Have you engaged in harmful design?
This is the kind of challenge that may frame this issue best. What are we really willing to do when such an opportunity comes between our professional aspirations and our personal values? Through the glass of history, we are able to make such issues seem overly simple and clear; however, when faced with these decisions in real life it’s hard to not feel more conflicted.
Ask yourself honestly. What will you say if McDonald’s, big oil, or a major clothing-label that employs sweat-shop labour comes knocking? It’s easy to answer quickly; but really, think about this one. Pretend that work has been a little slow over the past months and your household expenses are getting pinched as a result. Let’s up the ante a bit to make it interesting. Let’s make believe that this client is willing to hand-over full creative control, will impose no budgetary limitations on the printing of the effort, and will make available funds that ensure that you will not have to take on any other work for the year. Is it still as easy a call?
This comes down to us. Do we toe the line?