My Professional Background
From 2004 to 2011, I helped manage the delivery of the Design Council's business support program for hi-tech start-ups.
The UK Design Council is an independent charity that champions great design. It “inspires new design thinking, encourages public debate and informs government policy to improve everyday life and helps meet tomorrow’s challenges today.”
As a result of the program I worked on, many companies were able to communicate the benefits of their technology to investors through brand and prototyping, identify routes to market and produce products that customers actually want:
"What we’ve learned working with the Design Council is how to use [design] techniques to increase the value of the overall offering. It’s not just about the technology.”
Billy Boyle, Founder, Owlstone Nanotech
Owlstone Nanotech case study
“Our understanding of our technology’s market potential, and our ability to communicate this effectively, is greater thanks to the Design Council.”
Bob Flint, Commercial Director, Ceres Power
Ceres Power case study
Design Tools & Materials
I’ve also worked on a number of design tools for hi-tech companies. One of these was “Matchbox”, a tool that helped companies identify challenges and opportunities within their business and how best they could meet these.
I was involved from concept to delivery, and had a key role in editing content and working with design strategists to produce the final version. Matchbox is a key part of the Design Council’s business support program and has been very successful with businesses.
I also led on the development and production of digital and printed materials for business support workshops, working with studio managers, graphic designers and printers.
The Design Council program I worked on underwent two rebrands during my time there. I held a key role in both of these projects, working with our in-house design studio to make sure that project requirements were met and that the brand was applied consistently throughout a wide range of program materials.
I was responsible for the rebrand of an entire suite of design support products, including bespoke materials for five different workshops, and also design tools used by design strategists on the program.
This included design framework posters, wall charts, notebooks, PowerPoint presentations and handbooks.
This role required extensive organisational skills, the ability to work with cross-functional teams, a keen eye for technical detail, and strong knowledge of how brand guidelines should be applied.
The Impact Of Design
The Design Council spends a significant amount of resources on tracking the impact of design on businesses. View an evaluation of its business support program, Designing Demand, here.
"For every £1 businesses invest in design, [businesses] can expect over £20 in increased revenues, over £4 increase in net operating profit and over £5 in increased exports."