ICoD logoview in browser
bi-monthly bulletin of the International Council of Design

November 2020


Website update

Website update

We are sure that you are all very excited about the new website we have been teasing for the last few months. The programming side of things is taking a little longer than we expected but the site will be up soon. In the meantime, we are hard at work generating new content, which will feature multiple translations of the Professional Code of Conduct, an official stance on Speculative Practice, definitions of terms like 'design,' 'designer,' and 'good design,' a lexicon of terms, some ideas on what it means to be professional as a designer, how to identify when a designer is professional, and much more!

The website will go live soon. We'll keep you posted!


Communication Design [journal]


Communication Design: Interdisciplinary and Graphic Design Research [journal] Issue 3(2) November 2015 with cover design by South Korean designer Ahn Sang-soo sets out potential directions for how we might address communication design research through a range of topics and perspectives offered by our contributors. Their articles provide insights into how designers look, see and represent the world, and demonstrate how research into the 'visual' remains a core component of communication design: for example, the surprisingly complex semiology of children's drawings, the visual messaging strategies of posters, to the multiple ways in which data and information have been visualised at different points in history.

Read here


PM Report Vancouver

ICoD Meetings

It's been one (long) year since we've met with Members and the larger design community in-person. As such, we are delighted to share the final report from the 2019 Vancouver Platform Meeting, held last December in Vancouver (Canada) hosted by ICoD Member Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

The theme, Design is Professional, explored Professional Standards, Collaboration, INDIGO and Design Ethics—issues we all experience in different ways, along with the troubles of the pandemic still with us. As we reevaluate our futures as designers and the kind of work we want to do, upholding our professionalism as we work with each other and the planet is critical. We hope you enjoy the report and its helpful content as much as we do. Seeing your faces again in the photographs, chatting over 'campfire discussions' and in panels, reminds us of the important connection we have and miss sharing with you—and how we are so looking forward to meeting up again to share what we've learned.

Read and download the report


In memoriam: Yu Bingnan (1933-2020)

In memoriam

"Design is creation, and creativity is the basis for the existence and development of design education. It keeps design education in sync with the ever-changing world....Our goal is to find the way and method of contemporary Chinese visual design, and use Chinese modern and international visual language to express our unique traditional culture."
—Yu Bingnan

ICoD sadly mourns Yu Bingnan, outstanding art and design educator, designer and professor who passed on 24 September 2020 at the age of 87. Yu Bingnan taught in the Department of Visual Communication Design of the Tsinghua University Academy of Arts and Design and was Icograda's first Chinese Board Member, acting as Vice President from 2001–2003 during the period of Robert L. Peters' Presidency.

Read more


Book recommendation: 'Designing sustainable cities'

Book recommendation

By 2050, 70% of humanity will be living in cities. An urgent focus for UNESCO Cities of Design. Designing Sustainable Cities: Managing Approaches to Make Urban Spaces Better edited by Sigrid Bürstmayr and Karl Stocker offers seven models for positive social and environmental change based on analyses of design projects in the cities of Detroit, Graz, Istanbul, Mexico City and Puebla. While all cities are different, climate change adaptations, installations for urban spaces and new ecological, architectural and sociological concepts for megacities, show how design can reshape whole environments and processes, including ways of thinking and acting. Advocating for more research, more accessible design and more questioning of our material culture, this book is a resource for all professionals working at the intersection of social design and urban planning on how to bring our cities into the future sustainably.

For more


What is design?

What is design?

In our preparations for the new website, we have been having many discussions internally about defining terminology around 'design.' What makes a designer? What are the core skills and more importantly, what is the core ethos, that defines us as a profession? In Eye on Design, AIGA presents a viewpoint on the disciplines of design and the essence of multidisciplinarity. This article posits that "as the design field has expanded, it has also fragmented." The move to new labels such as 'transdisciplinary designer' and 'interdisciplinary designer' stems from "a reaction to the splintering and compartmentalizing that permeates the field, a preview of a new type of designer who transcends these silos."

Read the article here


Design ethics

Design ethics

Much has been made in recent years of the power of misinformation. Online platforms—which were once heralded as great democratizers of information—seem to have the inverse effect, providing a ripe forum for dissemination of conspiracy theories and 'fake news'.

In this academic paper from the journal Political Communication the authors analyse the role of online platform design and how it can contribute to the spread of disinformation. Designers, it will come as no surprise, control access to information through their choices. They can create the conditions that can be exploited but also have the opportunity to impact the solutions.

Full article here


Inclusive hiring practices in design


The website Business of Fashion has created a resource for companies looking to be more inclusive in their hiring practices. "Among many steps needed to create more equitable and inclusive workplaces, it is crucial companies make a sustained effort to diversify their workforce to affect real change as opposed to engaging in performative allyship." They define inclusivity as "people of different races and ethnicities, but also religions, genders, sexual orientations, mental and physical disabilities, socio-economic backgrounds, parental status and age."

Full white paper available for download here


LDA code of conduct

Code of conduct

The International Council of Design recently released the Professional Code of Conduct for Designers, an international standard and reference on professional performance, conduct and responsibility to society. We are thrilled to announce that the Lithuanian Design Association (LDA) has issued the first translation of the Code to be made public, in Lithuanian. ICoD is progressively working towards creating official ICoD Codes in other languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, Lithuanian, and more. These forthcoming versions will feature English side-by-side with translations to help designers and clients all over the world share a mutual understanding on the ethics and terms of professional design practice that the Code stands for.

See LDA's Code in Lithuanian


It looks like a logo but it is not design

From the ICoD archive

Rereading this feature from our archives we continue to see its relevance today. More than ever before, people are navigating an unclear digital landscape where logos and other graphic design services are offered online more cheaply. We hope you find our previous reflections on this helpful "....what goes on these websites, the vast majority of them in fact, is not design. “Logos” are produced in vast quantities, but these are mostly only merged images and pseudo-typography with none of the aspects that make logos valuable as a business asset. The clients—not understanding design themselves and unable to make the distinction—think they are getting the “real” goods cheap, only to discover later, having invested time and resources, the logo does not serve their purposes, requiring very expensive and painful corrections—perhaps fatal to their businesses."

Feature from the ICoD archives


Closing dates in December 2020


Please note that the Council Secretariat, our team based in Montréal, will be closed from 21 December 2020 to 01 January 2021 for the holiday season. Wishing all Members and the design community peace and good health during this period. Looking forward to collaborating with you again in the New Year!

postings + announcements

career center: ALBA career center: Aalto

ICoD Member events

Business of Design
Week 2020

ADC 100

2020 International Poster Exhibition “Breath”

The International Council of Design (ICoD) was founded as Icograda in 1963. The name changed in 2014 to reflect the Council's focus shift towards multidisciplinarity. ICoD Secretariat:

Phone: +1 514 875 7545
Email: info@theicod.org
Follow ICoD:

facebook | twitter | instagram

To update your preferences, please click here.