Professional chivalry is needed in design world

BBI360 managing director Simon Barbato is absolutely correct (DW 19 January). I would not dream of denigrating his or any other designer’s work, especially when the context of its production is not understood. I was talking about the process in which it was undertaken, not the design work per se – two different things. My observations regarding Cambridge (not necessarily for publishing) were intended to reinforce my letter about free-bidding on Olympic Games branding procurement.

We still have the same problems as over 15 years ago. Although the clients are all different, we continuously reinvent the square wheel. The same problems plague us, as they have done for 30 years or more, and we are no further forward. We continue to shoot ourselves in the foot with our petty squabbles. Perhaps it is time we, as a profession, started taking responsibility for what we do.

Unfortunately, the reference to ‘the client’ in my letter regarding BBI360 and the Cambridge project was edited out. It originally read, ‘Interestingly, the client was Grosvenor’ – we both worked for the same client, to the same brief – completely changing the emphasis of the point I was trying to make. It is the client, after all, which owns the projects we designers work upon. What is printed is beyond my control.

Perhaps it is time we all started working as ‘chartered designers’, to professional procedures and a code of conduct, controlled by one authoritative body, as with the Royal Institute of British Architects and its members? As far as I know, the Chartered Society of Designers holds these parameters, but not the profession’s support, and you can’t be ‘forced’ to join, so anyone can practice as a designer. Not ‘anyone’ can practise as an architect.

Or, naively, perhaps we can unite under the banner of professional chivalry. Where’s Arthur and that round table when you need him?

Geoff Gradwell, Director, Gradwell Corporate Design, Preston PR2 1ZS

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