in the criticism of another designer’s work. (GAGA 2007). What is fair?

What is fair for one person might seen unfair for another, being fair also is based on how much information you have are you Just seeing the end product, do you know anything about the designer, or their process. This part of the code need to, include that although critiquing others work is part of the design process it should not cause ND offense or harm to the designer personally, and the critiquing should be solely based on the aesthetic of a project.

The GAGA code has guideline for how to act ethically towards a client or another designer, but it fails to mention any ethical responsibility to society. As graphic designers the aim of our work is to communicate with an audience (public) so shouldn’t the code of ethics include your ethical responsibilities to this audience? P. Mini (2006) proposed amendment to the GAGA code ‘The Designer’s main concern must be to create communications that are helpful to audiences…. That meet their needs with dignity and respect.

Designers must recognize that their work contributes to the wellbeing of the general public, particularly in regard to health and safety and must not consciously act in a manner contradictory to this wellbeing. . That intentionally misleads or confuses must be viewed as a Communication…. Negative reflection on the profession as a whole. ‘ I think this statement would adequately outline designers ethical responsibilities to the public. Designers create messages to communicate with society, if we are doing these unethically, with no regard to the audience of these messages, then there is potential to cause a lot of arm and offense.

from Nandarnold

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