"We have a responsibility to ensure we are contributing to the betterment of society, not the destruction of it."
Raphael Roake: How do you, if at all, navigate ethics in your practice?
Chrisopher Doyle: We have a very simple approach. We have a list of industries that we won't engage/work with. We also research every client we do take on to ensure we understand their culture, their product and their impact on the world.
RR: Do you think we (as designers) have a responsibility to consider and challenge things such as the ethics behind the companies / products / services we engage with?
CD: Yes, absolutely. Whether it's design or advertising—whatever you wanna call it—we are essentially helping businesses to sell ideas and products. We are directly linked to the visibility and success of a business. We have a responsibility to ensure we are contributing to the betterment of society, not the destruction of it.
RR: Are there any cases of this happening in your practice or in the wider industry that you thought were interesting or different?
CD: Not in our practice as yet, no. In a previous role I was asked to work on the rebrand of a church though and I refused. It was interesting. Quite an uncomfortable situation.
RR: How far do we push that with clients or bosses?
CD: As far we feel we should. I think it's about not entering into relationships that are questionable in the first place. As an employee I just couldn't do it. It felt right saying no, despite the challenges that came with it.
RR: And maybe any advice for a overly idealogical young design student? Or any other thoughts you have on the topic.
CD: Being idealogical is great. Certainly don't worry about being 'overly' ideological. My advice is to do good work, for work for good people, who run good businesses and get paid. It's not easy to consistently nail all four but that's our goal.