Why Design

Participate in a meaningful dialogue about design’s capacity to benefit business and society, and the pivotal role a professional designer plays in that process.

Design is Strategy

DESIGN CREATES VALUE FOR BUSINESS Design is an investment in innovative thinking, positioning, branding and communication that creates value for businesses in terms of competitive advantage, customer trust and loyalty, and market share. In a rapidly changing global and local business environment, design thinking helps business counter the complexity of conditions with creative solutions. In a global economy in which production gravitates toward the lowest cost producer, human-centered design provides the competitive differentiation needed to gain market share. Design is a critical strategic asset that is most effective when employed early in corporate plans, not as a decorative finality.

Design is Social Engagement

DESIGN IMPROVES SOCIETY Designers bring empathy and creativity to social challenges. The first helps to understand the human-centered solutions that can make a real difference in real people’s lives; creativity can defeat habits with innovative approaches to making a measurable difference. It is the designer’s approach to the process of solving complex problems, particularly in the willingness to test risky options that transcend the traditional view of problems, that is a strategic advantage. Every designer is encouraged to become engaged with socially relevant projects in order to use their creative talents to their highest and best purpose and to demonstrate the value of designers and design thinking.

Design is Quality

PROFESSIONAL DESIGNERS SERVE CLIENTS BEST Professional designers are committed to ethical principles and business practices that serve the client’s interests. AIGA establishes standards for professional practice that describe the expectations clients deserve in gaining the full advantage a designer’s talents and process. These standards serve both the client and the designer in bringing clarity and integrity to the designer-client relationship.

Design is Transparency

DESIGN MAKES THE CITIZEN EXPERIENCE CLEAR Design can strengthen democracy by building trust in the communication between government and the governed. Trust emerges from understanding; design is a critical intermediary in making the complex clear and enhancing understanding. In most of the interactions between government and its citizens, there is an exchange of information. Communication design can simplify and clarify this process; designers can also design service experiences that are more effective, more comprehensible and more efficient. AIGA is deeply involved in initiatives to encourage government use of designers to improve democracy and to demonstrate the power of design.

Design is Culture

DESIGN FOSTERS CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING Effective design focuses clearly on the audience, the customer or the ultimate beneficiary. The design process begins with research into how real people behave, often in the form of ethnographic research. The intent of successful design is to find human-centered solutions that will really work to address a problem and to do so in the context of existing cultures. This is an important issue in an ever-shrinking world in which design must address the unique needs of many different cultures without imposing values upon them. AIGA is committed to assisting designers in understanding different cultures, through activities focused on multiculturalism, developing channels for U.S. designers to build relationships with designers from other cultures, and in diversifying the profession.

Design is Sustainability

GOOD DESIGN RESPECTS THE ENVIRONMENT Designers welcome the challenges of designing within constraints; sensitivity to the environmental, economic, social and cultural implications of design is central to the professional designer’s ethical commitment. Good design respects planet, profits and people and welcomes the opportunity to meet client needs within these challenges. Sustainability applies to more than the environment; the designer’s goal is to enhance human experience and client need while doing no damage to civilization.

Published February 1, 2013
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