From designer to entrepreneur

By nature, designers are resourceful and highly creative but most are insulated from the tough-nosed business decisions of the entire product development process. Deciding what to make, how to finance it and then get it to market at the right price, is a complicated and sometimes fraught business. You have to admire anyone that takes full responsibility for conceiving an idea and making it a commercial reality. However, it’s very tempting for designers to want to develop their own projects, in order to have full control over the vision and it’s faithful realisation.

We’ve recently ventured into this arena by licensing the Popagami brand from a long-standing client, to create a range of crafts kits to sell via NotOnTheHighStreet.com (NOTHS). Popagami is based on a traditional origami animal design, which is inflated to become 3D. We have designed a range of colouring-in kits, themed to include Jungle, Safari, Fairytale, Farm and Endangered Species.

Not surprisingly the ‘journey’ from what seemed like a good idea at the time back in the summer, to launching on NOTHS, has taken longer than we expected, and making decisions involving the investment of your own time and money, certainly focuses the mind!

The experience, we believe, has made us better designers and more appreciative of the tasks facing our clients who are accountable for engaging our services and showing a return on the investment. The outcome is that we prefer to concentrate on our core creative skills, as our contribution to the overall product development process, but we are now better able to see our role in context and appreciate the bigger picture.