Week 4

Lecture 4 – Design Craft

Robert Green – designer who has created a digitised version over the course of three years, of the original The Doves Press typeface (est. 1900). 151 metal letters were recovered from the Thames river where the type was initially discarded.

“Metrics have also been adjusted for 21st century usage. The original Doves Press type, cut for letterpress with its physical constraints and inherent quirks, contains spacing which would appear uncomfortable to modern eyes in web and litho applications.” Source

Lecture 4 – Business Plan

”The executive summary should be the top-line of what your business is and what it does. Think of it like an elevator pitch. Anyone on the planet could read this and would understand the general function and idea behind your business. This should be very to the point; it should be really clear. If somebody were to ask you, ‘oh what is it that your business does?’, this, very effectively, should be able to summarise it in full.”

  • Target customers

“What is it that other design studios simply aren’t doing or what is it that they’re doing that’s fundamentally not as good as what you’re doing, that would cause them to come and be interested in doing business with you?”

  • What can I offer that other companies cannot?

”Any company on the planet can tell you what they do. This is going to start with a mission statement, in effect. What is your purpose? What is it that you’re trying to do in the world, here? Again, if we’re talking in the context of a design studio, why? What are the problems that are out there that you’re going to be solving?”

  • Purpose and intent of your project

“If it is a company: what have you done already? What have your achievements been? What kind of sector have you operated in? What has the success of that been, so far? If it’s a personal history: what’s your background? What kind of expertise, experience, insight, originality do you have? What is it that you’re bringing to the party that’s going to help to really drive those objectives that you laid out moments ago in your mission statement?”

  • If a new company, provide examples of project history for clients

”SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound”

  • Not just applicable for the business plan, but my schedule/report writing too…

”Start by discounting segments or customers that, realistically, on principle or through the nature of the service that you’re providing, are very unlikely to be part of your journey. If you’re starting out and you’re small, you’re probably not going to get too much work from the global brands that go to the pentagrams of this world. If you’re purpose-driven, you’re probably not going to spend too much time rummaging around the fossil fuel industry to see if you can win business.”

  • Customer profile:
    Customer angle of gains, pains, and jobs to be done to resolve that and enhance project
    Create customer profiles, distinguish by categories to identify them

“You might know who your competitors are, they need to know as well. Who else is in your space? Who’s kind of doing this? Who are you looking at when you’re starting this business and going, ‘we can do this better than them, we can get in on a little bit of their work, we can take some of their clients, we can offer their customers something that they currently aren’t’? Who are those people and what do their services look like and what do their services cost?
This is really important because in order to have a convincing value proposition for customers, we need to know what else is going on out there. If we were to just launch a range of services and they were to be wildly over or under-priced compared to our competitors, it’s going to be a tough old time for us. If we dramatically under-price, we run the risk of people not trusting what we do because they can’t believe the price they’re seeing, it seems far too good to be true. And if we are way over what anyone else is quoting for these kinds of services, unless we can pull the luxury angle whereby, we are able to generate enough perceived value in what we’re doing that people are happy to pay considerably more, which in creative services is often tricky, then, again, we’re not going to get the business. People are going to go for existing suppliers who they trust and who they seem to have a really healthy relationship with and understanding of the value that’s being generated and the price attached to it.”

”Next up, you’re going to focus on the product or the service, and this is really key. This comes back into that idea of the value proposition canvas that we looked at. This is where, quite clearly and in some good detail, you’re going to outline the benefits of your service, the production process that’s involved in providing those services and then their lifespan. In this context, what makes your approach to client work unique or remarkable or highly effective?”

“If social media, and it probably will be at some point, is going to be part of your advertising strategy, cost it all up.If you are going to print any materials, if you’re looking to get yourself on billboards or TV spots,if you want to advertise on other websites who absolutely capture your target demographic, get yourself a quote.You probably won’t have to go much further than their website. Look for the pages that say things like ‘partnerships’ or ‘advertising’. You won’t have to dig very deep, people like to make it as easy as they can to spend money with them, which is something that we can take on, as well, when we’re setting up our businesses. It’s really important that you get a good idea of what this is going to cost because you don’t want to make a load of grand plans for your launch and then find out that to follow that even halfway would effectively bankrupt you because your cash flow isn’t working.”

  • Cashflow forecasting – explore links

“You’re going to outline who your team members are, what their credentials are and how they bring value to your business. This is the point in the business plan where you do all your best boasting. This is where you convince people that the people that you have working with you are the best people out there to deliver this. These are the change makers, these are the people who are going togive you that competitiveadvantage and it’s not just taking your word on it, they have the credentials, they have the experiences, they have the skills to deliver on that.”

  • The dream team; who do I want to work for me and why? What is their role specifically?

“What else is there out there which can help to evidence the value of your business, show its structure is rigid, show that you’ve got everything in order? This shouldn’t just be considered for the potential investor’s benefit, it should also be a great place for you to organise any information or documents that either you or your team might need quick and easy access to, moving forward. In context, these could be things like any licences held, any IP applications or successful applications, legal documentation of any kind –maybe that covers any insurance policies, a lot of the time depending on your sector, you’re going to need liability insurance to be able to work with certain clients.”

  • The appendix document will include everything else that is important i.e. legal documents