Education of ethics

Alongside a code of ethics, as identified by Steven McCarthy (2010) and Kane (2010), education is fundamental in influencing ethics in graphic design.

As University of Minnesota lecturer McCarthy discusses in his article, “Who’s Responsible?” (2010):

“Educators should be the first to address graphic design’s fuzzy disciplinary borders, and not merely treat graphic design as the job that one gets paid to do.”

The article compiles information from educational conferences in graphic design, reiterating the significance of education and highlighting flaws of self-proclaimed responsible designers. The education of ethics is often ill-considered, due to the external perspective of graphic design as moralistically simple.

Additionally, the accelerated industry expansion through self-taught skills further increases the necessity of accessible, engaging information.

Education resources available:


Few universities offer a comprehensive ethics element of both undergraduate and postgraduate studies in design. In addition, self-taught designers will not come into contact with such resources as a course of their design education.


Sources of ethical education to non-university educated designers require an initial interest in the subject of moral ethics to pursue. This naturally presents the same problem as the code of ethics, that the most unethical designers are unlikely to search for these resources.

However for those in pursuit of ethics in graphic design resources are available both electronically, through seminars and in written publications.

Go to next section: Conclusion

McCarthy, S., 2010. Who’s Responsible? Eye Magazine, [online] Available at: htp:// [Accessed 19th December 2012].

Kane, E.M., 2010. Ethics in Graphic Design: A Call to Arms for an Undergraduate Course. MFA. Savannah College of Art and Design.


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