Amidst the feline army, I curled up on the sofa this afternoon, to finally finish reading Lucienne Roberts' publication GOOD: An Introduction to Ethics in Graphic Design, 2006.
An interesting read that presents a selection of opinions, from Ken Garland, Simon Eterson, Thomas Matthews, Deborah Szebeko of the magnificent ThinkPublic, Sheila Levrant de Bretteville and Pat Kahn to Daniel Eatock.
Truthfully, I was particularly taken by the inside front cover [of all things] - which captures an extensive collection of books and CDs, that [I can only imagine] are a selection of resources Roberts used as research for the discussion. Admittedly, to me, this image was the most personal visual used in the book - an authors touch that visually frames an introduction to the complex subject that is design ethics and [creative] social responsibility.
Starting at the beginning of 'Early Civilisation' (p.21), Roberts takes the discussion through History, Philosophy (p.34), Law (p.44) and Politics (p.58), to a series of discussions with a collection of credible designers (p.113-192) - ultimately questioning what it means to be a "good designer". I was taken by Paula Scher's response, to which she responded: "I don't understand how the word good is used here. Am I a well-behaved Graphic Designer? Am I socially conscious designer?"
For all designers interested in their work being more ethically or socially responsible, this introductory text offers plentiful food for thought over what is really takes to be a "good designer". The text is a great introduction to design ethics, that I feel, should be mandatory reading for todays designers and undergraduates alike.
On the topic of designer ethics, I came across an interesting article entitled In Search of Ethics in Graphic Design, 2004 by Paul Nini, which I would also recommend reading.