What is a designer?

Colin McKeown
Colin McKeown is Creative Director at Whitespace2 helping clients to develop their brand and communications to improve business performance.

Today products, services and built environments surround us, all attracting our attention, altering our lifestyles and influencing our commercial choices. Designers are trained professionals with the skills and experience, to connect companies and organisations with consumers and markets. Designers solve problems employing innovative processes and thinking, that can create new products and services for companies and organisations. Design is also fundamental to innovation within organisations and can link technology and consumers, creating compelling economic advantages for business.

Designers and design companies can have very different areas of expertise including, graphic, product, interior design, fashion and textiles, web, multi-media and marketing communications. Although the outcomes may be very different, all designers follow a similar way of working that can include the following stages: briefing, problem research and investigation, design development, concept creation, prototyping, testing and production.

Research shows that designers and the integration of design processes can boost an organisations commercial growth and built consumer loyalty. For example, ‘businesses where design is seen as integral are twice as likely as businesses overall to develop new products and services, and to open new markets. Also design is integral to 39% of rapidly growing businesses but only 7% of static ones.’

‘High-level skills for higher value’. Research conducted by the Design Council and Creative and Cultural Skills.

Share your thoughts