I’m out and proud

Our industry is rife with prejudices. We are a long way from gender equity when it comes to ownership of large agencies, in spite of equity at graduation. We slavishly follow the bright and shiny new designers and we are ageist.

So I am outing myself as just turning 70.

I experienced ageism in our industry 15 years ago when some bright young (popular) designers declared me and some of my colleagues were too old to lead AGDA Victoria. Oh, and we weren’t well known enough.

With the assistance of the national executive we were voted out by a group of  these popular, ‘younger’ designers. They lasted a year.

They chose to ignore the fact that we had completely reshaped AGDA Victoria. We had more professional members than the rest of the country combined; we had a yearly calendar of events sponsored and announced in February each year, and we were flush with funds.

I only mention this because it came about through understanding what design business owners wanted. This was from years of observing and documenting the industry.

And that is the issue. You can’t get the years of experience without getting older.

Since co-founding the Design Business Council I’ve spent 15 years talking to designers on a daily basis. I learn something new from everyone of them and I have an accumulated knowledge that far exceeds anyone else in this field in Australia.

It comes from being 70 years of age.


No way. This year we will produce the inaugural Business of Design Week in Melbourne. A week of workshops that will help studio owners improve sustainability, productivity and profitability.

We have just completed ground breaking research into the Design Maturity of Australian businesses. Along with 10 of our colleagues we researched what it takes to be a design mature company. The research will be released in May and will round out similar research done by McKinsey, the UK Design Council and the Design Management Institute.

PS. I couldn’t have arrived at this point without the unswerving backing of Carol Mackay. She has collaborated with me all the way and is a major part of the success of the Design Business Council. Thanks Caz.

Want more?

If you would like to gain from my experience hit me up for a coffee and we can chat.

Got a question?

Want to share your point of view? Please feel free to email me.

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Greg Branson

Contact Greg Branson if you would like to learn more about the many programs the DBC offers.

Greg’s passion is the research and development of methods that improve design management and the role of design in business.

Greg has developed The Design Business School to help owners manage their business better along with showing designers how to get more involved in the studio and develop their career path. Contact Greg.

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