Commissioning a designer

You want to ensure sustain a relationship with designers over the long term because they properly understand your needs, commercial drivers and market.

You may decide that you need support in more than one type of design area, such as product design for goods and service design for revising a business model.

Sector specific organisations have directories of members and can help narrow your search. By using recommendations from your peers and checking the designers' websites, it will be easy to develop a long list.

Devising some selection criteria will help short-list prospective design partners who are more likely to be a good fit for your needs.


Useful links

There are excellent step-by-step guides to help business run an effective commissioning process available from both DBA and BIDA.


Directories of designers

DBA – Design Business Association directory

BIDA - British Industrial Design Association directory

SDN - Service Design Network members

UK Web Design Association

CSD - Chartered Society of Designers directory

BIID – British Institute for Interior Design directory

RIBA – Royal Institute for British Architecture members


It is good practice to invite a selection of designers to pitch their ideas or credentials in response to your brief. Appointing the right one for you will ultimately hinge on three key questions:

1        Can you work with them?

There should be a good personal relationship and a meeting of minds.

2        Can they do the job?

They should have convinced you they can deliver exactly what you need.

3        Can you afford them`/

Your investment should be repaid by the value of their contribution.