Wanting to know what the CSD plans for a comeback

I note from the Comment (DW 11 October) that there is to be new directorship at the Chartered Society of Designers. Big deal.

From where I’m sitting the CSD must be one of the world’s most irrelevant design bodies. The new directorship has a stark choice, become relevant or retire to the ‘old farts’ club room.

What does being a ‘chartered designer’ mean anyway? I know of no one who has been asked by a buyer of design, ‘Are you a chartered designer?’. If I were an accountant, I am sure I would have been asked whether I was qualified more than once.

Achieving ‘qualified’ status in law or accountancy means something. In these industries, acquiring this status indicates that you have reached a recognised level of post-collegiate experience, training or examination. That, in the eyes of that industry, allows you to be unleashed on the world.

Even architects are recognised as having gone through the mill for seven years or so. Our businesses all operate on a similar basis: we charge for our time and use our creative talents to solve problems.

Why don’t we encourage the new director to develop a recognisable and respected post-collegiate, professional qualification that will define a designer’s ability and knowledge, not just in a specific design discipline, but also in other important areas such as intellectual property law, marketing, corporate communications, pro

duction technology, business management and so on?

The idea should be to develop a syllabus that our industry together recognises as a statement of ability, and also one that our clients will value.

It would be interesting to see how such ‘qualified’ designers would treat requests for free-pitches, and, indeed, how buyers of design would view approaches from unqualified journeymen.

Alan Robertson

Managing director

Air Creative Communications

London NW1

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