Designer Shares Secrets to Running a Successful Design Business

SuccesByDesignIn his new book “Success By Design: The Essential Business Reference for Designers,” David Sherwin offers advice for designers who seek better ways to balance the demands of being a design professional and running a creative business. Sherwin says the book “contains the business secrets I needed the most when I started as a designer sixteen years ago.”

The 304-page paperback provides practical advice on working with customers, managing design projects, and operating your studio. You will learn topics that aren’t usually covered in design schools, including: business development, proposals, contracts, spec work, negotiations, discounts, client expectations, estimating, and budgets.

According to Sherman, the wisdom in the book came from in-depth interviews with successful designers, studio directors, project managers, and client service professionals across a wide range of creative industries. The guide can help you better plan your career path as a design leader and become a stronger businessperson.

In the book’s introduction, Sherman writes that “If we want to preserve the integrity and quality of great design work, we need to understand how to run our businesses like a business.”

He acknowledges that our increased connectivity and heightened need for interaction with clients is changing how “billable time” is constructed as part of our paid workday.

David Sherwin is currently an Interaction Design Director at frog, a global innovation firm. He is also a Senior Lecturer at California College of the Arts. In his free time, he mentors designer-led startups for The Designer Fund and speaks and teaches internationally at many conferences and design schools.

On his author website, you can download free “Success by Design” resources and view presentations on “My Top Ten Design Business Failures” and “Becoming a Design Leader.”


Success By Design: The Essential Business Reference for Designers

Book Excerpt: What Aspiring Designers Need to Know About Strategy

Author Website: David Sherwin