Elizabeth Maplesden

Member Type Non-member
Bio

As creative director of my own firm EMdash Design, I have worked with and captured the attention of nationally-known brands, as well as producing award-winning work. As a full-time designer at other firms, I have done the same. This is in addition to implementing the redesign of a magazine for a respected business school, and occasionally supervising other designers and interns.

My strengths are in print design, concepts, and branding. My abilities in this area are broad, ranging from art direction, editorial illustration, and photography to layout, design, and production. Additionally, my experience encompasses some writing and editing, as well as advertising design. I have some experience with multimedia and interactive design.

  • Elizabeth Maplesden commented on the article "We Thank You, Steve Jobs"

    The true innovators, visionaries, and entrepreneurs take the risks. Jobs was all three and showed us all that, although innovation isn't nice, nor is it pretty, going against the grain of the numbers to see things in new ways brings success. He had nine lives with respect to business. He didn't just innovate on the technological side, he exemplified the principles of what a successful brand could be. This he did, not just with witty commercials, but with the one thing any brand can't live without: a commitment to a good and well-defined product. (Hello Paul Rand, who coincidentally was hired to design the NeXT logo...) Since the introduction of the first Mac, what other tech company inspired such die-hard fans that drew from both the tech and non-tech sectors? Since when did any tech company truly have fans? The innovations he brought to print design, music, and video have been discussed thoroughly elsewhere. These, however, are secondary to his most important conceptual innovation (though he wasn't the first to think it): technology should become more human, not the other way around. For many people who design and program computers (convergent thinkers), this is a difficult idea (as they tend to think the way the computer does). So his ability to be both a convergent and a divergent thinker is rare. He accomplished human-centered technology by designing hardware and software that often took the straightest, most efficient routes to accomplish tasks and spoke an appealing visual language to its users. Aesthetics were always important to his creations. At some level, at least, he understood that the visual aspects of art are soothing and most human. His creations (not just the advertising) never talked down to its users, but instead became a friendly (and faithful) partner in whatever the user needed. These qualities combined reveal that Jobs was one of the rarest artists known: the technology artist. (Off the top of my head the only other one I can name might be Bob Moog, who designed the game-changing synthesizers of the same name. Can anyone think of others?) The technology artist transcends tasks and efficiency to bring out the best in us and enhance the expression of humanity in ways not previously possible. Jobs will certainly be missed.

  • Elizabeth Maplesden commented on the article "http://www.aiga.org/interior.aspx?pageid=3082&id=2098"

    More thanks to Ric for standing up for the No Spec position! The fundamental mistake most people make about design is treating it like a widget. A logo is not something one can buy off the shelf, nor it is a recycleable, interchangeable part. Of course there is a tangeable product at the end of the design process, but design (especially in branding) is mostly intangeable and abstract. It is based on a relationship built on the communication and understanding of mutual needs. Because much of the process is intangeable, those same people usually don't think they have to pay for what goes into creating an identity. Often this is just a misunderstanding of how the process works. But with a little education, we can inform clients and create a relationship that is mutually beneficial for all, rather than one-sided.

  • Elizabeth Maplesden commented on the article "http://www.aiga.org/interior.aspx?pageid=3082&id=2753"

    Matthew: Regarding #2: I thought the same thing about the document accomodating varying forms of government in different parts of the world. But whether we like it or not, America is governed by the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the right to free speech. If the specific four rights hadn't been named, it might not have been a problem, but since it's specific, we should be sure that something so inherent to creativity, and the lifeblood of our profession, is specified as well. Regarding #7: The government should not "take part in the spread and use of technology and information" in any way because it is a conflict with free speech. It's a slippery slope towards a central government controlling what can be said and who can say it, as well as what technology we can use. I do agree with you that just because you can say or do something doesn't mean you should. That's a judgement call for individuals to decide. However, the government should not have any part of deciding either, as it will lead to oppression. It's not the role or duty of the government, especially because what is proper or acceptable is so subjective. Regarding #8: I think what you said ("the laws [should] be fundamental enough that they can be applied anywhere") is better in concept than what is stated in #8. Ideally what you said is true of #8, but in reality, how will the document deal with cultures that don't respect or believe in the ownership of property or freedom of speech? Societies that don't believe in the ownership of private property are also not open or free societies, so again this renders the Principles a moot point (i.e., no free exchange of information.)

  • Elizabeth Maplesden commented on the article "http://www.aiga.org/interior.aspx?pageid=3082&id=2753"

    Mr. Jump: No one is "imposing" anything on the "international community." The article states that the purpose here is for the AIGA to come up with a framework for its own statements on intellectual property, using the Adelphi Principles as a guide. I don't know how closely they will follow the original document in forming its principles, but the purpose of the article (and the debate) is to see how closely they should. In fact, it is more the other way round: the Adelphi Principles is a broad international document that doesn't account for the specificities of our system. So maybe the best approach for this AIGA framework is to concentrate on the intellectual property laws in this country because clearly there are too many variables to consider when including everyone in the world. And it doesn't have to include the whole world: remember that the first A in AIGA is "American." Some things work better when they are smaller and more targeted. It's true of design, and it's true of this framework. That doesn't exclude future relationships with international entities. This is not a zero-sum game here. Also, part of the framework should include the balance between the rights of the owner and the rights of the user, to prevent excessive punishment or restriction and excessive freeloading on intellectual property. I don't understand how "the current state of intellectual property is no longer practically applicable." I also don't understand how laws "only serve to constrict...creativity" but you are advocating for a "system." Can you clarify that? Societies that don't allow private property ownership are not free and open for many reasons. Private property is far more than tangible objects. It encompasses intellectual property, and extends to our very persons and lives. How much further does one have to go from not allowing ownership of objects, to not allowing ownership of our work, to ultimately not allowing ownership of our own lives? What the state gives the state can take away! In fact, this concept is not even exclusive to the state: at a personal level, people need to mutually respect others' private property rights, or we have chaos and lawlessness. When we have chaos, we no longer have a "liveable society." I say this as a general point, and not as a reflection of the Adelphi Charter. No one society owns the "process of building houses" or ever will. In fact, this would be one of the abstract ideas that couldn't be protected by intellectual property laws (and already isn't!) We also don't need a "system of supporting creativity" because creativity, by its nature, is not a system! Creativity works its way around a system. It doesn't work because of a system. Intellectual property is not "irrelevant to society in general" or we wouldn't be debating it. But one's views on intellectual property is shaped by one's views on property in general. Forget the whole state/citizen relationship for a moment, and ask yourself the fundamental question: would you take money out of someone else's pocket? Your answer (to yourself, of course) will speak volumes on your personal views of ownership.

  • Elizabeth Maplesden commented on the article "http://www.aiga.org/interior.aspx?pageid=3082&id=2753"

    Mr. Swanson: Regarding #2: Many mistakenly believe that freedom of expression, as included in the 1st Amendment, regulates speech between private parties, when it actually regulates that the government cannot restrict the content of what is said or who can say it. When read in context with the other 1st Amendment guarantees of what the government can't restrict, this intention becomes clearer. My point was that there should be a provision in the Adelphi Charter to prevent the possibility of political censorship and suppression through stretching (abusing) the use/purpose of copyright laws. Another might think the Adelphi Principles already imply protection of speech, but if four "rights" are to be specified, the right to free speech should be specified. As with web design, redundancy is good. Regarding #7: My first point was that the only stimulative effect government policy can have is to have less government policy. It is not possible to have any government stimulus that doesn't require more regulations, forms, and bureaucracy. A "stated preference" is only words until it becomes a rule. Also, purely open-source software is not sold. Other software that incorporates some open-source technologies is sometimes sold, but technically you are only paying for the portion that is proprietary (the author doesn't have exclusive rights to the open-source portion.) My other point with regard to #7 is why is government involved in licensing open-source software at all? The rules of open-source technology, as it is now, is enforced by contract, not by patent law, via the end-user and developer license agreements included in such software. If government would own open-source software, and by #5 all code is not patentable, would that mean that government therefore owns all software? Remember that software is integral to the running of our daily lives. This brings me to something I did not address in my original remarks. Many items in #4 and #5 are already not copyrightable/patentable, such as abstract ideas. But computer code IS currently patentable under U.S. copyright law. Volunteering to contribute to an open-source project is one's own decision, and many open-source projects can make positive contributions. However, think about if we lived in a completely open-source software world. If, as in #5, computer code is unpatentable, how would software developers make a living? Forget profit motives for a second: how would the developer have money for survival? Necessarily, he/she would have to find another line of work to survive, which would take much of one's time, which would necessarily cut into the time to develop open-source technologies. So #4 combined with #5 have an anti-stimulative, anti-innovative effect. Also, there is the moral issue of a professional/intellectual body advocating that another profession should no longer have the right to own one's own work. Think if this same principle were applied to art and design! Would this organization be okay with developers telling designers that they should not be able copyright (and therefore own) their work, and that the government should create "a wide range of policies" to "license" design in order to create "open access"? Ideally, the state-run university might save money in your example, but the end product (the web-based journal system) is divorced from the process of getting the end product in place, which would likely outweigh cost savings in one area. Here's the end, but what are the means? (That's not to say in your specific example that the system shouldn't be created, but that is a separate issue.) Of course, there would be approvals (and changes) all the way in every stage. If the system is ever finished, a new proposal would probably occur, as it would take so long to complete, the technology may be outdated! How much money was really saved? Inherent in design thinking is not just how something works, but how it doesn't work. If it can succeed at its intention, how can it fail at its intention? And if we know how it will fail, how can we prevent or minimize that? Everything must fail at some point. "Too big to fail" is impossible. At the very least, we need to know if where it fails is relevant to its purpose. We're only human, so we can't be clairvoyant and predict every possible outcome. But step-by-step, logical thinking about the course of every variable can help designers contain or prevent failures. If anyone believes that thinking designers or designing thinkers can have a positive influence on a free society then they need to examine everything this way.

  • Elizabeth Maplesden commented on the article "http://www.aiga.org/interior.aspx?pageid=3082&id=2753"

    Whose right is it to determine what is "necessary"? Also, I see a big problem with #8. Does this mean that there will be two sets of intellectual property rules: one for countries that are deemed to be "developing", and another for everyone else? Who determines what is a "developing" country and by what parameters? For instance, China might be deemed a developing country because, though large and populous, its citizens are poor. Yet dealing with and preventing intellectual piracy (especially bootleg DVDs) from there is a huge problem. So, by rule #8, the sale and manufacture of pirated DVDs in China would be acceptable, right? This concept, applied more broadly, would also mean that the alleged inability to pay for something justifies stealing it. Isn't this a problem already encountered with other forms of intellectual piracy? Wouldn't this principle render the purpose of intellectual property laws a moot point? As for #7, a "wide range of government policies" won't stimulate innovation or access. It will only hinder both by creating unnecessary regulations, forms, and bureaucracies. This will therefore incur more associated costs, such as higher taxes or lawyers' fees. Fewer will be able to afford these, nor can they afford the headache of sorting out compliance with the rules. Why should a government be involved in open-source software at all? Does this mean, by rule #7, that open-source software will therefore be owned by the government? And which government will be in charge: federal, international, or both? One more thing: I noticed that in rule #2, of the rights that must not be overturned by "these laws and regulations", the right to freedom of speech is conspicuously absent. Would the AIGA want to inadvertantly support a set of principles that leaves open the possibility of suppression of political, religious, and unpopular/opposition views via the use or abuse of copyright law? I encourage everyone to read the RSA's website to understand the background of the Adelphi Charter and the RSA. In conclusion, while the idea of keeping intellectual property laws balanced to foster innovation, profit, and the enjoyment of knowledge for all is a priority, the Adelphi Charter should be rejected by the AIGA because there are too many vague aspects to it.

  • Elizabeth Maplesden commented on the article "http://www.aiga.org/interior.aspx?pageid=3080&id=2620"

    Designers just need a good read on the client's personality. The situation is of course complicated by middlemen (who are often the worst offenders within the client's organization). But mostly how a designer adapts to convince your client is determined on the client's management style. Some clients need to be sweet-talked and others need to be confronted. For instance, when dealing with an indecisive client, limit the client's choices severely and present it as the only solution, either authoritatively or gently (but have other solutions ready). Other clients who need to see choices should be shown choices, but don't show anything that wouldn't work or be bad for anyone. Also, there are clients who want to see that you're an expert in your field, and like you as long as you make them look good. And there are just some clients that can't be pleased, who revel in chaos, indecision, and ignorance, and love to move the goalposts. By the way, everything I've said about clients also applies to art directors, creative directors, and account executives. So the faults are actually within our own profession many times. (Well, AEs are not really designers but salespeople, and that's a discussion for another time...) Be persuasive, ask good questions. Re-explain yourself from a different perspective: put your work in the client's terms. Be like a good quarterback and have a good "touch" in dealing with people. Remember that "consensus is the absence of leadership." And, as someone said above, designers need to look at themselves every once in a while and make sure they are neither of the following types at either end: 1) production monkeys (mentioned above): anything-for-a-buck yes-men with no taste, brain, or spine 2) client-hating self-important elitists, who wonder why their clients don't collapse under the weight of their "brilliance". After all, they have done numerous brilliant, widely-lauded posters against nuclear war, famine, Republicans, and Helvetica (or if they're Swiss-style holdouts, against scribbly type). And that's how we avoid being either of them.

  • Elizabeth Maplesden commented on the article "http://www.aiga.org/interior.aspx?pageid=3080&id=2611"

    P.S.: It is also naive to think that not-for-profit corporations are all altruistic and don't make money. Not-for-profits often just spend their profits enough to hide the amount of money they make, often in the form of excessive purchases or higher salaries. Despite Microsoft's ownership of images in the Louvre, you still own the digital rights to your work. If it's true that they own those images in the Louvre, it's most likely because those artists died long ago, and it probably falls under some sort of public domain, long before digital rights was a question. (And it's France, so I am not familiar with French law.)

  • Elizabeth Maplesden commented on the article "http://www.aiga.org/interior.aspx?pageid=3080&id=2611"

    I never intended to generalize designers who work at large corporations. It happens at small companies as well. Generalizing corporations is not helpful either, as many small design firms are also corporations. It is naive to think that Congress will protect you. It has more power than corporations.

  • Elizabeth Maplesden commented on the article "http://www.aiga.org/interior.aspx?pageid=3080&id=2611"

    Remember that all allegedly faceless corporations are made of individuals. It's not that corporations from the top down conspire to steal others' work, it's that one seemingly insignificant designer/art director (without ambition or a moral compass) towards the bottom who decides to plagiarize and infringe other allegedly faceless designers' work to get by. Think of the baseball steroid scandal as a parallel: there were few Barry Bonds-type power-hitters "caught" per many more David Bell-type mediocre utility players. When corporations, small or large, get too many of these lazy designers, that's when big problems arise, although one is one too many. Who, in a day-to-day working situation, would think to check someone's work for alleged infringement? If you know something, say something while there's a chance to correct the problem. The lesson in this is that no legislation will be perfect; we can only be guided by our ethics, or at least the sense that someday, somehow, looting others' work will come back to bite you, directly or indirectly.

  • Elizabeth Maplesden commented on the article "We Thank You, Steve Jobs"

    The true innovators, visionaries, and entrepreneurs take the risks. Jobs was all three and showed us all that, although innovation isn't nice, nor is it pretty, going against the grain of the numbers to see things in new ways brings success. He had nine lives with respect to business. He didn't just innovate on the technological side, he exemplified the principles of what a successful brand could be. This he did, not just with witty commercials, but with the one thing any brand can't live without: a commitment to a good and well-defined product. (Hello Paul Rand, who coincidentally was hired to design the NeXT logo...) Since the introduction of the first Mac, what other tech company inspired such die-hard fans that drew from both the tech and non-tech sectors? Since when did any tech company truly have fans? The innovations he brought to print design, music, and video have been discussed thoroughly elsewhere. These, however, are secondary to his most important conceptual innovation (though he wasn't the first to think it): technology should become more human, not the other way around. For many people who design and program computers (convergent thinkers), this is a difficult idea (as they tend to think the way the computer does). So his ability to be both a convergent and a divergent thinker is rare. He accomplished human-centered technology by designing hardware and software that often took the straightest, most efficient routes to accomplish tasks and spoke an appealing visual language to its users. Aesthetics were always important to his creations. At some level, at least, he understood that the visual aspects of art are soothing and most human. His creations (not just the advertising) never talked down to its users, but instead became a friendly (and faithful) partner in whatever the user needed. These qualities combined reveal that Jobs was one of the rarest artists known: the technology artist. (Off the top of my head the only other one I can name might be Bob Moog, who designed the game-changing synthesizers of the same name. Can anyone think of others?) The technology artist transcends tasks and efficiency to bring out the best in us and enhance the expression of humanity in ways not previously possible. Jobs will certainly be missed.

  • Elizabeth Maplesden commented on the article "http://www.aiga.org/interior.aspx?pageid=3082&id=2098"

    More thanks to Ric for standing up for the No Spec position! The fundamental mistake most people make about design is treating it like a widget. A logo is not something one can buy off the shelf, nor it is a recycleable, interchangeable part. Of course there is a tangeable product at the end of the design process, but design (especially in branding) is mostly intangeable and abstract. It is based on a relationship built on the communication and understanding of mutual needs. Because much of the process is intangeable, those same people usually don't think they have to pay for what goes into creating an identity. Often this is just a misunderstanding of how the process works. But with a little education, we can inform clients and create a relationship that is mutually beneficial for all, rather than one-sided.

  • Elizabeth Maplesden commented on the article "http://www.aiga.org/interior.aspx?pageid=3082&id=2753"

    Matthew: Regarding #2: I thought the same thing about the document accomodating varying forms of government in different parts of the world. But whether we like it or not, America is governed by the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the right to free speech. If the specific four rights hadn't been named, it might not have been a problem, but since it's specific, we should be sure that something so inherent to creativity, and the lifeblood of our profession, is specified as well. Regarding #7: The government should not "take part in the spread and use of technology and information" in any way because it is a conflict with free speech. It's a slippery slope towards a central government controlling what can be said and who can say it, as well as what technology we can use. I do agree with you that just because you can say or do something doesn't mean you should. That's a judgement call for individuals to decide. However, the government should not have any part of deciding either, as it will lead to oppression. It's not the role or duty of the government, especially because what is proper or acceptable is so subjective. Regarding #8: I think what you said ("the laws [should] be fundamental enough that they can be applied anywhere") is better in concept than what is stated in #8. Ideally what you said is true of #8, but in reality, how will the document deal with cultures that don't respect or believe in the ownership of property or freedom of speech? Societies that don't believe in the ownership of private property are also not open or free societies, so again this renders the Principles a moot point (i.e., no free exchange of information.)

  • Elizabeth Maplesden commented on the article "http://www.aiga.org/interior.aspx?pageid=3082&id=2753"

    Mr. Jump: No one is "imposing" anything on the "international community." The article states that the purpose here is for the AIGA to come up with a framework for its own statements on intellectual property, using the Adelphi Principles as a guide. I don't know how closely they will follow the original document in forming its principles, but the purpose of the article (and the debate) is to see how closely they should. In fact, it is more the other way round: the Adelphi Principles is a broad international document that doesn't account for the specificities of our system. So maybe the best approach for this AIGA framework is to concentrate on the intellectual property laws in this country because clearly there are too many variables to consider when including everyone in the world. And it doesn't have to include the whole world: remember that the first A in AIGA is "American." Some things work better when they are smaller and more targeted. It's true of design, and it's true of this framework. That doesn't exclude future relationships with international entities. This is not a zero-sum game here. Also, part of the framework should include the balance between the rights of the owner and the rights of the user, to prevent excessive punishment or restriction and excessive freeloading on intellectual property. I don't understand how "the current state of intellectual property is no longer practically applicable." I also don't understand how laws "only serve to constrict...creativity" but you are advocating for a "system." Can you clarify that? Societies that don't allow private property ownership are not free and open for many reasons. Private property is far more than tangible objects. It encompasses intellectual property, and extends to our very persons and lives. How much further does one have to go from not allowing ownership of objects, to not allowing ownership of our work, to ultimately not allowing ownership of our own lives? What the state gives the state can take away! In fact, this concept is not even exclusive to the state: at a personal level, people need to mutually respect others' private property rights, or we have chaos and lawlessness. When we have chaos, we no longer have a "liveable society." I say this as a general point, and not as a reflection of the Adelphi Charter. No one society owns the "process of building houses" or ever will. In fact, this would be one of the abstract ideas that couldn't be protected by intellectual property laws (and already isn't!) We also don't need a "system of supporting creativity" because creativity, by its nature, is not a system! Creativity works its way around a system. It doesn't work because of a system. Intellectual property is not "irrelevant to society in general" or we wouldn't be debating it. But one's views on intellectual property is shaped by one's views on property in general. Forget the whole state/citizen relationship for a moment, and ask yourself the fundamental question: would you take money out of someone else's pocket? Your answer (to yourself, of course) will speak volumes on your personal views of ownership.

  • Elizabeth Maplesden commented on the article "http://www.aiga.org/interior.aspx?pageid=3082&id=2753"

    Mr. Swanson: Regarding #2: Many mistakenly believe that freedom of expression, as included in the 1st Amendment, regulates speech between private parties, when it actually regulates that the government cannot restrict the content of what is said or who can say it. When read in context with the other 1st Amendment guarantees of what the government can't restrict, this intention becomes clearer. My point was that there should be a provision in the Adelphi Charter to prevent the possibility of political censorship and suppression through stretching (abusing) the use/purpose of copyright laws. Another might think the Adelphi Principles already imply protection of speech, but if four "rights" are to be specified, the right to free speech should be specified. As with web design, redundancy is good. Regarding #7: My first point was that the only stimulative effect government policy can have is to have less government policy. It is not possible to have any government stimulus that doesn't require more regulations, forms, and bureaucracy. A "stated preference" is only words until it becomes a rule. Also, purely open-source software is not sold. Other software that incorporates some open-source technologies is sometimes sold, but technically you are only paying for the portion that is proprietary (the author doesn't have exclusive rights to the open-source portion.) My other point with regard to #7 is why is government involved in licensing open-source software at all? The rules of open-source technology, as it is now, is enforced by contract, not by patent law, via the end-user and developer license agreements included in such software. If government would own open-source software, and by #5 all code is not patentable, would that mean that government therefore owns all software? Remember that software is integral to the running of our daily lives. This brings me to something I did not address in my original remarks. Many items in #4 and #5 are already not copyrightable/patentable, such as abstract ideas. But computer code IS currently patentable under U.S. copyright law. Volunteering to contribute to an open-source project is one's own decision, and many open-source projects can make positive contributions. However, think about if we lived in a completely open-source software world. If, as in #5, computer code is unpatentable, how would software developers make a living? Forget profit motives for a second: how would the developer have money for survival? Necessarily, he/she would have to find another line of work to survive, which would take much of one's time, which would necessarily cut into the time to develop open-source technologies. So #4 combined with #5 have an anti-stimulative, anti-innovative effect. Also, there is the moral issue of a professional/intellectual body advocating that another profession should no longer have the right to own one's own work. Think if this same principle were applied to art and design! Would this organization be okay with developers telling designers that they should not be able copyright (and therefore own) their work, and that the government should create "a wide range of policies" to "license" design in order to create "open access"? Ideally, the state-run university might save money in your example, but the end product (the web-based journal system) is divorced from the process of getting the end product in place, which would likely outweigh cost savings in one area. Here's the end, but what are the means? (That's not to say in your specific example that the system shouldn't be created, but that is a separate issue.) Of course, there would be approvals (and changes) all the way in every stage. If the system is ever finished, a new proposal would probably occur, as it would take so long to complete, the technology may be outdated! How much money was really saved? Inherent in design thinking is not just how something works, but how it doesn't work. If it can succeed at its intention, how can it fail at its intention? And if we know how it will fail, how can we prevent or minimize that? Everything must fail at some point. "Too big to fail" is impossible. At the very least, we need to know if where it fails is relevant to its purpose. We're only human, so we can't be clairvoyant and predict every possible outcome. But step-by-step, logical thinking about the course of every variable can help designers contain or prevent failures. If anyone believes that thinking designers or designing thinkers can have a positive influence on a free society then they need to examine everything this way.

  • Elizabeth Maplesden commented on the article "http://www.aiga.org/interior.aspx?pageid=3082&id=2753"

    Whose right is it to determine what is "necessary"? Also, I see a big problem with #8. Does this mean that there will be two sets of intellectual property rules: one for countries that are deemed to be "developing", and another for everyone else? Who determines what is a "developing" country and by what parameters? For instance, China might be deemed a developing country because, though large and populous, its citizens are poor. Yet dealing with and preventing intellectual piracy (especially bootleg DVDs) from there is a huge problem. So, by rule #8, the sale and manufacture of pirated DVDs in China would be acceptable, right? This concept, applied more broadly, would also mean that the alleged inability to pay for something justifies stealing it. Isn't this a problem already encountered with other forms of intellectual piracy? Wouldn't this principle render the purpose of intellectual property laws a moot point? As for #7, a "wide range of government policies" won't stimulate innovation or access. It will only hinder both by creating unnecessary regulations, forms, and bureaucracies. This will therefore incur more associated costs, such as higher taxes or lawyers' fees. Fewer will be able to afford these, nor can they afford the headache of sorting out compliance with the rules. Why should a government be involved in open-source software at all? Does this mean, by rule #7, that open-source software will therefore be owned by the government? And which government will be in charge: federal, international, or both? One more thing: I noticed that in rule #2, of the rights that must not be overturned by "these laws and regulations", the right to freedom of speech is conspicuously absent. Would the AIGA want to inadvertantly support a set of principles that leaves open the possibility of suppression of political, religious, and unpopular/opposition views via the use or abuse of copyright law? I encourage everyone to read the RSA's website to understand the background of the Adelphi Charter and the RSA. In conclusion, while the idea of keeping intellectual property laws balanced to foster innovation, profit, and the enjoyment of knowledge for all is a priority, the Adelphi Charter should be rejected by the AIGA because there are too many vague aspects to it.

  • Elizabeth Maplesden commented on the article "http://www.aiga.org/interior.aspx?pageid=3080&id=2620"

    Designers just need a good read on the client's personality. The situation is of course complicated by middlemen (who are often the worst offenders within the client's organization). But mostly how a designer adapts to convince your client is determined on the client's management style. Some clients need to be sweet-talked and others need to be confronted. For instance, when dealing with an indecisive client, limit the client's choices severely and present it as the only solution, either authoritatively or gently (but have other solutions ready). Other clients who need to see choices should be shown choices, but don't show anything that wouldn't work or be bad for anyone. Also, there are clients who want to see that you're an expert in your field, and like you as long as you make them look good. And there are just some clients that can't be pleased, who revel in chaos, indecision, and ignorance, and love to move the goalposts. By the way, everything I've said about clients also applies to art directors, creative directors, and account executives. So the faults are actually within our own profession many times. (Well, AEs are not really designers but salespeople, and that's a discussion for another time...) Be persuasive, ask good questions. Re-explain yourself from a different perspective: put your work in the client's terms. Be like a good quarterback and have a good "touch" in dealing with people. Remember that "consensus is the absence of leadership." And, as someone said above, designers need to look at themselves every once in a while and make sure they are neither of the following types at either end: 1) production monkeys (mentioned above): anything-for-a-buck yes-men with no taste, brain, or spine 2) client-hating self-important elitists, who wonder why their clients don't collapse under the weight of their "brilliance". After all, they have done numerous brilliant, widely-lauded posters against nuclear war, famine, Republicans, and Helvetica (or if they're Swiss-style holdouts, against scribbly type). And that's how we avoid being either of them.

  • Elizabeth Maplesden commented on the article "http://www.aiga.org/interior.aspx?pageid=3080&id=2611"

    P.S.: It is also naive to think that not-for-profit corporations are all altruistic and don't make money. Not-for-profits often just spend their profits enough to hide the amount of money they make, often in the form of excessive purchases or higher salaries. Despite Microsoft's ownership of images in the Louvre, you still own the digital rights to your work. If it's true that they own those images in the Louvre, it's most likely because those artists died long ago, and it probably falls under some sort of public domain, long before digital rights was a question. (And it's France, so I am not familiar with French law.)

  • Elizabeth Maplesden commented on the article "http://www.aiga.org/interior.aspx?pageid=3080&id=2611"

    I never intended to generalize designers who work at large corporations. It happens at small companies as well. Generalizing corporations is not helpful either, as many small design firms are also corporations. It is naive to think that Congress will protect you. It has more power than corporations.

  • Elizabeth Maplesden commented on the article "http://www.aiga.org/interior.aspx?pageid=3080&id=2611"

    Remember that all allegedly faceless corporations are made of individuals. It's not that corporations from the top down conspire to steal others' work, it's that one seemingly insignificant designer/art director (without ambition or a moral compass) towards the bottom who decides to plagiarize and infringe other allegedly faceless designers' work to get by. Think of the baseball steroid scandal as a parallel: there were few Barry Bonds-type power-hitters "caught" per many more David Bell-type mediocre utility players. When corporations, small or large, get too many of these lazy designers, that's when big problems arise, although one is one too many. Who, in a day-to-day working situation, would think to check someone's work for alleged infringement? If you know something, say something while there's a chance to correct the problem. The lesson in this is that no legislation will be perfect; we can only be guided by our ethics, or at least the sense that someday, somehow, looting others' work will come back to bite you, directly or indirectly.

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