Sara Manuelli’s article (DW 4 February) regarding design bodies, rather arbitrarily compared three vastly different organisations, each with widely differing agendas and criteria for membership.
Her question ‘But why choose one from another?’ is a somewhat groundless proposition for most designers when analysing the true rationale behind these varying bodies. Indeed, it may have caused confusion for some of your readers.
Choice is hardly an option for most in the case of D&AD, as it is strictly preferential in who it accepts as members, inviting only those selected for inclusion in the D&AD Annual. This condition of entry automatically excludes the vast majority of the design profession as a whole, a situation reflected in its comparatively small, yet eminent membership.
The DBA is a single-issue trade association with set conditions of entry, whose mission is a focussed – yet restrictive – programme concerned primarily with business development and commercial issues in design.
This therefore rules out any student involvement. However disparagingly professionals may look down on students, they are the future of design.
The CSD is a chartered professional body which embraces the whole spectrum of the design profession, from aircraft designers to typographers, and from students and graduates to the most respected world-class practitioners.
Its fundamental objective has always been the active promotion of the very highest standards of design and professionalism.
Its range of membership categories relates to the particular stage in the career of each individual candidate.
Chartered status for both corporate members and fellows is an internationally-recognised professional qualification for experienced practitioners.
Entry to the CSD does not necessitate any loaded conditions or the uncertainty of a catch 22 situation.
It is based on the rigorous assessment of a candidate’s professionalism and the submission of a portfolio of high-quality work.
These factors are of the utmost importance in design and they are natural requirements that any professional designer with talent will inevitably possess.