Post A: Design vs Ethics

Designers and creative culture makers play a key role in the success or enablement of tobacco industry. This is reinforced as design is embraced in advertising and this is what connects to humans on a wide scale in Yogyakarta as we have seen. The design establishes a political stance that is determines what is acceptable and what is almost deviant to cultural expectations. Due to the economic influence of the tobacco industry on the government and economy, it only seems right that in order to maintain a continuous flow of income, that the government would encourage tobacco and smoking. Thus, design has enabled humans to ultimately fit and connect with a wide range of other people without verbally speaking to them. 

Design is influenced by the target consumers and these customers may be altered accordingly. For example, a business may be a client of the designer and want it to send a political message. Designers have the potential to become an ethical influencer through full consideration of cultural appropriation. It is crucial that the designer understands what is socially acceptable also considering religious influences in order to remain sensitive to that society. However, the advertisements which promote tobacco use situated on billboards around Yogyakarta acts as a form of pressure as it says “Pro Never Quit” in order for men especially to maintain a ‘macho’ image to others. 

Depicts the images which Indonesians are surrounded by daily (The Interpreter, 2018).

Unfortunately, it is evident that although the designs of these advertisements are very unethical as they don’t consider the health impacts and act as a form of ‘provocation’ to the audience. This is due to the ongoing stigma which strips men of their ‘manliness’ if they don’t smoke particularly in society settings. Overall, a designers ultimate goal is to fulfil the requirements and develop customer satisfaction from the stakeholder, however it is our decision to decide how the power of design could inevitably be used as a form of satisfaction of information. 


Binnekamp R, Gusteren L.V, Van Look P.P, 2006, Open Design, a Stakeholder-oriented Approach in Architecture, Urban Planning and Project Management, IOS Press, Canada.

BMJ, 2019, Reading culture from tobacco advertisements in Indonesia, London, viewed on the 19th of December 2019, <>.

Faith B, Klein E, 2014, Advertising and Design. Transcript Verlag, Bielfeld. 

The Interpreter, 2018, Quitting cigarettes in Indonesia, Australia, viewed on the 19th of December 2019, <>.

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