Why is design important?
I suppose because history is about the past and design is about all of our futures. It’s focused on making things better – breaking down barriers. Its about inspiring transformation and progress rather than dogma and blandness.
Tom Peters, who wrote a brilliant book called Re-Imagine, amongst many others, could see the value of design to business . This is what he captured about design in his book:
“Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation.” A quote by Steve Jobs, who knew a thing or two about building a successful business.
“If there was no design there would be nothing to do, and nothing would progress or get better. The world would fall apart.” Anna, aged 11 (Design Council research about the meaning of design).
“Design is not a surface thing or prettying thing.”
“Designers are people who think with their hearts.”
“Design is not about like or dislike. It’s about Passion, Emotion, Attachment.”
“Design is the No.1 DETERMINANT of whether a product-service-experience stands out or not.”
I love these thoughts. He recognised that some people see design as a sprinkle of magic to 'top things off'. Many businesses and business people still do, unfortunately. So many design briefs start with the sentiment that says 'tweak this, improve that, but don't really change very much'. Designers are CHANGERS, not for the sake of it, but because they can see what is emotionally missing and this is more often than not SOUL and MEANING; many businesses have lost sight of their soul or do not recognise their fundamental purpose. They communicate sameness because they have forgotten who they are and why this should be relevant to their customers and people.
Reading Tom Peters again has reaffirmed to me that what we do is so very important. Real branding, he says, is 'Branding which clarifies one great thing...Real branding answers, who we are.'
The Allotment tells stories from the soul and very heart of a business. That's what good brands do! People love Apple, they love Nike, they love John Lewis. Why? Because they have soul, they have a story and an authentic purpose. This is the starting point for everything we do and is the engine of brand growth and relevancy.