Time for CSD to move centre stage of industry

It’s a week for taking a second look at something we might, as a community, have once dismissed as misguided. On the one hand, we have our columnist Tim Rich speaking out in favour of PwC Consulting’s name-change to Monday; on the other, we have the results of the Chartered Society of Designers’ first foray into the public arena for some time through its support of the Cushman & Wakefield Healey & Baker Fashion Awards 2002.

Rich is pretty much on his own in backing Monday as a moniker for the management consultancy. One or two recent contributors to Design Week have judged it ‘brave’, but most commentators have written it off as a bad idea to associate a company with arguably the most hated day of the week.

But Rich has a point. Name-generator Wolff Olins and its client believe that Monday gives off the opposite vibe, suggesting optimism and new beginnings. It’s certainly easy to spell and say.

There is also the fact that if Monday succeeds, at a time when high-level accountancy-related ventures are coming under public scrutiny, no one will remember any controversy. Names appear to have taken the place of visual identities as something for people to mock, but with the exception of the Post Office’s ill-fated Consignia, most, like Diageo, have slipped into common parlance once the short-lived furore has died down.

More significant on design’s domestic front is the CSD’s apparent re-emergence as a proactive force. Its involvement in the student fashion awards, with their influential retail property specialist sponsor, does it credit. It’s a great way to attract younger members and the event itself was stunning, with outstanding work from the winner, Central St Martins College of Art and Design student Christina Burke, and others.

The CSD must now fulfil its plan to extend the student awards scheme across other design disciplines. But could this not be better achieved by collaborating with other organisations running successful awards schemes also based on creative quality?

British Design & Art Direction is rightly fêted for its various student ventures, while the future of the Royal Society of Arts’ illustrious Student Design Awards has long been up for debate, with talk even of the one taking over the other. Perhaps the CSD should join that discussion before trying to replicate what already exists.

It’s good to see the CSD in the news again. But it would be even better to see it resuming a central role in the industry, working alongside the Design Business Association and other official bodies to make a real difference for design – and its members.

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