The fascinating visual narrative owes its existence to creative and business-savvy Design Managers that portray the information manually or digitally, whether it is a social media creative on Instagram or an exciting product from IKEA.
Similar Job Titles
- Design Coordinator
- Design and Build Managers
- Principal Designer
Typical Job Responsibilities
What do Design Managers do?
A Design Manager would typically need to:
- Use your creative and managerial talents to ensure that the interdisciplinary teams working on a project provide high-quality graphic and digital designs on time and within budget.
- Utilise innovative planning and problem-solving processes when developing products, services, brands, and marketing strategies that meet the demands of customers while also meeting company objectives.
- Create a creative design brief that takes into account the client’s demands, business needs, industry standards, safety norms, time and financial constraints, and legal restrictions.
- Ensure that their clients and team members grasp the design brief’s context, procedures, and outcomes.
- Monitor the work of necessary multidisciplinary design teams to ensure that the project is finished on time.
- Assign tasks to diverse team members depending on their skill sets; collaborate across teams to ensure goal achievement.
- Manage client relationships; act as a point of contact for all teams and clients.
- Evaluate and provide constructive criticism on individual design deliverables and overall team performance that need to be improved or modified.
- Use customer surveys and focus group replies to gain a full insight into design performance.
- In charge of the creation of physical prototypes or mockups of products or services.
- Establish and uphold organizational-wide design standards; analyze designs for accuracy and relevance, identify problems, and take corrective measures
- Ensure that designs are available to important stakeholders; accurately and routinely document the whole design process.
- Final plans with exact statistics and intended outcomes should be submitted to top management or the client for approval and implementation.
- Train design management teams on design-related changes and new business requirements; respond to their issues and provide help in a timely and proactive manner.
Standard Work Environment
Design Managers work in clean, comfortable workplaces and travel to visit clients and attend conferences on occasion. Throughout the day, they communicate with multiple teams, senior management, and clients via in-person meetings, video conferencing, emails, or phone calls.
Full-time Design Managers perform 40-45 hour weeks on a consistent basis. They may be required to work overtime, weekends, and holidays depending on project deadlines and organizational needs.
According to research, the younger generation values flexible hours and favorable telework regulations more than money. Employers are more prepared to provide talented employees the opportunity to change their schedules based on work demands.
Finding a new job may appear difficult. Design Managers can improve their job search by soliciting referrals from their network, contacting firms directly, using job search platforms, visiting job fairs, leveraging social media, and contacting staffing agencies. Freelancing and self-employment are feasible choices.
Design Managers are generally employed by:
- Design or Creative Agencies
- Marketing or Advertising Agencies
- Construction or Architectural Firms
- Publishing Firms
- Magazines or Newspapers
- Multimedia Companies
- Professional and Government Bodies
- Startups and SMEs
- Web Development Companies
- Digital Agencies
- Private Sector Organisations
- Public Sector Companies
Unions / Professional Organizations
Professional organizations and groups, such as the Design Management Institute (DMI), are essential for Design Managers who want to further their professional growth or interact with other professionals in their sector or trade. The DMI holds workshops and provides essential materials such as case studies and webcasts.
Professional associations offer members chances for ongoing education, networking, and mentorship. Membership in one or more of these organizations adds value to your CV while strengthening your credentials and qualifications.
- Tight deadlines and unrealistic expectations from clients and employers
- Impact of one’s work on the organization’s profits and business goals
- The constant need to remain creative and come up with innovative ideas that benefit the company
- Being responsible for the productivity and output of other people
- Lack of work-life balance when faced with long working hours
- Susceptibility to health issues due to a sedentary occupation that requires long hours at a computer
Suggested Work Experience
Enrolling in an academic curriculum that involves real-world experience in designing and creating items, as well as conventional business processes and goods, will help you achieve your goal of becoming a well-known Design Manager.
Most hopefuls begin their careers as interns, apprentices, or entry-level designers, all of which are highly sought-after opportunities to gain vital insight into the world of design and boost one’s chances of landing a permanent position.
Significant experience as a graphic designer, art director, web designer, or project manager would be helpful, particularly if incumbents instill critical supervisory and managerial abilities while managing creative teams.
Designers tend to pursue careers in interior design, architecture, fashion, graphic design, product design, and UX (user experience) design. Interns and apprentices, on the other hand, may find creative agencies and appropriate industry-specific companies more suitable. Whatever path you take, you will gain a better understanding of relevant business practices and models.
The experience may also aid in determining if the public, private, or voluntary sectors are most suited to achieving one’s goals. The career services department at your educational provider can provide information on feasible job placements, internships, and volunteer opportunities in a variety of industries.
It is never too early to start developing a well-balanced design portfolio that represents your work, aspirations, and successes, and to establish your presence in a highly competitive sector. Popular design software, such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Sketch, InDesign, Coreldraw, XD, After Effects, or AutoCAD, can assist you in developing a strong portfolio.
Even if you are still in high school, you can ask a teacher or a counselor about appropriate job-based learning opportunities in your school or community that can help you connect your educational experiences with real-life work.
Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with a worthwhile organization to have fun while learning about yourself and being guided towards a future job.
Active participation in the school’s art or design club might help you get a head start on developing a portfolio and improving it as your talents improve.
To demonstrate your devotion to course providers and future employers, read about the profession and interview or job shadow specialists in design management.
Design Managers must be creative thinkers with business acumen in order to assist firms in increasing revenue through innovative tactics and eye-catching aesthetics.
Academic endeavors that incorporate an interdisciplinary approach to a good mix of design and business courses would aid applicants in developing the necessary attitude. A design-focused major with a business-oriented minor is recommended.
A three- or four-year bachelor’s degree in graphic design, visual arts, computer graphics, design studies, business management, drafting, and design can provide you with the necessary technical abilities for this profession.
A two-year associate degree or HND (higher national diploma) in architecture, design, and construction management, architectural technology, or advertising may lead to entry-level roles or corporate graduate trainee schemes for those with extraordinary creative and artistic skills. Certificates and highly technical graphic design degrees offered by professional skills schools are equally valuable.
Art, computer design, graphics, printing techniques, writing, psychology, marketing, virtual presentation, and computer design software courses are ideal academic curricula.
Although not universally required, certain employers may prefer a master’s degree in design or business management, which provides the candidate with a thorough understanding of the creative process as well as a more realistic commercial perspective.
Psychology, sociology, economics, fine arts, foreign languages, and media studies are all recommended high school courses. Writing, research, and communication abilities can all benefit from English and speech classes.
It is important to remember that completion of a certain academic programme does not ensure admittance into the profession. Regardless, your professional credentials and transferable talents may open more than one door.
Before enrolling in a specific programme, do your homework and investigate all available possibilities for education and career. Associations and employers in your field are reliable sources that can help you make an informed selection.
Certifications, Licenses, and Registration
A Design Manager’s expertise in a skill set is demonstrated through work experience, training, and passing an assessment. By including a Code of Ethics, successful certification programmes defend the public welfare.
Accredited certification in design management, business management, project management, visual communications, and leadership from a reputable and objective organization will help you stand out in a competitive employment market and become an independent consultant.
Design Managers may also be subjected to an employment background check, which may include, but is not limited to, a person’s job history, education, credit history, motor vehicle records (MVRs), criminal record, medical history, usage of social media, and drug testing.
Projected Career Map
Performance, experience and the acquisition of professional certifications drive Design Managers’ career growth, which may differ depending on where they choose to work. Your portfolio is also important in demonstrating your job experience and ability to effectively lead teams to success.
Within the same company, you may take on larger design projects and oversee larger teams, or you may advance to a senior role such as Creative Director or Chief Designer.
Design Managers with an entrepreneurial spirit may establish their own design firm. Others choose to teach, freelance, or consult as alternate career routes after years of experience in management.
A growing number of millennials are opting to job-hop and build a scattershot resume that demonstrates ambition, enthusiasm, and a willingness to master a wide range of skills in order to speed their career progress and personal development.
Studies show that job hopping, which was formerly considered a “flaky” activity, might lead to increased work satisfaction. Employees looking for a healthy culture and exciting work are eager to try out different roles and workplaces while learning valuable and transferrable skills.
Design Managers have the best employment prospects if they have the requisite leadership and management abilities, design expertise, and applicable education.
Beneficial Professional Development
CPD will assist an active Design Manager in developing personal skills and expertise through work-based learning, professional activity, and other means.
Whether conventional schooling or self-directed learning is preferred. It allows for the frequent renewal of desired certifications.
Professional abilities such as attention to detail, effective communication, project management, creative and critical thinking, skilled listening, problem-solving, team management, and inspirational leadership must be regularly honed for long-term occupational advancement.
Attend online courses, professional workshops, and seminars, participate in peer learning, and network with experienced colleagues to stay current on trends in graphics, typography, design software, design history, pop culture, counter-culture, and the zeitgeist of social tastes, politics, and current affairs. Such experiences can also help you specialize and develop a niche for professional advancement.
For experienced Design Managers who want to better understand how brands perform and create value for clients, your location may offer an MBA-level diploma.
You can work to become an accomplished Design Manager with an eye for design, a knack for cooperation, and a flavour for entrepreneurship if you have an eye for design, a penchant for collaboration, and a taste for entrepreneurship.
Advice from the Wise
Continuously improve your skills. Keep current with industry developments by networking with other designers and design management experts. Visit museums, galleries, conventions, and events that will broaden your understanding of art and design. Your greatest asset is your awareness.