Hold the front page

Its not every day you find yourself on the front page. It felt strange but true. Design Week, The Drum and Yahoo Finance were just some of the publications which featured our White Paper "Quality By Design". I knew it would provoke debate. That was the intention. What I didn’t realise was just how strongly people would feel about our recommendations and how those of us working in the industry really wanted to get this out in the open.

In case you've missed the debate: we at MBC believe what's missing from our industry is a single iconic design quality mark to uphold consistent standards. Why? Because we're working in a marketplace where anyone with a computer can brand themselves a "designer" and that impacts on us all.

"Does that matter?" has been a common question – particularly from smaller businesses and freelance designers. They're worried that only the big boys will be able to afford a quality mark and they will lose out on business. Not at all. In fact it will be the opposite. The idea is to create a level playing field with big companies who can afford expensive showreels and portfolios to prove how good they are.

A 'cynical northerner' (and that's how he describes himself) agrees the theory is sound but asks who would make the decision on who gets the quality mark?
Another agreed it was an exciting time in the design industry. "There are many crap design agencies, lots of spec work and poor design awards and random competitions. The issue really needs to be addressed and I hope this helps structure our much beloved industry."

Great. These are just the sort of things we want to discuss so that we can get to a point where we can all agree. At least now we are not the only ones talking about it.

Even better, the Design Council, who welcomed the white paper, have decided to take the debate further. They've set up a Round Table to continue the discussion.
CE John Mathers said; "The 'Quality by Design' white paper has prompted a debate on how we can uphold standards for the benefit of the UK and the design industry. We're very keen to hear people's views on the proposals, whether pro or anti, and how they would like us to take this forward. It is important to get it right and protect good designers without adding any burdensome bureaucracy."

So please get involved. You too might make the front pages…

Robin Horrex
Robin Horrex

Group CEO at MBC.