Ever since I got a subscription to the now-defunct Emigre magazine, I’ve been interested in how obsessed a lot graphic designers are with ethics. On one level it makes sense, with graphic design being, along with architecture, one of the art few forms that ordinary people have to deal with on a daily basis. On another level it always seemed strange, since ethical considerations don’t seem to factor into the calculations of most of the designers’ clients. But perhaps this is why many designers feel compelled to grapple with morality: there’s a lot of pressure from their clients not to think about it. At any rate, there’s a new article at Design Observer does a good job of exploring the ethical implications of the Enron logo, one of the last logos created by uber-designer Paul Rand. The point that branding empowers consumers (as made in this Economist article) is an important one that is too often overlooked.

PS What is up with this new Hyatt Place logo? Does anyone find this compelling?

Hyatt Place

PPS Check out Brand New, a blog on corporate identity for more discussion of logos and branding.