Design Management: Definition and Meaning

How companies use design elements to promote marketing initiatives, generate products and services, and achieve business goals everything involves design management. Businesses need design management, which varies according to the sector and design discipline. Additionally, it provides a range of professional options, advances, and a competitive income.

What Exactly Design Management Defines?

Design management, to put it simply, is the commercial aspect of design. Design management is the general concept for the continuing procedures, commercial judgements, and business plans that foster creativity and produce well-designed goods, services, communications, settings, and brands that improve our quality of life and lead to organisational success. Design management, at its most fundamental level, aims to connect design, innovation, technology, management, and customers in order to deliver competitive advantage across the triple bottom line: economic, social/cultural, and environmental issues. In order to promote collaboration and synergy between “design” and “business,” it is both an art and a science to empower design.

Relation Between Design and Management

The simplest definition of design is a methodical approach to issue resolution. Designers create goods and/or services to address user and customer problems, and this is true for both industrial design and service design. In any corporate activity, management is the act of collaborating with people and systems to achieve organisational goals as effectively as feasible. Planning, organising, regulating, staffing, and directing individuals and activities are some examples.

It excludes leadership, though. Although some managers are also leaders, many are not. Leadership is something that is bestowed upon a person by those who follow them and cannot be determined by their position in the company. Management, on the other hand, is constant and more reactive. Leadership, on the other hand, is a proactive pursuit that may change within a group dynamic depending on the situation that is currently being faced. Peter Drucker, a renowned management expert, once said: “Leadership is doing the right things; management is doing the right things.”

Why is Design Management Important?

Design management provides a means of applying planning and problem-solving to goods, services, brands, and advertising to satisfy consumer wants and advance business objectives. Every design field is included in design management, including graphic design, engineering, architecture, textiles, and fashion. Design administration normally takes place at several levels. This may include an entire team in larger organisations.

Marketing and merchandising are applied to client and industry challenges in fashion design management. It entails the steps taken in fashion design, including planning, producing, marketing, merchandising, and selling. The fashion industry is a multibillion-dollar industry, and to uphold the brand’s reputation, much more is required than just imaginative designers and elegant models. In this situation, fashion management is essential for increasing brand recognition and spotting emerging trends.

Duties Of Design Manager

The precise duties associated with a design manager will depend on the organisation they work for, the size of that organisation (and the tier in the hierarchy at which the manager operates), the industry they work in, the current market position, and to a large extent the perceived importance of design to the business. Design management is a complex field; it doesn’t relate to a single design discipline. That makes it nearly impossible to define “design management.”

However, it is accurate to argue that design management as a whole supports design inside a business, the business and its goals, and the business’s interface with the market it operates in. This results in the following three general functions that design managers will play:

  • Making sure that the design strategy and activities align with the overall business strategy.

  • Ensuring that design initiatives within their purview produce high-calibre results.

  • Making sure that user experience is prioritised and that customer requirements are what lead to new products and help brands stand out from the competition

Areas Of Design Management

Design management fits into a wide range of disciplines, as we mentioned at the beginning of this article. There are other more typical contexts for design management, including −

  • Product Development − The manager will be responsible for overseeing all activities associated with product development and release and for establishing relationships with other business units to make these activities possible. This work frequently follows a user-centered (or UX-centered) strategy as its direction.

  • Brand Design − Here, duties include generating touch points, building a dependable, trustworthy perspective, and making it instantly recognised to customers.

  • Service Design − The opposite of product design and something that is gaining more and more significance as the product-service hybrid market grows. A customer-centered or customer-experience (CV) strategy is used in service design.

  • Business Design − Business design is a new idea that refers to the idea that organisations can be created internally to function more effectively and efficiently. A business design manager will typically need to be very persuasive when trying to convince others of the value of their ideas.

  • Engineering Design  Compared to other design disciplines, engineering design is primarily focused on technological outputs, including technological processes and artefacts.


In conclusion, Fashion Design Management in a commercial setting is probably one of the most crucial factors throughout the fashion value chain, with the potential to revolutionise a brand's product offering and position in the market when given specialised time and resources. The management of fashion design entails keeping an eye on the design procedures and ensuring that they function properly during the launch of a fashion brand in the market. To support management choices in a fast-paced sector, one needs to be aware of emerging trends, influences, and styles as well as have a solid grasp of the strategic facets of fashion and service design.

Updated on: 08-Feb-2023


Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started