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Creative Strategy and the Business of Design with Douglas Davis

An interview with
Douglas Davis


To be a successful designer, freelancer, or small business owner you need to understand strategy and business, so to kick off season 3 Ian chats with Douglas Davis, the author of the hugely popular book “Creative Strategy and the Business of Design” to discuss the importance of understanding business, and using a strategic approach when working as a designer. Douglas is the associate professor within the Communication Design department at New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn.

IP: In your book, you discuss a number of business terms. Why do you feel that it’s important for designers to know and understand the business lingo that you described in your book?

DD: This is important, Ian, and I’ll tell you a story as a result of answering this question. Back in January 2015, I believe it was, I received a really kind invitation to give a keynote address in St. Petersburg, Russia, at an art and branding conference. So I would be one of four international speakers, the only American. And I was invited to share the stage with the top Russian experts in branding. And so, Ian, my first thought was, “Yeah, right. Who knows my work in Russia. This is fake.” But in New York, everybody knows somebody, and I just happened to have quite a few Russian students in Brooklyn at New York City College of Technology where I teach. And I showed them this invitation, and they were like, “No, professor, this is a legit invite. They’re asking you to come through.” So I’m like, “Wow.”