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I’m part of an in-house design department.  There are a lot of great things about my job: I get to be creative, I get to develop long-term relationships with my clients, and there is the security of a permanent job versus the world of freelance design work.

But in-house design departments face a number of unique challenges and, as I’m in the process of restructuring mine, it is proving difficult to find information online tailored to our specific circumstances. I came across this great post on the AIGA (an American-based professional association for design) site that asks the question “Can In-House Design Departments Be Respectable?“.   And as the title suggests, David C. Baker points out that in-house design teams can struggle to gain the respect of both their designer peers and the people within their company.

Here’s my video commentary on the article, and what I see as some of the challenges and benefits of an in-house design team.

In case you missed it, I do believe that in-house designers are respectable because no one knows their company and client’s needs better.  A lot of people have design skills, not everyone knows the ins and outs of the company.

I’d love to hear from other in-house designers about how they view their unique position. Do you ever feel short on respect? How do you sell your services within the company?  What conferences do you attend, or associations do you belong to, that support your in-house design strategies?


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