Social Responsibility & Graphic Design Survey! :)

Hi there!
Calling all graphic designers!!
I am a Graphic Design Student at University, currently doing an essay requiring primary research on the perspective of social responsibility from graphic designers. I would really appreciate it if you could take 5 minutes to complete my survey!
Thanks!! :))

not sure how I can add a link for you guys? Anyone able to help? :slight_smile:

The forum software doesn’t allow new members to post links — it’s an anti-spam measure. Since you’re not a spammer, I’ve bumped up your user level by a notch, so you should be able to link to your survey now.

Thank you !! Here’s the link: Social Responsibility in Graphic Design

I question your choice of survey target. This survey should be directed at clients who require graphic designers to realize their projects.

If a producer of harmful food (fattening, cancer-causing, say) contacts me, I can see only two choices: accept, or decline. I will not start a debate about social responsibilities with this potential client. Since I need to put food on the table, declining a project is socially irresponsible to my family.

“Theirs not to reason why; Theirs but to do and die.”

Many choices are more nuanced than your survey might assume.

If I work for an ad agency that takes on a client whose products or views I disagree with, do I refuse to work on it? Probably not, considering that I’d be imposing my personal views on my employer, hurting co-workers in the process, and endangering my own employment.

On the other hand, if I work as a freelancer and am contacted by that same client, I’d have a much freer hand at turning them down.

Three or four years ago, I was contacted by a white supremacist organization. Before we even got to the point of them telling me what they had in mind, I turned them down. Surprisingly, they said they understood and wished me the best. Why they called me, I haven’t a clue.

I’m a lifelong vegetarian and certainly don’t hunt. I’m also in the U.S. and support sensible limitations on and licensing requirements for gun ownership. Even so, I’ve taken on projects funded by the National Rifle Association (NRA) promoting gun safety courses. I almost always disagree with the NRA on gun-related and hunting issues, but I don’t want hunters to accidentally shoot themselves or others, so I felt a gun safety course was something I could support. I also used to own a popular hunting and fishing forum. I justified it with the same rationale — it was a chance to support safe and responsible approaches to those activities.

I guess what I’m saying is that much of your survey depends on yes or no answers to questions that lend themselves more accurately to something in between.

Hi there,
thanks for taking the time to do my survey!

I totally understand what you’re saying - and that’s totally the point of the survey! A big part of the argument in my essay is understanding that as a graphic designer it is not possible in many situations to decline work and therefore not the designers responsibility. Hence why I will reference in my essay the faults in the sustainable development goals put forward by the united nation as the goals will 9 times out of 10 be contradicting themselves.

My essay is discussing the way graphic designers approach these situations, not clients. So your reply is actually very helpful to me because I fully agree with your points.

The survey also is to not just freelance graphic designers but also companies that have an established business and whether it would potentially harm their brand reputation, taking on projects that could be seen as harmful to society, such as this campaign for example; Are you beach body ready? Controversial weight loss ad sparks varied reactions | US news | The Guardian

Thank you for your reply, very appreciative :))

Hi there,
Thanks so much for taking my survey!!! :)))

This response is very helpful to me! And thank you for the feedback on my survey! I totally understand that every situation is different so having yes or no questions is hard to know what to respond so I will take this feedback on board for when I write my analysis on the survey.

I also find very interesting your examples you provided just now, they are very thought provoking and demonstrate further how each situation is different and as designers, there are circumstance where we may be in a position to turn down work, or actually not be able to do anything about it.

Once again, I thank you for your time, and every point you’ve mentioned is very handy for my analysis & my future work. :))

I would add that as designers, we often do not have the choice as to which project to prioritise. I have no power to choose the projects that I work on, but if I have any concerns about a particular client, I can discuss this with my boss. The decision is ultimately hers, although we share a lot of the same values. We have done work for some very dodgy clients, but we have turned away several - I would estimate 5-6 in the last 10 years or so.

You mentioned the Unitied Nations Sustainable Development goals.
Are we all talking about the same thing here?
Because I don’t see anything contradictory in that list of 17 things. What I do see, often gets me into trouble if I mention it though, LOL.
But anyway, maybe later I’ll have a look at your survey and see what on earth you might be talking about.

I’ve looked through the list of 17 goals, and I’m pretty sure a good number of our clients are in breach or actively working against some of these.

1 No Poverty; I’ve done work for clients who pay minimum wage or less

3 Good Health and Well-Being; I’ve done work for fast food companies that aggressively promote unhealthy food

5 Gender Equality; Most large corporations and a good proportion of small businesses still pay women less than men for the same work

6 Clean Water and Sanitation and
14 Life Below Water; Water companies I’ve done work for are deliberately polluting the river systems in order to maximise profit

If we started to refuse to do work for clients in breach of any of these goals, we would be severely out of pocket. I’m not sure what the answer is here.

I really don’t think that it’s the designer’s responsibility to research potential clients for breaches of these development goals, but it’s good to be aware of the compromises we make every day. Maybe change starts with that.

Thank you for your message very helpful & insightful! :))

Hi everyone!!!

If you have not yet done my survey I’d love for you to quickly do it - it would be a massive help for my Uni work and will only take you 5 mins!! :))

Here’s the link: Social Responsibility in Graphic Design

Thank you guys!! :)))

Any final submissions for my survey would be greatly appreciated! :)))

I’m certain that you have not thought about this: What about social responsibility to include intellectual property (IP) laws regarding fonts? If you copy with little difference another font then have you broken your social responsibilities? Do IP laws count as social responsibility?

In particular, I am looking for someone to create a font based on then introduction of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” The closest I can find is “Bad Script”.