What clients want from a designer

We know there are few ways Australian design businesses can benchmark themselves. The last serious work was documented in the Creative Industries Innovation Centre’s 2015 report; Creative Business in Australia which showed the role of design in the Australian creative industries. However understanding why clients choose a designer has had little research in Australia.

The DBC has regularly researched and surveyed the graphic design industry. We have written:
• the Business of design including an industry overview discussing the shape and make-up of the industry. Each year we update the stats.
What’s a fair wage where we show results of our salary surveys and research.

In 2019 we researched the maturity of design buyers in an Australian first; The design maturity report.

Consulting with hundreds of design businesses each year means we collect performance data to help our clients benchmark and understand their competitive advantage. This is a critical knowledge for any design business wanting to grow their capacity or clients.

Client designer relationships

Until 2020 there hadn’t been any Australian research into the designer/client relationship.

In 2019 we ran a seminar where three clients (Coca-Cola’s Natalie Cukerman, Bank Australia’s Fiona Nixon and Good Shepherd Australia and New Zealand’s Elisabeth Tuckey ) shared with designers what they looked for in a design partner.

We followed this with a 2020 survey of design clients to understand what they want in a client/designer relationship. You can see the results in these three articles:

  1. What clients want to hear in a pitch
  2. How clients prefer to meet-designers
  3. Do clients think designers are proactive or reactive

A lot has changed since 2020 and we’re now running another What clients want survey to see if COVID changed client/designer relationships. We also want to get a deeper understanding of the client/designer relationship. So we’re not only asking clients, we’re asking designers what they think clients want.

All responses to the survey are anonymous.

What we are asking you to do

1. please ask your clients to complete the What clients want survey and then
2. designers – fill in the designer focussed survey. Answer the questions with your recommended client in mind.

We will collect the results from across the country and publish the findings.

The survey is now open and will close on 9th August. Results will be published in mid September.

Pls email me if you have any questions.

If you would to learn more about how to understand client expectations contact Greg Branson.

Greg Branson

We help designers build a more profitable design business

We do that by
• supporting creatives to learn management skills
• helping identify and target better clients
• increasing your studio’s productivity, and
• focusing on a sustainable work/life balance.
We share our knowledge in a library of free resources, workshops, group and one-on-one mentoring.

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Want more?

These articles give more information on the client/designer relationship:

  1. What clients want to hear in a pitch
  2. How clients prefer to meet-designers
  3. Do clients think designers are proactive or reactive

Greg Branson

Design Business Council
Greg’s passion is the research and development of methods that improve design management and the role of design in business.
Greg has developed a series of processes and tools to help designers manage their business better along with a series of workshops that show designers how to use these tools.

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