The DBA is a vibrant community of design consultancies and design-driven businesses – a powerful alliance shaping the future of design in business.
With a membership of hundreds of businesses, the DBA is a valuable network, support and voice for all those involved in the delivery, commissioning and management of design who share a common commitment to operate at the highest standards of professional practice.
We support the development and growth of you, your team, your business and brand. We facilitate enlightening interactions with your peers and communicate the value of your work. Isn’t it time you joined us?
DBA membership gives you exclusive access to a wealth of services and programmes that directly impact your team’s and your business’ performance.
From benchmarking your rates and salaries against your peers, to accessing expert advice and guidance only a call or a click away, our extensive and relevant range of member benefits provides professional and practical support to help you drive efficiencies, professionalism and results.
The DBA is also uniquely placed to provide a powerful, united industry voice to champion the strategic and economic value of design to business and government. Join us, add your voice to our membership and proactively shape your own business’ and the industry’s future.
Share experience with like-minded businesses and design leaders. DBA members vary in shape, size and design discipline from international corporate design teams such as GSK and LEGO, through world-leading design firms, to micro design studios the length and breadth of the UK, but there is an intimacy and willingnessto share and learn from each other that sets our community apart. Learn from and support each other in our mission to champion effective design and effective design businesses.
“In times of difficulty it becomes clear who you can rely on as a business. Right through from concrete advice in webinars to hosting valuable weekly catch ups with agency leaders, there’s a real appreciation in the community for how much work has been put into delivering immediate support and solutions during the pandemic. The DBA is the best value-for-money trade association you can belong to.”
Martin Meadows, MD, Workhouse (based in the North West with a team of 21-50 staff)
Become a part of the voice for design and influence its future narrative. DBA members share their ideas, priorities and concerns with us which we use to inform advice and feedback into government. The DBA holds weekly conversations with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport empowering DBA members to influence the context in which your business is operating.
“Design needs a strong voice in the commercial world – to be perceived as a business necessity rather than a cosmetic option. The DBA is the only organisation our profession has to represent us where it matters, at the centre of industry and government.”
Callum Lumsden, Creative Director, Lumsden Design
(based in London with a team of 4-10 staff)
Championing effective design
Design is the yeast in the business mix. The more recognition at the highest levels, the more baked-in design becomes. The DBA supports our members in articulating the value of design, whether that be financial, behavioural, societal or environmental.
“The DBA’s focus on design effectiveness helps train the team to think in the right way and ask the right questions of the client at the right time.”
Chris Lumsden, Managing Partner, Good (based in Glasgow and London with a team of 21-50 staff)
Embedding effective design
The DBA supports you in your mission to prove the value of design through consultations on live case studies. Articulating the effectiveness of design comes down to the ability to measure its success. The DBA helps you develop these processes and embed them in your thinking.
“Design effectiveness is very important to us. We have now made it a central pillar of our five year plan.”
Oliver Dyer, MD, Skew (based in London with a team of 4-10 staff)
Celebrating effective design
Judged by industry leaders, experts and CEOs of FTSE 500 businesses, and based on rigorous business case studies proving the impact of your work, the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards are one of the highest accolades in the design industry and the most rewarding to win.
“It is incredibly important to be able to clearly demonstrate the impact that investing in strategic brand design has on the success of the brands we work with. In uncertain times, the need for effective creativity and design-led thinking is especially clear. The DBA Design Effectiveness awards are a brilliant way to showcase both agency and client commitment to the power of design.”
Kerry Bolt, Co-Founder and Client Partner, B&B Studio (based in London with a team of 21-50 staff)
DBA membership is for the whole company, so all your colleagues can benefit in developing professionally. All of our training courses are business focused covering subjects such as: Managing People, Project Management, Presentation Skills, Expert Client Relationship Management.
“As a member based on the South Coast we feel that we are getting real value from the DBA webinars and online learning sessions – the whole team thanks you!”
Michael Hendry, MD, The Blueprint Design Company (based in Plymouth with a team of 4-10 staff)
The DBA Twenty/Twenty programme pairs rising industry leaders with established design pioneers for a 12-month one-to-one mentoring relationship.
Since launching in 2011, more than 400 participants from over 250 DBA member businesses have participated. Designed specifically for individuals who want to take their thinking around business issues, their people and themselves to the next level.
“The design sector is fiercely competitive – there’s a constant undercurrent of rivalry both within agencies and between agencies. Mostly, these competitive streaks are fuelled by passion, that in turn sparks amazing work. Given this backdrop, it’s incredible how utterly brilliant and sector defining the Twenty/Twenty mentoring scheme really is. I’ve now been involved in three separate cohorts and I’ve been consistently blown away by the levels of trust, professionalism, honesty and integrity that underpin the process. This, in my opinion, is the DBA at its absolute best.”
Andy Sexton, Partner & Executive Creative Director, 2LK (based in the South East with a team of 21-50 staff)
The DBA Annual Survey report gives comparison data for agencies to allow you to compare your operational effectiveness with your peers. Available free and exclusively to DBA members, the detailed analysis in the report can help you grow your business’ competitiveness, inform your strategic planning and budgets, and enable you to make key decisions about your business with greater confidence.
Our in-house design team members are currently working together to create a Design Maturity Index to help design leaders determine how well their organisations understand design and the role of design in their business.
“As a small (and sometimes isolated) business, the DBA Annual Survey Report is the only way of really knowing how we compare with other agencies. Otherwise we’re just second guessing in the dark. It’s essential in helping us to benchmark what we pay our staff and what we charge clients, in order to remain competitive.”
Andy West, Director, MultiAdaptor (based in London with a team of 4-10 staff)
Access to opinion pieces, thought leadership, and guidance on a wide range of topics. From sustainability to diversity, from inspirational videos on leadership, to practical advice on appraising creative staff.
For those needing HR and legal support the DBA provides two helplines fast-tracking you to expert advice.
The DBA is a source of insight, support and inspiration.
“The DBA have been exceptional. The speed at which the DBA stepped in to offer timely, relevant help during COVID-19 was staggering and they’ve followed-up every week with quality insight and leading-edge thinking to help us navigate these tricky times. If you’ve ever questioned the value of professional memberships, I would say their advice and guidance has paid for itself ten times over in the last month.”
Kate Lenton, MD, Taxi Studio (based in Bristol with a team of 21-50 staff)
Why have others joined the DBA?
Deborah Dawton, Chief Executive of the DBA, introduces a five minute film featuring members explaining how they benefit from being part of the DBA community.
“I believe the DBA has been fundamental to my own personal development and Elmwood wouldn’t have developed in the way it has without the opportunities the DBA opened up for us to learn from our peer group.”
Jonathan Sands OBE, Owner & Vixillifer, Elmwood
(based in Leeds, London & several offices around the world with a team of 100+ staff)