Monday, March 7, 2011

Change and Plus ça Change

I'm going through shelves of old magazines: ID, Graphis, Wired, etc. and weeding (or should I say curating?) the issues and articles that seem worth keeping. The field is shifting, we need to evolve, and Spring supports a good housecleaning session (physical and mental). In the past few years, there's been a lot of talk/writing/discussing about design thinking. I think that's a good thing. Interestingly, in short article in the November / December 1990 issue of Graphis, William P. Dunk quantifies the power of thinking:
Those combining design, project management, and analysis sometimes achieve rates twelve times higher than those just offering design.... For the designers, this establishes a value pyramid where he takes aim at the small number of clients wanting a full design process: At the top is thought, a very small niche of clients who also want a thoughtful, well conceived product; the center is project management, a sizable number of clients wanting design and project management; the bottom, visible design, a large base of clients wanting low-cost commodity design.... The trick, for those who want higher prices, is to get into project management and thinking. And then the hard part is to make very clear, with ample detail, during both proposal and implementation stages, what the client will experience as a result.

The hard part (to me at least) is the marketing, finding that small number of clients. The clear proposal puts me in mind of your post about contracts a while back. A clear proposal and detailed proposal leads to a clear letter agreement/contract.

May the thoughtful and detailed Force be with us!

(Stay tuned for additional—but not too many—blasts from the past.)

1 comment:

Suzanne Dell'Orto said...

Seems like every project requires the full design process, but not everyone wants to pay for it!