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5 pros and 5 cons of Design Industry Regulation
25/07/2013
Author: Creating Media Team

Time and again the same argument comes up – is design industry regulation a good idea? As a design company we are always trying to conduct ourselves in the professional way our clients expect, however not all designers are as conscientious. With no professional accreditation required, or recognised industry bodies it can be a minefield for clients to know whether the designer they are sizing up is what they say.

You could say there are many pros to design industry regulation:

  • It sets parameters for both parties to follow
  • There would be a set pricing structure based on instinct, overheads and approximations
  • It would remove baggage from both sides by providing a fresh start
  • Few designers ever have credible business experience
  • Some designers chase quick return rather than long-term relationships

However there are also many cons to regulating such a creative industry:

  • Regulation can stifle creativity by inducing a ‘conveyor belt’ mentality
  • You cannot regulate art and innovation, it is after all a matter of personal taste and opinion
  • It can be difficult to exceed a clients expectations if too constrained
  • The brief is both parties responsibility
  • Customers may jump from one design team to another

It may be a good idea to offer a professional service body that designers can opt join, however this would almost definitely increase prices for customers. Accreditation is also a problem, as many designers learn their skills from other fields such as art or photography, or as a hobby. The field is also a very quick-shifting one, making an accreditation outdated before it is even completed!

Until a solution is found to design industry regulation, the best advice we can give to anyone looking for a designer is to check out the portfolio and testimonials, and don’t be afraid to contact a few different designers. After all, they need to ‘get’ you and your ideas to be able to portray them in the way that you envisage.

Do you think design industry regulation would be the saviour or death knell of designers? Would it perhaps benefit agencies over freelancers? Or is the industry to fast-moving and innovative to even begin to regulate?

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