For far too long the design industry has, along with many other industries, struggled to find its identity and place in the business world. How do we as designers establish respect and value for our skills? Furthermore and most importantly, how do we as designers educate and help others understand the distinction between what it is WE do as opposed to the countless others who claim to do what we do? The design industry is hardly the first to struggle with this issue; every industry has to some extent or another struggled with and found solutions.
The one constant in any successful industry is a clear distinction between those that can be considered “professionals” and everyone else. We all know what it means when we hear that someone is a professional. With that label comes an understanding and, more importantly, an expectation of not just the result but of the entire process. Quite simply, professionals are accountable not only to their clients but also to themselves and their craft.
Ever since the creation and increased access granted through the computer and through desktop publishing, the design industry has been nothing short of the Wild West of America in the 1800s. To put it not too lightly, chaos would be a welcomed improvement.
Enter,Andy Rutledge and his treatise on Design Professionalism.
Following up on this all-too-desperately-needed document, Andy has taken the next huge leap toward a distinguishable ‘design professional’ with the creation of The Academy of Design Professionals.
Membership to The Academy is voluntary and is a privilege. Members are asked not to just pledge, but also “to uphold, promote and uncompromisingly adhere to the standards set forth in The Academy’s Code of Professional Conduct.”
I hereby pledge my dedication to the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, and competence in design practice and promise to uphold the spirit and letter of the Code of Professional Conduct through consistent practice and habitual reflection on my actions.
Signed: James D. Thompson a/k/a pixelneer