honest Nintendo logo

honest Carlsberg logo

honest Camel logo

honest YouTube logo

More “honest logos” by Viktor Hertz over on DesignersCouch.

Via Blair Thomson.


April 16, 2011


These are great! I wish you would have put more up on your page though (but the link through works just as well).

Gotta say I’m a fan of the Carlsberg beer version. But I’m biased as a beer enthusiast and home-brewer…that ‘o’ seems a bit strange to me though.

This raises an interesting question. Do ethics play a role in the job choices that designers make? Take the example above with the Camel cigarettes art. R. J. Reynolds would be a gigantic client, but do designers and design firms choose jobs based on their attitudes towards the companies and the products or services that they offer?

When people hear or read about a brand in the news, that logo association is made in their minds. Would you contribute work to a company whose product makes people sick, or to a politician whose values do not align with your own?

I’m just getting my feet wet in the graphic design world (totally enjoy reading logodesignlove by the way), and I am curious to know how designers approach controversial clients.


Mike, I share similar thoughts. I too am beginning my career in design. I’m currently a student. I’ve often thought about ethics in design. I think you can take it even deeper and look at how brands effect decision making in general. We’re attempting to earn an emotional response from people that will affect their decision to buy or invest in a product or service when creating a brand or a mark. There is the potential for tremendous power there.
I think ultimately it comes down to a personal decision and we will all view things differently. I personally would prefer to design for products and services that I agree with (which will differ from person to person). I think it’s also important to note that you’re not making a decision for people. They have to make that buying decision on their own.

Mike, I can only speak for myself, but I have turned down clients based on ethical considerations.

One was for a “medical weight loss” that was using treatments that were proven to be a scam decades ago. I chose to walk away from $2,000 deal because I didn’t want to be party to hurting desperate people. I REALLY could have used that money, but I chose to do the right thing.

By choosing to promote ethical organization, while turning down unethical ones, we are helping to build a better world.

Share a thought