Trends in the 2007's Business and Design Landscape

Jess McMullin over at bplusd has created and visual graphic of the Business and Design Landscape for 2007.

Its looks pretty interesting as it contains a decent breakdown of not just consulting firms, but also schools, events, publications, and corporate groups.
We liked the way of how he clearly divided the consulting firms, schools and corporate teams into distinctively clear categories – companies and schools led by design, business, research and insight. This is important as the design industry is so varied and its a good way to see all the different focuses. Jess’s classification can be use as a design tool as it basically marks out some interesting trends in our own design industry.

Times are changing, we notice that companies are not solely run by the engineering functions anymore and many position themselves to focus more on innovation businesses and/or innovative design concepts as a means to differentiate them in the market these days.
As working designers, we can see how the market leaders are moving to and how we can even be the change-makers for the companies that we work for.
As aspiring design students, we can see and apply our design strengths, (such as more design focus, entrepreneural, or more research-oriented etc) before we can apply to the right firms that can best apply our abilities.
Finally even for non-designers, this is a rather good map for you to understand the world of Design + Business and also see how you can partake in it.
As mentioned by the writer this list is a draft and thus have its holes even though it gives a fairly clear overview. For one we liked to see a little less focus of the US centric design landscape. There are a lot of interesting movers and shakers in the design industry in both Europe and Asia, which is noticeably lacking here. Also missing are the strong Asian consultancies and design schools.
We are also a little confused as some classifications are incorrect, for example after all that D-School talk, Stanford is classified as a design lead school? Is it not business lead?
The other thing is the list of design blogs; they seem more of to me a collection of personal blogs of people who are part of the speaking tour and not any that actually share much of their work on their blog, perhaps there should be another catagory for Speakers. Some notable design blogs, design networks and innovation thinking blogs missing include Core 77, John Maeda, Seth Goldin and Design Sojourn of cause!
All in all great work Jess and we look forward to the final visual map

  • csven

    March 30, 2007 at 10:47 pm Reply

    I don’t consider Core77 to be a worthy blog (it’s not even a “blog”; there’s no conversation, just news clips). I could provide additional details, but let’s just say I think both the front page and the forums leave MUCH to be desired. Core’s saving grace is their portfolio system. A shame the rest isn’t nearly to the same level of quality.

  • csven

    March 31, 2007 at 2:07 am Reply

    Good example of Core’s less-than-impressive “blog”:
    2 1/2 years ago:
    If they’re going to post old news, they should call it “Revisited: Rolling Bridge” or something. That way people don’t think it’s NEW news. If they’re not researching something before they post it, then they’re being lazy afaic.
    The Sears CNC post – – was only 3 months old (and I see they’ve still not Approved my comment which included mention of the new inkjet technology I posted about). The new news just keeps aging.
    In my opinion, they really need to treat it as a BLOG or as a NEWS page; and do it well. After all, they’re making money through advertising. If they were to start up today, there’s a good chance no one would notice them.

  • Design Translator

    March 31, 2007 at 6:24 am Reply

    You are right their forums have degenerated in to flame wars and name calling. Let me clearify what I mean, I look at Core 77 more in the blog network catagory. Actually where as you mentioned their portfolio and designer network is the only thing that keeps them going. I’m not too keen on their blog either, and rarly follow it.
    But yeah their portfolio system AND their jobs database are their mainstays. Probably why they are less concern in their blogs making money.

  • blackchocks

    April 2, 2007 at 10:29 am Reply

    Core 77 used to be a great forum where there was the discussion of ideas and such. I used it as a valuable design resource back in my uni days.
    Now it has really degenerated to, like what DT says, flame wars and name calling.
    I think places like (GO DT!!) and are the two sites i go to for information now.

  • PY

    April 3, 2007 at 9:06 am Reply

    I agree with you, blackchocks.It is sad to see how Core 77 has created more unworthy design news that are being treated as a blog.DT wrote an article some time back on the IDEO CD player that looked like a table saw in Core 77, of which there isn’t much design relevance to the proper function of the CD player itself.(
    But core77 and coroflot were no doubt one of the most popular design network and portfolio database during my school days,too, so the name itself still draws people to go and see it.A branding strategist once told me that for a brand to be powereful, they should specialise in only one type of “goods’ they are good at to gain market appeal. Right now Core 77 is putting too many eggs in one basket, where they are many design features, but not all good.
    So if they focus on what they are good at – portfolio system and also portfolio tips,and probably feature a good network of worthy blog links like Design Sojourn, Studio469,, they will go a long way.

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