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Growing a design team: Hire slow. Fire fast.

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Growing a design team: Hire slow. Fire fast.

I joined a group of DBA (Design Business Association) members in Bristol this week, for a discussion about business growth. A panel from Kinneir Dufort, Taxi Studio and Workbrands shared their experiences, reflections and words of wisdom. 

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Design Thinking for pre-starts

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Design Thinking for pre-starts

Applying a design thinking approach with pre-starts introduces the culture of rapid prototyping, being user-centered and visualising various aspect of the journey ahead. It’s not just valuable for mapping-out and managing the product and service development, but also for working through scenarios for the company structure and what success will look like at different stages. In this way, design thinking approaches were applied across this group in a variety of ways for each of the people involved.

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Makers working with manufacturers

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Makers working with manufacturers

Making small batches of products yourself as a maker can quickly reach its limits. To achieve greater scale, suitable manufacturers need to be found and briefed. Whilst you may think this would be a straight forward process, it often isn’t...

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Design strategies at The Cycle Show

Many new cycling products and brands are less about Lycra and more about style and culture. I wandered through The Cycle Show looking for design stories. Here are four that show the breadth of business opportunities and design strategies in this growing market.

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Design Pitches Part 01 - The Practicalities

As a Design Manager I have organised hundreds of pitch meetings, so designers ask me: “what makes a good pitch?” Despite not having a magic formula for winning projects, there are approaches I see that consistently work well. In a short series of three articles I’ll outline those common traits.

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Design Management: focusing on the essential

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Design Management: focusing on the essential

As a new year gets started, it’s a great time to remind yourself of the road ahead and the destination you’re working toward. Design projects and design agencies can lose their way in the day-to-day details, particularly when we are busy and more easily distracted. Priorities can shift and become confused. Energy and motivation can lapse as everything gets stretched.

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Designers and clients: Shall we dance?

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Designers and clients: Shall we dance?

As the Tom Fishburne cartoon depicts so well, designers and their clients seem to come from very different perspectives - sometimes more like adversaries than partners. Whether it’s for a pitch meeting, trying to negotiate a brief, or the on-going management of a project, the relationship is a dance. It involves conveying the value of design and the creative process, whilst also meeting the budget and delivery expectations of the client.

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