Design is now more valuable than ever

Having chosen design as a career path, I would enjoy the opportunity to supply an alternative and naturally prejudiced viewpoint to Jeremy Myerson’s article, Commercial Union (DW 21 March), covering the old chestnut of design versus advertising.

This has been a long debate, starting as early as Ken Garland’s 1964 manifesto, First Things First. Since then, the discussion has moved on. The worlds of design and advertising will experience great change during the next few years due to new technology and media.

In the design process, and in the advertising campaign, “look” and “feel” constitute about 10 per cent of a job. While I care passionately about both, it’s worth remembering that clients are now not concerned with just looking good, but being good and communicating efficiently. This is a problem-solving exercise, not one of imposing what you wish.

Businesses have long accepted the need for advertising, but they are increasingly aware of the need for design to develop their personalities. In the age of communication, design is more valuable to clients than ever. The sheer magnitude of information accessible to the world market makes it essential that a client’s product or service has vision and is communicated clearly. Good design is about the clarification of such a long-term vision.

It is no wonder that agencies are turning to designers for their thinking, but investment in “look and feel” is just one part of a brand’s personality. Understanding how to communicate a clear vision is the greater challenge to both design and advertising.

Robin Richmond



London W1

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