Being a designer isn’t easy. I think any designer would say the same, at times the general day to day running of being a designer can leave you feeling happy, sad or ecstatic. I would say there is usually no happy medium of the good, bad and ugly times. Mood swings, clients and designers block can ruin a day yet sunshine, paid invoices and free flowing creativity can make some of the best working days you can have.
There are somethings that I stand by, in life and in work and these are morals. I would say I am a very moral person, possibly too moral to some people but it’s how I live my life to make sure I’m keeping on the straight and narrow. There are six specific morals or values if you want to call them that I stick to and below I explain why you should use some morals/values in design even if they’re not the same as my own.
The design world is vast! I’d love to know how many people in the world classify themselves as designers whether it be graphic, web or product there are a lot of us. A value that I believe in quite strongly is selfless commitment, to put the industry and other designers before myself. I live for this industry, I love what all designers do and know how hard it is to get anywhere so whenever people ask something of me then I’ll do my best to help other designers out where I can.
Courage, we designers sure do need a lot of it. At times we need courage to get out of bed and answer emails never mind when it comes to getting feedback and presenting designs to clients. We also need the courage to stand up for what is right in our industry, to stand against spec work and put value back in what we do instead of pushing design auctions where the value of design is so low. We designers need the courage to do the right thing, day in day out.
We should stand up and be counted and show that we have the discipline to stay within one of the best industries in the world. Self-discipline is the best form of discipline and if we stick to this and our own personal high standards then we will gain the respect of our clients and peers. Stick to doing things right always and have the discipline to do so.
Integrity means being honest. Don’t cheat, lie and steal another designers work. If you’re inspired by it and want to use elements of it, ask the designer as you would probably be surprised about the answer you receive. All it takes is a little bit of respect and a lot of back-bone to stand up and be counted and having some integrity.
What goes around, comes around. You wouldn’t cause trouble on your own doorstep now would you? Help people out, there are A LOT of people in our industry who are just starting out and need that helping hand to get them on their way. Be kind to one another and believe me, in time something will happen where you remember that time you were loyal to your own and gave that aid to someone who needed it.
Respect for Others
We deserve to be treated fairly and it starts within. We should have respect for everyone including our clients. We should not determine that some people should be treated differently because they’re not ‘one of us’, we should treat everyone as we would like to be treat yourself.
The main morals and values I stand by are those that ensure I’m free to do what what I know works in each project. Ensuring that a client isn’t going to take advantage, or overlook your input. A certain amount of freedom and creativeness is essential for any project I work on. I try, as much as I can, to give myself a new challenge with every new project. I’m always trying things I’ve not tried before, whether they work or not. Working with a client that respects your role and gives you room for experimentation is what we all hope for with each new client, but there are exceptions and varying levels of freedom. I try not to get involved in projects where I feel that I won’t be given the time of day to explain, educate or put my point across. You don’t need to take on every project that get’s put through to you. For me it’s all about ensure that you get the respect you need, and if you’re not feeling that from a client you don’t need to sacrifice your own integrity and personality just to please them.
I have some morals and values I always keep in mind when deciding what work to take on or turn away. I’ve actually turned away a number of high-paying projects because I want to stay true to my own personal beliefs. For instance, I turn away any work for religious organisations. And of course I’m always cautious about projects that may discriminate or harm certain groups of people. I think that goes without saying.
The morals and values that I stand by is to be totally transparent with my work and clients. I personally cannot stand people who fabricate the truth, so I am totally honest and upfront with clients straight off the bat.