Contact Us

Graphic Artists Guild

2248 Broadway #1341
New York, NY 10024

Tel: (212) 791-3400

Sue Jenkins: Design Is Professional

Sue Jenkins headshot

Sue Jenkins

Associate Prof of Art
Marywood University
LinkedIn Learning Course Instructor
Scranton, PA

Guild member since 2001

What traits do you think a professional in the graphic art industry must have and why?

Today’s professional designer needs a well-rounded set of skills beyond knowing how to use design software and traditional art materials. I recommend  strong written and oral communication skills, solid conceptual development, creative thinking, unique solutions, an understanding of the end user and Accessibility, the establishment of clear typographic hierarchy, attention to details and craftsmanship, a sense of responsibility and reliability, a willingness to speak up and ask questions, good listening ability, leadership skills, good group communication skills, flexibility and adaptability, and a good sense of humor.

What is ethics in graphic arts? Do you think ethical responsibilities fall on the shoulders of the artist, the client/company stakeholder or both? 

Ethics in graphic arts means approaching all aspects of design work through an ethical lens, from using contracts and sourcing and paying for creatives to upholding copyright law and creating original works. It also involves saying no when a client asks for something that might be unlawful, such as implementing “black hat” code on a website to improve SEO rankings. The client should also adhere to ethical practices and be accountable (and liable) for breaching any contractual obligations or requesting the implementation of any dark patterns in a UI. If you haven’t heard about this Design Ethics site yet, check out

Have you ever used your work as a tool for advocacy or to bring awareness to a specific topic negatively impacting society? 

So far, I’ve contributed pro bono design services to one political campaign through I also care deeply about racial and gender equality, the environment, mental health, access to health care and education, and the role of ethics in technology and design, and would be open to collaboration and involvement in those areas. In addition, I am a designer who strongly believes in being a good person, treating others with kindness and respect, and making the world a better place, one design at a time. In my role as educator, I strive to instill this approach to all my students, both in the classroom and through my online courses on LinkedIn Learning.

Sue Jenkins is a UI/UX & graphic designer, front-end web developer, photographer, illustrator, art director, award-winning Adobe Certified Expert, design professor, For Dummies author, and Course Instructor at LinkedIn Learning.

Images © Sue Jenkins. Used with permission.