Analysis is needed to prove to charities that design really works

Clare Dowdy is right to say that design consultancies ought to explain the effectiveness of design to their clients (DW 14 November).

A charity publications manager can see if their flagship news letter contains weak photographs or is printed on too thin paper. He or she may not be in a financial position to do anything about it. The problem lies in convincing senior managers to allocate funds to design.

At Edit, we divide our service offer into analysis, words, design and results because we are committed to measuring the success of our work. When we carried out a publication audit of WRVS Today for the Womens’ Royal Voluntary Service, we discovered that three-quarters of the 100 000 print run was being left un-touched at distribution points. Since the production costs were in excess of 17 000 per issue, the organisation was wasting more than twice the 5000 review fee every quarter in magazines that were ignored because no one was interested in picking them up.

In this case, the research served to reinforce the PR manager’s suspicion that the news letter could work much harder for the organisation.

But it is exactly the kind of analysis that design consultancies need to offer PR managers so they in turn can convince senior management and the finance department that it is worth paying for design services.

Rebecca Collings

Managing partner


London N1

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