Voxpop

As the three main political parties launch their election campaigns, what is the one issue that the design industry should put on the political agenda?

‘Having co-founded our agency in the throes of a recession in the early 1990s and then successfully battled through that climate, the obvious answer must be for the Government to effectively manage recession to let the healthy momentum in branding continue. But from a personal point of view, I’d like to see VAT stripped from luxury goods and for the Government to take Ireland’s lead and treat all designers as artists who don’t pay tax.’

DAVE BROWN, GROUP CHAIRMAN, BROWN KSDP

‘The parties should be thinking about how to develop a culture of innovation within the UK – encouraging, growing and rewarding it and removing the barriers that currently exist. They should put in place initiatives in schools, universities and workplaces that show a determination to be recognised as the country where you can not only have a great idea, but also with a Government determined to allow these ideas to happen.’

JOHN MATHERS, MANAGING DIRECTOR, FITCH

‘Rather than rely upon any career politician to present our issues, wouldn’t it be better if we had an MP who was a designer. My vote would go to Richard Seymour, who would also add a bit of colour to an otherwise drab parliament.’

PETE GREEN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, SPRINGETTS

‘It’s very distressing for me that a huge amount of money has been spent – and wasted – on departmental logos and campaign logos, when the identity that needs most attention has not been touched. The crest drawn by Reynold Stone in the early 1950s remains the symbol of the British Government.’

MICHAEL JOHNSON, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, JOHNSON BANKS

‘Managing creative people and clients is, itself, a creative activity, demanding a high level of insight and emotional intelligence. Sadly, courses in design management tend to be stigmatised as neither academically serious nor commercially pragmatic. Design education needs to be set in a broader context if our economy is to achieve long-term competitive success. I would like to see the management of design on the political agenda.’

LAVINIA CULVERHOUSE, MANAGING DIRECTOR, Design House

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