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Thinking Strategically about Design

Design is and always has been strategic – either consciously or unconsciously, either effectively or not. The work we do for clients is commissioned for a reason; it has a job to do and hurdles to overcome. The creative world and that of our client’s becoming more competitive. There are real and tangible benefits in designers developing and presenting their work in a more rounded and strategic way. 

Resulting work can be more creative, more efficient, more buyable and more effective. ‘Thinking strategically’ is not necessarily taught at colleges and can be something that designers feel is for ‘the strategist’ and not part of their role. There is often a misunderstanding of what it involves and a level of discomfort or reluctance to embrace it.

Course Outline

This intensive one-day session is designed to give you an introduction to thinking more strategically about your design work. It explores what’s involved in thinking strategically and the benefits of doing so and how to use it to your advantage. You will explore ‘the four corners’ of thinking strategically and consider a range of tips and techniques, which you can apply directly to your current work.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this workshop you will:

  • Understand what’s involved in thinking strategically about your design work
  • Know how to use strategic thinking to make your work more creative, efficient, understandable and buyable
  • Get a toolbox of tips and techniques to apply directly to your current work   
  • Learn how to move beyond decoration and subjective judgement to a more purposeful and rational position

Suitable for

  • ‘Graphic’ designers not product designers or advertising creatives
  • Graphic designers or junior project managers wanting to think more strategically in how they create and present their work
  • Those looking to move beyond the label of graphic ‘decorators’
  • Those working in agencies without access to strategists or those just starting work with a strategist and wanting to work more effectively with them

Your Facilitator

Gill Thomas is an independent brand strategist. She began her career as a graphic designer at the internationally renowned agency Pentagram with a focus and passion on the craft of design. She then spent 18 years at award winning creative agency The Partners, starting as a mid-weight designer rising to a board position of creative partner. Gill went independent 10 years ago and made the shift from designer to strategy. Uniquely, she is in the position of ‘speaking both languages’, working directly with clients and with a number of (small and medium sized) agencies wanting to add a strategic dimension to their work.


64 Cheshire Street 
E2 6EH
United Kingdom

Thinking Strategically About Design

Thinking Strategically About Design


09:30 – 17:00


Looking for more Information?

If you're interested in learning more about Thinking Strategically about Design and would like to discuss it with a D&AD Training professional, please leave your details and someone will be in touch very shortly via email or call us on +44 (0) 20 7840 1154.

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