All about Design

In a rapidly changing and increasingly demanding marketplace, design is a critical source of competitive advantage. Embedded within, and throughout a business, design can impact across the total enterprise transforming its fortunes and tangibly realising its strategic intent. 

From measuring success to sharing excellence and best practice, we work to build universal confidence in design investment, and to enable thriving partnerships between those commissioning and managing design and the agencies delivering it.

Through our work, and with the powerful collective voice of our membership, the DBA is uniquely placed to drive design ever further up the agenda in business and government. 

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About Us

Founded in 1986, the Design Business Association is the trade association for all those working in the field of design, supporting them and championing the transformative power of design. The DBA membership consists of over 350 design consultancies and design-driven businesses including many of the brightest and most respected names.

The bridge between design and business – there is no other organisation like the DBA. We galvanise the sector, to enable the full commercial, strategic and economic potential of design to be realised throughout business and government.

UK design is world leading, revered both for its creative quality and its commercial effectiveness. Today the UK design industry is the largest sub-sector of the creative industries, with the design economy generating £85.2 billion in gross value added (GVA) to the UK and employing 1.69 million people.

At its hub is the DBA – a dynamic network of design consultancies and design-driven businesses from across the UK with a common belief in excellence, good working practices and a commitment to effective design. 

The DBA’s founding aim – to sustain the rising reputation and growth of design – is still fundamental to the work we do today. We know that design is an economic force and source of global influence. We work with our members, and the wider industry, to ensure that the upcoming challenges for the industry become opportunities to position design firmly as a strategic business competence. 

We have no hidden agenda. Your membership fee is reinvested in helping to shape a better future for your business and for the industry at large.

Together, with our members, we are the collective voice for design.

“The DBA represents you on all the issues that matter, from education, to employment; from effectiveness, to export. We’re here to make your voice heard to ensure you, your team and your agency are at the top of your game and driving the success of the UK’s design industry.” Deborah Dawton, Chief Executive, Design Business Association.

Our Team

The DBA team are highly skilled, bringing a wealth of experience to work closely together across programme delivery, member services, advocacy and communications to ensure the DBA membership’s needs are met and that the case for design is driven further up the agenda in business and government.

Meet the DBA team.

Our Board

The DBA’s Board of Directors is fundamental to the work we do. Elected from the membership, our Directors possess diverse experience of bringing design to the strategy-setting c-suite of business. They work closely with the DBA’s management team to develop the strategy and frameworks by which we support the sector to drive design ever further up the agenda in business and government, and together as an industry can build universal confidence in design investment.

Meet the Board of Directors.

Industry Partners

We work closely with a range of industry partners to raise the profile of design amongst business and government and to deliver our strategic priorities, enabling us to continue to support the growth and influence of the DBA membership.

Whether providing evidence of design effectiveness, contributing to industry strategies and reports, securing design’s representation on government boards, or helping to shape design industry policy, collaboration with key industry partners across the creative industries and public sector is vital to our work in sustaining the rising reputation and growth of design.

Anti Copying in Design (ACID)

Bureau of European Design Agencies (BEDA)

Creative UK

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)

Department for Business and Trade

Design and Technology Association

Design Council

Policy Connect

The Sorrell Foundation

If you would like to partner with us to support the growth and influence of the UK’s design industry, please contact

DBA vacancies

Join our dynamic, results driven team dedicated to supporting the growth and effectiveness of the UK’s design industry. See our current vacancies.

View vacancies

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