• Shaun Lewis

3 WAYS TO OUT-DESIGN YOUR COMPETITION 

Picture the work of Kelly Wearstler, Zaha Hadid or Frank Gehry. Obtaining this instant awareness and ability to identify one’s work should be at the forefront of not only your communication process but every project. Having your own design identity not only helps you strengthen your niche but also helps you stand out from the rest of the industry.


Whether you’re a one-person design army or part of a multinational architectural firm, your business’s core values have an impact on your design identity. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be discussing how your design agency can show the world who you are and how to best exhibit your passion.

Working with top interior designers and architects we have discovered a few key insights into their industry success. We have identified values that can help you communicate your design identity and vision to potential clients, and how identifying and evolving these characteristics can help your standout from the crowd.


Beliefs

At the core of every design agency lies underlining beliefs of which all decisions are based upon, these can range from but not limited to value, legacy, innovation, transparency, and prestige. Determining what your agency believes in is the first step in creating a foundation for your design identity in which your clients and workers can believe and grow.

A strong believe system helps instill confidence and understanding in clients and helps ensure each of your employees, from top leadership to entry-level, are working towards the same common goal, and purpose. With strong purpose comes loyalty and meaning, and nowhere is this more applicable than in job satisfaction of staff members. Research shows that 73% of purpose-oriented members are satisfied in their jobs, compared to 54% who are not purpose-oriented. Designers deliver their best work when there is belief and passion in a project and it all starts with believing in you or your agency’s design identity.


Culture

Finding like minded designers to help your agency flourish and innovate is the corner stone of growth and determining this company culture is a crucial step. Company culture consists of shared values, goals, attitudes, and practices, and creating an environment which nurtures these beliefs and enables your culture to run through every piece of work that leaves your studio. An organization's customs, traditions, behavioral norms are the visible manifestation of its culture. These cultural identifiers are what clients see when they walk through your door and should be in the core of your agencies messaging.


Crowd

Who are you designing for? Who would you like to be designing for? Who would you rather avoid?

Answering these simple questions often have a massive impact on every aspect of your business. Creating and exhibiting your designs to your audience, whether it be current or aspirational, should be the driving force behind every decision. Asking yourself “who is this space for” is often the staring block of any great project and should be at the core of every client interaction or marketing decision.

If your clients did not see your logo on a piece of work, would they be able to recognize it as yours? Being able to establish and convey your brand’s message to the masses and insight instant brand recognition is the hallmark of a great design identity.



In next week’s edition of the Liquid Mesh Design blog we’ll be showing how you can communicate your design identity in a meaningful manner.