The scale of small and medium size graphic design business’ could be measured by various parameters: number of employees, work division and working procedure, location of working environment, types of clients and human resources etc. Employee Numbers Under the Chinese context, there is more or less ten people …
The scale of small and medium size graphic design business’ could be measured by various parameters: number of employees, work division and working procedure, location of working environment, types of clients and human resources etc.
Under the Chinese context, there is more or less ten people in a small graphic design studio, while more than twenty people in a medium size graphic design company.
Work Division & Working Procedure
The work division of small design studios is usually based on project teams. Designers are responsible not only for the visual execution, but also for the team recruitment, project strategy development, communication with clients and project time-management. It largely requires designers to make comprehensive contributions according to various disciplines. The cooperation within project teams needs to be high, in order to lower the cost of internal communication and improve the working efficiency. However, in order to keep a high standard of design, small studios with limited human resources are unable to participate in many projects at the same time. However, serious client selection may hurt small studios’ network with clients because Chinese clients may feel they ‘lose face’ if they are refused by a small studio on a project. Thus, further interaction between them would seldom happen in the future.
It is unlikely for the working procedures in medium size companies to be varied from one department to another. AE would be responsible for the communication with other departments and clients. The project would then be passed to the planning department to define the requirements of the project, brainstorm, and carry out primary research to develop a marketing strategy. The design department would then execute a visualisation of the concept created by the strategists. The role and function of departments are clear and meticulous. Yet, the cooperation among departments is often disconnected because they work individually according to different disciplines. Lacking of internal communication among departments may reduce the working efficiency of the whole company.
Location of Working Environment
The scale of Chinese graphic design enterprises could also be measured by the location of their working environment. In the mind of the Chinese, “big” implies confidence and excellence. But for the survival of a start-up business, small studios can only afford residential apartments as office space. They are eager to cooperate with big clients to improve their financial conditions, whilst the working environment is not persuasive for the clients to sign a contract with them. The location puts small studios in a dilemma, because it suggests a lack of confidence in its commercial communication to entrepreneurs.
Medium size graphic design enterprises will be generally located in creative industry centres in mainlandChina. The rent of offices in creative industry centres is much higher than that of residential apartments. However, it provides graphic design companies with a better environment for employees, and enhances business negotiation with clients. It generates confidence for interaction between design entrepreneurs and clients. It does not mean that the residential location must restrict the progress of graphic design business development. Design entrepreneurs need to choose an environment which is suited to their budget, working atmosphere and business requirements.
Part II is coming tomorrow.