Design management definition

What is the difference between design leader, design manager, and designer? The first one is supposed to set the design vision, the design manager is responsible for the design process, procedures in internal functions, while the latter is to design the content.

How is design management defined?

At Pratt Institute they define design management as the identification and allocation of creative assets within an organization to create strategic, sustainable advantage (McBride, p. 202 in Best, 2006). For Topalian the design management consist of managing all aspects of design at two different levels: the corporate level and the project level (in Best, 2006, p. 12).

Maybe the most suitable way is to present the roles of design leader, design manager, and designer, as seen in Figure below.

  • The design leader is supposed to set the vision of how design could be used within an organization. The buy-in of the stakeholder is a must.

  • The design manager is leading the design process, procedures in internal functions.

  • The designer is to help to unlock the potential of the proposal, and crafts and deliver the solution, to brief (Crump, p. 17 in Best, 2006).
Design leader Design manager Designer

Source: Best, Kathryn. 2006. Design Management: Managing Design Strategy, Process and Implementation. AVA Publishing SA. 215 p.

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