Welcoming in 1996 on the right footing

We haven’t yet had chance to find out how many of you fared over Christmas – or how you’ve resolved to take on 1996. But in time-honoured tradition, we venture a handful of new year’s pledges we hope design’s leading players might have made.

First, the industry’s “official” god, the low-profile design minister Ian Taylor. Do his bon mots at the Design Council’s 50th anniversary bash at the end of last year indicate a wish to be more visible in design? We hope so – and we hope that he will pass on the design message to his chums in Government.

Inevitably, this brings us to the Design Council, without which no list would be complete. This one’s more a plea than a pledge, for Andrew Summers and his team to let us – or somebody – know what they’re up to. Is it too much to expect the council to have an action plan after all this time that goes beyond the programme of events we outline this week (see feature, page 12)?

Design’s trade bodies? We hope the Chartered Society of Designers and the Design Business Association resolve to unite – in whatever form. Solidarity is strength, after all, and the industry could do with more of that.

As for UK clients, how often do they have to be told the value of good design? But why should they listen? The onus is surely on the design industry to think of new, convincing ways of getting the words into the right ears to extend its influence.

Finally, one for all of you. Those who’ve turned the corner must be keen to stay on top financially this year – and those who are still struggling are no doubt striving towards a return to profitability. Both laudable aims, but what about a real bid for creativity as well?

Designers are paid for their originality and ideas – or so we’d like to think – so let’s see great work making a comeback across all the disciplines. The argument that good design costs no more than bad still rings true in tough times, and it brings with it so much more satisfaction to everyone involved.

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