Risk and reward

Designers know that creativity not only underpins projects that win awards, but that it also contributes to commercial success. Clients, however, still need convincing. We ask six leading industry figures how
they would convince brand-owners to go beyond

Sometimes, there’s a narrow path for a pitching design team: on one side lies the accusation of being crass marketers with no aesthetic understanding, and on the other a charge of being purist designers with no commercial sense. Unfairly, I sometimes use design awards as the antithesis of what we are seeking – unjustified, I know, but a way of really emphasising that the outcome is not aimed at a picture in an awards book or a Park Lane dinner, but at a cost-effective, commercial solution that customers understand.Of course, the desired outcome is naturally the middle ground, giving credible evidence of the ability to deliver positive financial effect through fantastic design.
Jon Turner, Head of design, Boots

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As someone who has worked on both sides of the client/consultancy divide, I have always recognised the critical role that creative design has to play as a highly effective tool for business. Newly returned client-side, I aim to champion creative design throughout the business. I firmly believe – now, more than ever – that design must act as a catalyst to reinforce distinctiveness, personality and presence, driving recognition and preference, and thereby supporting the bottom line.We must develop and present work in an objective manner that supports this argument, and not allow the best creative design to be misunderstood or merely considered by subjective aesthetic preferSarah page
Paul Porral, Head of creative services, John Lewis

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