Sandstorm Student Center

Sandstorm Design launched the Sandstorm Student Center (SSC) in 2003 for students and working adults interested in learning more about marketing and web design firms and a career in the design industry. A totally free service, we invite you to ask us a question, review FAQs from students, and get advice on landing a job, internship or freelance assignment.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How do you design for clients that promote beliefs other than your own?

For example, if I am a vegetarian how do I design a website for good ol' Micky D?

This issue has come up two times in my design career.

I was once called to work at an agency on their "cigarette" account. It was great work and even better pay. I don't smoke, nor agree with the advertising directed towards teens (this was when Joe Cool was still for teens). That day I turned it down and made the decision that I personally couldn't do it.

However, a copywriter I know very well was asked to write the entire web site for a large meat production plant. She is a vegetarian and has been since she was 13. She took the work. When she got to the plant she got the tour of the slaughter house and of the meat production. She then had to spend hours writing about *yummy* meat.

How did she do it? Just like anything else -- she researched her target market, learned about the industry, and took her personal emotion out of the project. When you design for a client, it's for the client, not yourself.

There is a good chance you will be faced with something like this in your design career. There is no right or wrong answer. It's a personal decision. I lost out on a big project and some money, and I have no regrets. And neither does the copywriter I know.

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