Let's look at some of the biggest questions that this project has been tackling with

right from the very beginning.


What is ethics in design?


This is the question I get the most, and it’s one that I don’t think I’m qualified to answer yet. Nevertheless, I have referred to my research and formulated an answer that makes the most sense to me.

Ethics in design is deciding if you’d accept a well-paying project marketing cigarettes to children when you’re broke.

Ethics in design is deciding between selling your client five ads with average ideas or one ad with a brilliant idea.

Ethics in design is deciding between publishing the same booklet in a super stylish eight page layout or in a slightly crammed four page layout.

Ethics in design isn’t just about what is right and wrong. It’s about being able to justify your own actions to yourself.

What gives you, a student designer, the right to attempt at defining a code of ethics for the Singaporean graphic design industry?


I recognize that I don't. Which is why very early on my creative process, I saw the need to turn this into a social project. The eventual manifesto has to be a collaborative effort across Singaporean designers from varied backgrounds. I recognize that I don’t have years upon years of industry experience, but at least if I can get those who do to work with me, then that counts for something.

It's very possible that this project may not be a wild success in terms of coming to a consensus on an ethical code that Singaporean designers can agree upon. But if I've at least shed some light on these considerations to designers who would otherwise not have thought about them, then I consider this project to be have been reasonably successful.

Why is everything in black & white?


To cut costs. “Ethics for the Starving Designer” is funded by a starving designer.

A social project such as this would require many things to be produced, such as namecards, pamphlets and posters. Cutting it down to B&W easily halves the cost of printing.

It's also a fun challenge to make aesthetically pleasing work with only B&W.

Will this project be conducted in an ethical manner?


No designers, professional or otherwise, were hurt in the making of this project.

(Bad) jokes aside, there are quite a few considerations when it comes to being ethical in a research project.

Obvious ones aside - no research material will be fabricated or misused. Unless explicitly given permission, transcripts of interviews will be kept confidential.

All attempts will be made to ensure that the research conducted is not biased, in that I will do my best to interview students, professionals and lecturers from varied organizations. If I feel like I am unable to achieve a sort of balance (Like I have only been able to interview 20 LASALLE students but only 1 NAFA student), it will be explicitly stated.

Wherever possible, I’ll do my best to not waste paper. But to avoid printing entirely is impossible, I am an undergraduate student with grades to aspire for after all!

I will credit all persons and resources that have been helpful in the execution of this project.

And finally, I will to the best of my ability ensure that all softwares, types and other resources that will be used for this project are either free or legally obtained.




Send them to david.goh@awesome.sg!


Big, big thanks to...


...Both Joselyn and Stanley Lim for their guidance, both of whom are some of the most wonderful lecturers I’ve ever met. (Yes, in case you’re wondering, they’re still in the process of grading me)

..My classmates at LASALLE for their wonderful critiques so far.

...The designers that have agreed to let me interview them. It has been a real honour, and I appreciate your support!

...Font Squirrel for amassing some of the greatest, most beautiful free fonts on the Internet!

...Google Documents for making my life so much easier.

...My non-designer friends who had to suffer me ramble on about a topic they have no interest in.

Royalty-free resources used...
Lobster Font
Crimson Font
Otama.ep Font
Ostrich Font
Wisdom Script
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