Design Council provides business support to SMEs across the UK through our Design Leadership Programme which is part funded by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. 

Over the last decade we’ve helped more than 2,500 businesses prosper and grow – and as part of that process we regularly measure and evaluate the impact of our work.

We’ve just received the results from the latest survey of our clients. Here’s what they found…

The top five benefits our clients reported were:

  • Increased sales
  • Improved services to customers
  • Jobs safeguarded
  • The creation of new products and services
  • More creative thinking processes

Businesses also noted strategic changes our support had brought about, including:

  • A more design-focussed work culture
  • Changes to company methods
  • An increased profile for design

Summing this up one respondent wrote:
“We now think about design in the way we present ourselves and our products to our customers. All future developments will incorporate design expertise.”

Clients told us the Programme had changed the way they thought about their products and services, for example:
“We are more aware of the things we need to think about to have a successful product … better designed products give us the confidence not only to increase existing markets but to explore new opportunities”.

This often resulted in a re-launched or refreshed brand that businesses felt better reflected them and their values.
“A clear design brief has helped us to express our message more clearly … it has given us the opportunity to focus on higher-value client sectors.”

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News & opinion

Five things we learned at Design in the Public Sector Ellen Care, Transformation and Change Officer for the London Borough of Bexley, gives us her top 5 things she will take from her time on the programme Ellen Care, Transformation and Change Officer for the London Borough of Bexley, gives us her top 5 things she will take from the programme.

Feature — 23/07/2018

Looking back on last year's Design in the Public Sector programme A brief look back at some of the public health challenges explored through our Design in the Public Sector programme last year. A brief look back at some of the public health challenges explored through our Design in the Public Sector programme last year.

Feature — 09/07/2018

Videos: Reframing the challenge through Design in the Public Sector South Kesteven District Council discuss how Design in the Public Sector helped them see their housing challenge in a different light. South Kesteven District Council discuss how Design in the Public Sector helped them see their housing challenge in a different light.

Feature — 24/04/2018

South Kesteven District Council: Accelerating housing delivery and creating a sustainable... South Kesteven District Council needed to tackle the housing problem in their area. They also wanted to create a sustainable business model. One that could withstand increasing pressure on services and shrinking funding from central government. How increased pressure on services and shrinking funding from central government led South Kesteven District Council to Design Council.

Feature — 20/04/2018

Design Academy: the student experience We caught up with University of the Arts London Design School student Clara Llamas to find out what participating in Design Academy meant for her and her fellow students. We caught up with University of the Arts London student Clara Llamas to find out what participating in Design Academy meant for her.

Feature — 03/04/2018

Doncaster Council: Embedding user-centred design in local government David Ayre from Doncaster Council reflects on his experience of using design thinking to help address public health issues through our Design in the Public Sector programme. David Ayre from Doncaster Council reflects on his experience of using design thinking to help address public health issues.

Feature — 29/03/2018

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