The purpose of this Code of Ethics is to act as a guide for our team to operate in a professional, ethical manner at Manoverboard. It recognizes our responsibilities to act intelligently, ethically, and sustainably within the organization and provides a framework for how we connect with our clients, partners, and friends and the world at large.

The Purpose and Values of Our Business

Manoverboard believes that our earth, in becoming smaller through technology and transportation, needs design practitioners to provide bold, clear advice and ideas that connect and compel us to do better. Our business objective is to help clients deliver their messages of citizenship and stewardship through smart, clear design that relies upon best practices in technology. We value strong communication and elegant design solutions that connect and impact diverse constituents. Ideally, every client engagement makes the world a little more equitable and a lot more viable.

Our mission is to help organizations create a better world through better design. We do this through careful research and responsible strategy followed by clear design. Our values underpin the work we do, the clients we seek, and the challenges we address.


Without its employees, Manoverboard is a pile of pretty computers and printed paper. As a professional services firm, our employees are the heart and head of the organization. We seek to continually nurture the talent, health, happiness, education, and skills of our employees. To that end, we hope that employees will be respectful of each other and of clients, colleagues, and partners outside the firm. We are honoured to have earned an employee impact score in the top 10% of all Certified B Corporations on the B Impact Assessment, receiving a 2014 Best for the World award.

We wish to honour the diversity of our staff and to promote their ideas, work, and aspirations. We seek to create a design and marketing studio in which every employee’s skills and talents are best utilized to help us achieve our overarching goals. Discrimination, of any kind, is not consistent with our mission and values, and will not be tolerated.

Professional Conduct

The Society of Graphic Designers of Canada has built a foundation for professional conduct in the field of design since 1956. As members of the organization, Manoverboard upholds the GDC’s publicly available Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct for Graphic Designers (as it may be amended from time to time). This document includes a number of core ethical provisions that form the bedrock of our services at Manoverboard. For example, the document prohibits speculative projects or schematic proposals (e.g. spec work). The document also states that “Members shall take a responsible role in the visual portrayal of people, the consumption of natural resources, and the protection of animals and the environment.”

Manoverboard firmly supports this provision and all provisions indicated in GDC’s Code of Ethics. As a condition of employment, employees of Manoverboard are to be familiar with the GDC’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct for Graphic Designers and conduct themselves in accordance with it.


Our clients exchange their limited financial and human resources for services and products that we provide. In this way, they trust Manoverboard to be to be honest and clear in our communications. Importantly, they trust that the work product that Manoverboard delivers, also matches or exceeds their requirements, and that products and services are provided on time and in a professional manner.

We expect that all employees will treat clients courteously and kindly. And, when issues do arise, we expect these to be addressed fairly and appropriately. We believe in fair pricing and in honouring all agreements in good faith. We will do our best to send timely invoices and we expect to be paid by clients in a timely manner.


As a privately held company with no outside source of funding, we hope that employees, partners and colleagues will treat our collective time, office space, technology and financial resources with respect and with care. This protects the large investment that Manoverboard, its partners and clients have made in the organization.


We rely upon our vendors to provide the highest quality products and services available. These include, but are not limited to, website hosting, accounting, bookkeeping, printing, telephony, software, and connectivity. We believe in the prompt settlement of bills to Manoverboard and a quick resolution to any disputes with suppliers.

All things being equal, including quality of services provided and cost, we reserve the right to choose vendors, suppliers, and other partners that are owned by women, minorities, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented groups.


Our company does not act in a vacuum. Our existence is made possible by the quality and delivery of local, provincial, and federal services, including, but not limited to, government services like social insurance, a court of law, parliamentary democracy, and national defence. Our obligations to the natural world are countless as well; we receive and enjoy an astounding availability of clean water, air, and energy. To this end, our obligation to the spirit and letter of the applicable laws of the land is paramount. We will protect and preserve our natural world and be involved in our local community.


Whenever possible, we will work with local organizations to provide educational opportunities, sponsorships, or giving. Nationally and internationally, we will work to better the practice of design and help the world become a healthier and more equitable place. Manoverboard will continue to assess and reduce its carbon footprint, recycle and reuse products, and source sustainably produced paper and other products. We aspire to keep sustainability a core feature of our practice, our work habits and workspaces, our designs, and our aspirations for ourselves, our clients, and our planet. While far from perfect, we aspire to do what’s right for the place we call home. Please visit our Statement of Sustainability for more information.


We will review this Code of Ethics annually to assure that it reflects our values, our communications and our actions. This Code of Ethics will be posted publicly online in the hope that it will act as a model for other design and marketing agencies.

Assurance, Reporting and Reviews

The only way to know if Manoverboard is upholding this Code of Ethics, is if employees, clients, colleagues, partners, and others let us know. We strive to be a more transparent and values-driven organization.

We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light the candle that can guide us through that darkness to a safe and sane future.

John F. Kennedy