Industry bodies need to be up for design’s cause

I really applaud Design Week for raising the incredibly important issue of design becoming commoditised: ‘little better than a supermarket price war’ (Comment, DW 1 September), but I disagree totally with your view of the causes.

It is all too easy to point the finger at the larger design groups, when, in fact, pressure on prices is equally determined by an ever increasing number of tiny design groups. If these consultancies cut their prices, it is their business, but it does devalue the entire profession.

The real problem with our industry is the constant in-fighting that leaves us without any respect from the commercial world.

The design industry is totally without a unifying voice. Any number of bodies that claim to represent us have become backslapping social clubs, rather than the active design evangelists that we need. In the areas that really matter to the design industry these representative bodies are largely impotent.

We have demonstrated the immense value our creativity can bring to commercial enterprises, but this message has become lost in the wilderness. Unless we act quickly and in unison we will see the end of the design profession as we know it in this country.

We are our own worst enemies at failing to speak with one voice when it comes to the value of our work; we need an urgent meeting of minds to rescue our reputation and underline our importance to the business community.

The Marketing Society has worked tirelessly and successfully to build its reputation as a discipline within industry. Why haven’t our design organisations done the same for us?

If we designers are to call ourselves professional, we must embrace a professional code that advertises and emphasises our value.

Who will lead the fray?

Michael Peters, Chairman, The Identica Partnership, London W11

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