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Ethical Question re: Designing for a Company

Discussion in 'Logo Design & Brand Identity Forum:' started by eneyekay, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. eneyekay

    eneyekay Member

    Hi guys, just wondering about opinions on this... I've been asked to design a logo for a company that makes knives, only thing is, these aren't kitchen knives if you know what I mean.

    Living in London I get to hear and read about knife attacks all the time, so I'm a bit aprehensive about creating a logo that will, for all intents and purposes, glorify carrying a weapon, particularly with the name of the company.

    Would you turn down around £300 to design a logo for such a company of ethical grounds, or does money rule for you? I mean right now the money could be good as we're having a loft extension built atm, so we're a little short... but ionno...

    any thoughts?
  2. Krey20

    Krey20 Senior Member

    This is a completely personal decision, and everyone will have their own opinion on what they would do.

    My general rule of thumb is that if I feel uncomfortable about something for any reason, it's probably not a good idea.
    I'd rather be able to sleep at night than have a bit of extra cash.

    To be asking the question in the first place I would say that you've already made up you mind not to do it.
  3. davewill

    davewill Senior Member

    tough call that nik, i can see how its a dilema for you. i think its a personal decision, but you have a great point about knife crime. if it would in any way encourage the use of knives (which is guess is the point of a company logo) then it would be difficult to justify making money from something so horrible.
    LilHotDoll live
  4. Anagoge

    Anagoge Senior Member

    It's about your own ethics really. I think if you feel the need to ask about it on here before accepting the work, then your conscience is telling you that it's probably not some work you will feel proud of in six months time. You may even feel worse when you hear about the next knife crime victim although I'm not for a second saying that you would contribute to it.

    Although I've never been in the position to do any sort of design work for a knife company, I think I would quite possibly turn it down based on the reasoning you give. I think it's the same for things like designing advertising for cigarettes or a range of other morally questionable materials.

    Let us know what you decide to do and why you've decided to do it.
  5. eneyekay

    eneyekay Member

    yea, I was already 90% certain I'm gonna turn it down. I don't think a name like "Statement" in a grafitti font written in the blade of a knife is a good message to send out. I think knife crime is disgusting and cowardly and I wouldn't want my work associated with it... the apparently the knives are just "show knives" like collectables...

    cheers for the feedback :)
  6. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Hi Nik,

    Interesting thread and question, on one hand it's easy to cast aside your own feelings against doing the job by saying 'If I don't design this logo, someone else will', but like the others have already rightly pointed out, you need to be happy with the work you're doing. I know as a business decision it's probably not the best to turn down the work, but at the same time working as a freelancer, that's one of the advantages, you can turn down clients.

    Would be interested to hear a bit more about the design brief, does this company and their name promote knives as a weapon or some kind of status symbol?!


    EDIT: Missed your reply, must have been typing at the same time, sounds like you're making the right choice on this one!
  7. eneyekay

    eneyekay Member

    'If I don't design this logo, someone else will'

    I was thinking that... but hey, maybe the logo they design will be *rubbish* and the font will be in Comic Sans?
  8. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    I was just saying that might be the way some people think on this, not saying it's the way I'd think :)
    & yes you never know!!
  9. mrp2049

    mrp2049 Senior Member


    I was reading this thinking, knives, guns, its not all bad, but that is unbelievable! I would be tempted to try and talk them round and explain that this approach to marketing and branding is some what unethical.

    Or you could design something using any random graf font, and add the tagline "Carry a knife. It makes you look cool!"
  10. eneyekay

    eneyekay Member

    Knife & Death
  11. mrp2049

    mrp2049 Senior Member


    I did some ideal goggling on knives, and this is for 'hunting'!
  12. is that for hunting Predators or Poseidon God of the Sea?
  13. eneyekay

    eneyekay Member

    I was gonna ask... on what planet do you hunt with that?
  14. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    no it's for hunting pirates silly, it's got skull and crossbones on it

    Might as well be sold a bat'leth if thats for hunting
  15. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    a quick google brought this up [​IMG]
    when was that a 'decorative' knife!

    Now I'll admit I like samurai swords purely due to the skill and art that is sometimes put into them but I can't say I'd be interested in half these decorative knives.
  16. berry

    berry Active Member

    Ethical problem..mmmm.............
    Smoking is not illegal but it kills,
    Drinking is not illegal but it kills
    Roller Skating is not illegal but it kills too.
    Wearing a Chelsea scarf on Totenham Court Road is not illegal but it could lead to you being killed.
    Where do you draw the line.
  17. mrp2049

    mrp2049 Senior Member

    I wouldn't mind one of them!
  18. Anagoge

    Anagoge Senior Member

    We all know you want to send the world to hell, Berry. :)
  19. mrp2049

    mrp2049 Senior Member

    better :p
  20. i'm sure he'd get a good price too :p

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