Why UK design needs a quality mark

I don’t agree. The publication has allowed us to discuss ways of ensuring the sector has consistent and consistently high standards, in order that UK design maintains its   reputation and credibility both here in the UK and   abroad. Well, how do clients distinguish between a good designer who understands how to use his or her creative skills to enhance and increase their business, and one who has all the gear and no idea? Both Japan and India already have quality marks, proving that such a concept is not so out of the ordinary. Establishing standards will also encourage agencies to   invest in and educate young designers in order for   them to meet the expectations of the industry. Get involved in the debate trending on Twitter with the hashtag #designdebate. Of course, you may well wonder who is qualified to   be judge and jury on design if it is so subjective. With so many channels, from online and mobile to   print, potential clients need to know where to go to   get   the professional help they need. Standards are established to ensure fairness. They exist to enable you to compete in the industry, whatever your size. We believe a professional quality mark for   the   UK design industry is the answer.  
The full version of this article first appeared in   Computer Arts issue 233, a special issue   –   with a photochromatic cover   –   revealing the UK’s top 30 studios, plus how to craft the perfect folio and make more money as a student… Back in   the day before computers were the norm – yes, that time did exist – I graduated with a degree in graphic design. So please, do let us have your thoughts on the matter. You can’t tell a client how to spend their money, but you can certainly protect them against poor work. It wasn’t easy breaking into the freelance game, and for those of you about to set out   on that path, I salute you! When potential clients go looking for a designer, we want to make sure the ones they choose uphold these standards, otherwise it could have an impact on us all. At what cost? So if you are designing a website for a business that trades online, for example, the mark indicates that it is easy to navigate, the sales cart works and it doesn’t take forever to load because you used the same template for another client who just wanted a showroom rather than a shop. As a small business ourselves, we would be in favour of a sliding scale to   ensure that no-one is priced out. Two of mine are   good design and good designers. In what respect is it subjective? You may not realise it, but the design industry currently delivers £2.5bn a year to the UK economy. Illustration: Żaneta Antosik   Words:   Robin Horrex  
Born in Chelsea and raised in Southwest London, Robin Horrex worked in advertising and design agencies in and around London before starting his own agency in 1996, which merged with Zone in 2006. In fact, I believe the opposite is true. The White Paper is available to download now. I mentioned the importance of brand before and I mean it. Again, this is something to be discussed. We don’t know yet who will decide on the professional quality mark, but no-one is suggesting that we should set up another body to do that. Our brand as designers is key. Well, none of us can stop clients who want something that we don’t like, but that isn’t the point of the quality mark.

Updated: 13.12.2014 — 10:55