Creative input from local specialists is key to success

I was very interested to read the News Analysis on design consultancies’ experiences of working internationally (DW 28 June).

What didn’t seem to come through, however, was the importance of localisation in such situations: for example, adapting the creative work offered to the expectations of the client’s target markets.

Richard Markell was right in emphasising that business practices vary enormously from country to country, and that commissions won’t happen if the chemistry isn’t right. But those same differences of culture, priorities and perceptions apply equally to the target market. We must be careful not to forget the basic principle of getting under the skin of the audience before we start designing. What works for us here, will not necessarily work abroad.

Exporting British ideas, designs and copy style is rarely right for a foreign market. And British designers run the risk of seeming to be culturally arrogant if they try to impose British-based solutions. Direct creative input from local specialists is almost always needed.

Another challenge to set alongside unfamiliar business practices, cost control and language barriers.

Charlotte Desorgher

Managing director

The Grand Design

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