Meet the professionals: Max Resnick MCSD

In another of the series ‘Meet the Professionals’ we talk to Max Resnick MCSD, an industrial designer with one of the most influential global design practices, ARUP. The Society has many members working at ARUP in their various international offices and has collaborated with them on numerous occaisions, most recently showcasing some of their work on the London Design Pavilion at Shenzhen Design Week 2019 where some of the design work produced by CSD members, including Max, was on display. See ‘Why we are the international professional membership body for designers’

Q: Please introduce yourself?

Max: I am an industrial designer working at Arup, focusing on product design and venturing projects. I am based in London but support colleagues globally, working closely with teams in the Americas and Australia in recent months.

Q: What made you choose this career?

Max: I grew up drawing, disassembling and making. From a young age I was lucky to be exposed to the worlds of cars, watches and art, amongst a very creative family, and so I formed a fascination with wanting to understand how things worked. My grandpa supported this fascination in helping me take things apart around the house…

Once I understood why the objects around me looked and worked the way they did, I wanted to improve them! My interests in both design and engineering led me to training as an automotive designer, before I diversified into other fields of design.

Q: Why did you become a member of the society?

Max: I chose to join the society to demonstrate my ongoing commitment to maintaining the highest standards of professional design practice.

Q: What do you find the most exciting and enjoyable thing about being a designer?

Max: The part of being a designer that I find most exciting are those early conversations where a problem has been identified but a solution not yet defined. I enjoy working with experts in their discipline to solve problems and to identify opportunities for innovation.

Q: What are the greatest challenges you face as a designer and how have you overcome them.?

Max: It is often difficult to find the right collaborators; those who share the same values and approach to introducing solutions, technologies and products to the market. I’ve found that through increasing clarity on the type of projects that I want to work on, the right opportunities present themselves.

Q: Designers never seem to stop designing – but when you are not designing?

Max: When not designing I like to disconnect from technology, spending my time cooking or outdoors; running, horse-riding and Scuba diving.

Q: As a designer what are you most proud of?

Max: As a designer I am most proud of turning my master’s thesis into a piece of academic research work that re-considers the development process of road vehicles, suggesting we should develop vehicle aerodynamics to perform better on increasingly congested roads with an intention to reduce fuel consumption.

Q: What are the most important qualities or competences for a designer?

Max: I think designers need to be sensitive; to clients, users, and the world around them. They care about overlooked details and are driven to solve problems wherever they are found.

Q: If you were not a designer what else would you like to be?

Max: If not a designer, I’d be a sculptor, or perhaps an architect.

Q: What does design mean to you?

Max: To me, design is a way of thinking through which we support the evolution of materials, of products and of human behaviour. It is a balance between the creativity of art and the requirements of business and acts as a form of communication, not just through an appealing visual impression, but in making lives better and changing our lived experiences. Design isn’t always noticeable, but it is all around us. Good design helps to shape a better world.

Q: In one sentence what advice would you give to a new designer?

Max: Designers learn through hands-on experience so try working outside your comfort zone and never forget the importance of commercial thinking!

Q: Can you show us some of your most recent projects?


One of the recent projects I have been involved in has been to work with colleagues across Arup to launch the e-mobility charging start-up ‘Charge’. They’re based in New York with ambition to become the largest global network of electric charging, storage and service stations for the micro-mobility industry. (


I’m also working with Mogu to develop commercially available products for interior design applications from their mycelium-based technologies. We’re currently collaborating on the development of their acoustic tiling offering and will be launching a new product system in 2020. (

Hand washing station – was featured at London Pavilion – Shenzhen Design Week 2019

Our team at Arup has worked in partnership with the British Red Cross and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine to prevent the spread of diseases through the design and dissemination of a new and open-source hand washing station for emergency response situations. (

Meet the professionals: Melvyn Law MCSD

The Society embraces members who practice in all design specialisms but what they have in common is a designerly approach to solving problems whatever the discipline. Here we talk to Melvyn Law about design, light and practice.

Q: Please introduce yourself?

Melvyn: I am the principal of Limelight atelier, a lighting design consultancy working in the realm of Architecture and the built environment; I’ve been practicing since 2007 with renowned international companies before I started my own practice in Singapore in 2012.

Q: What made you choose this career?

Melvyn: Before specialising in lighting design, I was an interior designer and always have been intrigued by a bigger contribution to Architecture and its surrounding. It was by chance that I came across the specialisation of lighting and its unique intangible affiliation with the built environment. I was mentored by one of the pioneering lighting designer – Mr Louis Clair, while working on the largest integrated resort in Singapore; he greatly refined my perception and critical thoughts about the importance of illumination.

Q: Why did you become a member of the society?

Melvyn: It sets an important benchmark to be a member of the Society; amongst the design profession.

Q: What do you find the most exciting and enjoyable thang about being a designer?

Melvyn: Designing is never a routine process. Every project is different with its set of challenges, as you pounder to respond to the brief and exceed expectations. Late nights, caffeine, are all part and parcel of this adrenaline affair. 

Q: What are the greatest challenges you face as a designer and how have you overcome them?

Melvyn: I remembered that I was struggling in my early years of establishing the practice; we designers were never taught about the business aspects of running our own practices. Everything was learnt through mistakes, tears, sleepless nights. Luckily there was some good advice out there and I am still learning!

Q: Designers never seem to stop designing – but when you are not designing?

Melvyn: My family is an important part of me and so I enjoy spending time with my wife and lovely kids.

Q: As a designer what are you most proud of?

Melvyn: In 2017, we were humbled to have designed the largest stadium in South East Asia – the KL sports city, which has been accoladed with multiple design awards.

Q: What are the most important qualities or competences for a designer?

Melvyn: To have an astute eye for details and embrace design thinking in the process. Be brave to challenge the status quo.

Q: If you were not a designer what else would you like to be?

Melvyn: A chef perhaps, meddling with the simplicity of salt and spices.

Q: What does design mean to you?

Melvyn: Design is an intriguing and subjective matter, yet very important to our everyday life, the tools we use, the chairs we sit on, the spaces that enhance users’ experiences. I am in love with the process of designing, and very much the smiles produced by the end result.

Q: In one sentence what advice would you give to a new designer?

Melvyn: Look beyond the fame and glamour of being a designer, there’s much more to it.

Q: Can you show us some of your most recent projects?

KL Sports City

KL Sports City is the largest stadium in South East Asia. The Façade lighting design multiply its values by allowing for different scenes, potential advertising for different events, it amplifies the architecture at night and contributes functional illumination to its perimeter, thus saving huge amount of energy.

Northpoint City

Northpoint City is the largest mixed development in northern Singapore. The project aims to attract and retain visitors with the careful integration of lighting onto its façade, interior key nodes and landscape. The challenge was to use lighting to unify the existing and the new architecture.

Thye Hua Kwan Temple

Thye Hua Kwan Temple, this Chinese temple sits in a residential enclave, with lighting designed to be subtle, not disturbing the surrounding residences, yet brings out the philosophical aspects of Chinese architecture, but placing emphasis on the sweeping roof eaves and the mystical ornaments.

This is why we are the international professional membership body for designers!

CSD members displayed their work in China when, with the support of the Mayor of London, the Society curated the London Design Pavilion at Shenzhen Design Week (SZDW) 2019.

The Society first engaged with Shenzhen Design Week at its inauguration in 2017 when the Chief Executive, Frank Peters FCSD, gave a keynote speech with a further invitation to speak the following year on the ‘Future of Design’. The organisers of SZDW initiated a ‘Design Guest’ programme for the 2018 event inviting Italy as the first guest and for 2019 they invited CSD to curate a pavilion in 2019 showing the work of London designers and organise a series of talks. The two week event featured four days of the London Pavilion and two days of speaker events.

Amongst those participating at the London Pavilion were, New London Architecture featuring the work of some 50 architects, the London Fashion District and representatives from London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s promotional agency.

In all the London Pavilion occupied 1,500 sqm of space at the Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Centre and featured alongside the display of work by winners of the Shenzhen Global Design Awards of which the Society is pleased to be a supporting partner.

The work showcased on the pavilion included fashion, product, lighting, interiors, graphics, and packaging alongside architecture and structural engineering and ranged from tableware to the latest model Jaguar.

Maynard Design, founded by CSD Fellow Julian Maynard, exhibited their wayfinding work which included their recently completed work for the new London Bridge station. A full size totem developed for the project was on display together with a video compilation of their other international projects. In a city such as Shenzhen with a population of some 18 million and which is only 40 years old, wayfinding is strategic to its development in terms of infrastructure and social interaction and visitors from other cities in China were keen to know more about this unique field of design.

Nigel Coates MCSD created an interior on the pavilion comprising five room sets each displaying his interior design work and populated with his furniture designs. Nigel is an iconic and well respected figure in interior design and his playful approach to interiors and furniture delighted the audience.

CSD members at ARUP offered exhibits from their sustainable product design initiative, including lighting, seating, storage and emergency hygiene equipment.

Environmental concerns are a driving factor at ARUP and in collaboration with ARUP Foresight the Society showcased a major exhibit promoting their ‘Drivers of Change’ toolkit which considers how our world will be like in 2050. In a constructed space of 100sqm 3,600 ‘Drivers of Change’ cards were suspended from the roof on ribbons through which visitors passed whilst reading the information on each of the specially designed cards which identified a particular environmental issue and offered statistics to substantiate concerns. On exiting the exhibit visitors were invited to draw on a 20m wall illustrating their wishes as to the kind of environment in which they wished to live in 2050. The resulting images from young and old alike showed why we as designers need to do more in order to address the concerns of peoples around the world as to the future of the planet on which we live for such a relatively short time.

For those not able to attend in person the Society offered a ‘Designer Gallery’ where some 16 exhibitors displayed their work and credentials from retail interior design to corporate identity.

Running alongside the pavilion were two days of presentations by CSD members in attendance and designers and architects from Shenzhen and Hong Kong. Each day culminated in a panel discussion seeking ways in which the UK and China design sectors might collaborate in future, something the Society has been active in facilitating commercially and academically over the last two decades.

The Society would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our friends at the Shenzhen Design Promotion Agency for their generous support in enabling the initiative and we look forward to supporting you in 2020.

Meet the Professionals: Adrian Van Cooten MCSD

Q: What made you choose design as your career?

Adrian: I actually have a Computer Science degree and I’ve always had a fascination with design. When I graduated from university, I worked at some of the top creative agencies in London working closely with designers as a Project Manager.  As the digital industry moved at lightening pace there came more opportunities to get involved in design projects from a hands-on-hands perspective, especially with mobile devices and wearables. In 2014 I finally made the leap and studied UX Design at General Assembly. On my first day of learning about design I was completely hooked

Q: What’s the most exciting thing about what you do?

Adrian: The most exciting thing is that digital design is so pervasive. It really touches every aspect of everyone’s lives. This means there’s an enormous responsibility to help shape and improve society. Everyday I’m solving problems that will hopefully impact and change someone’s life for the better. It’s incredibly thrilling and I feel very lucky to do my job.

Q: What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

Adrian: The biggest challenge as a Digital Product Designer is that at times you have to design things that have never before existed. As designers we are used to design via analogy but sometime we have to teach users how to use or interface with a product in a brand new way. This means you have to really get under the skin of the user. As a designer you have to do homework and research not just the user and understand their behaviours but you have to intimately understand their environment. You have to really trust the process and it’s safe to say the process of user centred design really works.

Q: What do you think is the future of your sector?

Adrian: The sector is still relatively new but I think that the confluence between digital design and traditional product design is inevitable. I think that we will see digital product designers and physical product designer working together as a unit under one design practice more and more.

Q: What’s been your favourite project?

Adrian: My favourite project to date was working on YouTube for Artists. It was a very exciting project.

Q: What are you working on right now?

Adrian: I’m currently the Product Design Lead for a brand new challenger bank called Bó. It’s really interesting to be part of improving the financial wellbeing of the UK.

Q: What advice would you give to recent graduates?

Adrian: I would say that on the whole internships are a good thing. There are opportunities all around you to get involved with projects especially in digital, I would always make a list of the top 10 start ups you admire and I would approach them directly to see if you can get involved. I would always time box your involvement (say 2 months) and ensure that the company is giving you opportunities to build your portfolio.

Some of Adrian’s projects:

Work London
The Background
Work London is a hyperlocal discovery app that helps professionals find the most inspiring places to work around London. The places can range from the trendiest coffee shops to museums to open green spaces within the city. Once the user gets to their desired location they can connect to like minded professionals and collaborate on projects.

The Goal
The goals for this project were to:

  • To create a companion app that would help professionals get out of the office and find inspirational places around the city.
  • Inspire professionals to get out of the office.
  • Connect to like minded professionals that are also hot desking to inspire collaboration.
  • Get professionals excited about working again.

The Results

Work London has since been rebranded as Work Wherever.

Work Wherever has been launched in app store and has been a run away success. Forever Beta where I worked have announced that the app has become so popular that they are looking to build an Apple Watch version of app.


ShortList Media

Shortlist Media is a leading digital publisher and media platform with pioneering brands ShortList, Stylist, Emerald Street and Mr Hyde

The user research highlighted the need for ShortList Media to potentially solve the issues of their users. ShortList readers often felt that living in a city felt like they were living in a rigged game. They were time poor and cash poor. As a result I designed some concepts to provide a vision for the products that ShortList Media could produce in the future.

Buzz is a product that that could help users find local bars and events in their proximity. My research unpacked that users often struggled to find cost effective ways to have fun in the city. The buzz could curate the bars and events with the best deals with added incentives for readers to socialise with friends

Meet the Professionals: Sarah Townsend-Elliott MCSD

In another instalment of our Meet the Professionals series, we spoke to Senior Interior Designer and Architectural Assistant Sarah Townsend-Elliott MCSD who works at NPS Group in London. She told us about how she got into the industry and how she sees design affecting her local environment.

Q: Please introduce yourself!

A: I’ve been in the design industry for 30 years, but from as early as I can remember I enjoyed planning spaces – not knowing that this would eventually lead to my career.

At secondary school, technical drawing was my favourite subject, but girls were not allowed to study it beyond the third year! I challenged this and passed the exam; the school subsequently removed the discriminatory barriers. It’s a proud memory for me.

Q: What made you choose this career?

A: I went straight to art college at 16 and enjoyed a few years exploring every discipline before settling on interior design for my degree.

My dissertation, ‘School Environments: The Silent Educator’, helped me find my direction. I interviewed the Head of Hampshire County Architects and visited some of their key sites. The enthusiastic way pupils talked about their new schools solidified my aim to work on public sector buildings where design could really make a difference.

Q: What’s the most exciting thing about what you do?

A: Living and working in the same community offers a unique perspective on projects. Over the years, my children have used libraries, leisure centres and civic buildings that I’ve worked on. I love shaping the local environment where I live.

Q: What challenges do you face and how do you overcome them?

A: Much has changed over the years in the public sector. For example, we are no longer in-house design services, but out-sourced in a joint venture partnership. The work is the same, but the method of delivery is different. We have a myriad of project managers from the client and consultants, which means the relationship with end users is now less direct.

However, our company retains many of the core values of the public sector: we profit share with our JV partner on a 50/50 split, support local causes, and offer staff volunteering days. As a national company with over 900 staff, there is also much expertise across the group to draw from.

Q: What are you working on right now?

A: A new focus for me is mental health awareness: I’m one of four mental health first aiders in our office. Many companies are now taking mental health and staff wellbeing seriously as there’s increasing awareness of how vital it is. I feel passionate about developing and championing this role for colleagues, clients, end users and as an integral part of design.

Q: What advice would you give to a new designer?

A: Go after your dream and don’t stop until you achieve it. There wasn’t a job waiting for me: I created it, and after all these years I am still evolving it.

Be passionate, resilient and determined to remain true to your core beliefs. By doing so you will be happy in your career and in yourself – and with happiness comes good mental health.

Sarah’s latest project

Leytonstone Library, London

Sarah Townsend-Elliott library

We provided a full multidisciplinary design service for Waltham Forest Council, carrying out major refurbishment at Leytonstone Library.

In addition to creating new bespoke light fittings, restoring the timber and terrazzo panelling, and adding a multi-purpose community space, we also carried out several environmental upgrades such as motion sensors for the lighting.

The Designer’s Guide to Insurance

insurance article

The intention of insurance is to protect your assets, earnings and liabilities.

As a designer in business, you are exposed to many risks. An unexpected claim or loss can cause financial hardship and possibly destroy years of your hard work and investment. However, you can limit any potential damage by considering the available insurance covers that can protect your business.

CSD does not dictate how you arrange your insurances so you are free to do this as you see fit, from purchasing online products direct with an insurer to policies arranged through an insurance broker.

Given the complexities involved in insuring a business, our general recommendation is to take advice from an insurance broker.

The following guidance has been prepared by MFL Affinity, which is a trading style of McParland Finn Ltd Insurance Brokers. They have the necessary expertise to advise you and are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

A brief explanation of Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) cover

PII is a cover which protects you and your business from the potential financial and reputational consequences of any alleged breach of your professional duty.

The cover should be arranged under a “Civil Liability” wording. This means that, subject to terms and conditions, the policy will respond to any claims made against you or your business, rather than just negligence-only claims.

One key aspect is that the cover is provided on a “Claims Made Basis”, which means that the policy in force at the time the claim is made (rather than when the work was undertaken) deals with the claim.

PII is normally purchased on an annual basis. However, unlike other types of insurance, once the policy period has expired all cover for work undertaken by your business will cease. In effect, each year you are purchasing cover back to the inception of your business rather than just that year’s work.

If the policy you purchase is subject to a Retroactive Date, you must ensure this is the same date as the inception of your business. This will avoid any gaps in your protection.

When arranging PII cover, you should consider the following eight points:

  • To protect your position, ask the Broker, if the insurance cover is being provided by an insurer who has at least an “A” Financial Rating or similar.
  • Is the policy wording written on a full Civil Liability basis which would include cover for claims made against the Business for breaches of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
  • Is the Limit of Indemnity adequate? There is no definition to describe adequate in this situation, but your Broker will be able to provide you with guidance when taking into consideration all of your business profiles and parameters.  Insurance Brokers are not qualified to provide you with a definitive answer as to what is adequate, but should be able to assist you in the decision making process.
  • What basis is the cover being provided on? It is likely to be more beneficial to the Member to obtain cover for “Each and Every Claim” rather than the more restricted limit of “in the annual aggregate” with any defence costs being be paid in addition.
  • To limit your financial exposure, does the policy excess exclude defence costs?
  • Does the policy provide some flexibility and allow it to be transferred into a “Run Off” policy which protects you in retirement or when you leave Private Professional Business. Run-off may be provided as an annually renewing policy or a single 6 year policy and your broker should be able to discuss your requirements in greater detail. As your liabilities may run beyond this period, as some contracts may require you to maintain cover for 12 years, it is also worth asking the broker if the policy can be extended beyond any initial period of run-off cover.
  • Does the Insurer provide a Legal Business Advice Helpline, which should preferably be provided free of charge?
  • Will you receive the advice and assistance of a Contract and Collateral Warranty Vetting Service, which should also be provided free of charge?

Other covers to consider

The available covers within the market place are numerous and varied, so below are some that you may wish to purchase. We have prioritised the covers which are legally required or where lack of cover could lead to adverse consequences for your balance sheet.

  • Asset and Earnings Protection

    For most businesses, an Office Combined policy would be the most cost-effective method of covering loss or damage to your assets (General Contents, IT Kit, Professional Kit, Tenant’s Improvements, etc.). It would also provide cover for any interruption to your business.
  • Liabilities Protection

    Under the PII, you have cover against your professional liabilities. You may also need Employers’ Liability cover (which, with limited exceptions, is a legal requirement) as well as Public Liability (Injury, Illness, Loss or Damage to Third Parties or Third Party Property). Both Employers and Public Liability can be adequately provided for under the Office Combined Policy.

    In addition, you may want to consider cover against Corporate claims made against you as a consequence of how you run your business. These claims can evolve from a number of circumstances, including but not limited to:

    • Breach of Company Law
    • Breach of Accountancy or Taxation Legislation
    • Breach of Health and Safety Legislation
    • Breach of General Data Protection Regulation
    • Defending claims made against you by competitors alleging malpractice

The cover provided by a Directors’ & Officers’ Policy should provide adequate cover for any potential claims arising out of the running of the business.

  • Miscellaneous Protection

These miscellaneous covers are more than just “nice to have”:

  • Crime: i.e. loss of your own cash/bank balances because of theft or fraud involving your own staff, other parties (including cyber criminals) or a combination of the two;
  • Cyber: a package of covers including incident response, cyber-crime, system damage and business interruption, network security and privacy liability;
  • Travel: package policies are available if you travel abroad in connection with your business;
  • Legal Expenses: this would normally be part of an Office Policy with either no charge or at a negligible cost; and
  • Motor Insurance: you can now purchase insurance for private cars used for business purposes and for small business vehicles via the plethora of online comparison sites. If this is not possible, your broker should be able to assist.

An insurance broker can properly advise you on the purchase of a portfolio of covers to meet your needs. MFL Affinity can offer special rates and services to CSD members – for further details, please visit the members’ area.

tangerine predicts design trends for 2019

Business Camera 1

We’re now approaching the end of 2018, so we asked Martin Darbyshire FCSD, Chief Executive Officer of tangerine, about his views on design trends for the next year.

Q: Which design discipline do you work in?

A: We provide design strategy and design services to a multitude of industries including hospitality, retail, aviation, rail, consumer electronics and the automotive sector. Across all of these different areas, what links our work is the delivery of outstanding customer experiences that drive commercial value for business.

Q: Where do you work?

A: We work all across the world with global brands who are a mix of service providers, manufacturers and suppliers to a variety of industry sectors. Tangerine has studios in London (UK), Seoul (South Korea) and Porto Alegre (Brazil).

Q: What do you think will be the main trends in your discipline next year?

A: Personalisation of service and creating distinctive customer experiences to differentiate brand offering is becoming a more important trend. We have noticed that brands are now looking beyond the traditional agencies they select to work with us at a strategic level to solve wider business problems through design.

Challenges for business are becoming ever more interdisciplinary and therefore there is an increased need for collaboration between different experts, specialists, and agencies. The benefit of this is that there is an increased opportunity to introduce deeper and more meaningful change across the board.

tangerine’s work on the cabin interior and seating design for Gulf Airs new aircraft is a prime example of the benefit of bringing together people from different disciplines including architects, construction workers, planners, brand specialists, interior designers and key stakeholders.

The final result of the collaboration not only elevated the customer experience to new heights and carved a distinctive place for Gulf Air in the market, but it also initiated an internal change for Gulf Air as an organisation to regain its sparkle.

The disruptive influence of digital and new technology needs to be considered by designers, but it is just one small part of the service delivery. It is important to consider customer touchpoints holistically to deliver a meaningful experience that increases engagement and inspires loyalty.

Design is now becoming utilised strategically as a core component of business, so we anticipate that more CCO job titles will mean Chief Creative Officer rather than having a commercial focus.

The CSD Guide to starting a business

starting own business

Starting your own business can be an exciting and rewarding endeavour, but it is not without risks. Studies show that 1 in 3 start-ups in the United Kingdom fail within the first three years, and 20 per cent of them in their first year.

This is often because of improper planning, lack of business knowledge, failure to conduct market research or simply setting unrealistic expectations.

However, the good news is that many new businesses do become successful and profitable, and you can increase your chance for success by making sure you plan properly.

Most businesses get their start from a single idea which must be turned into a product or service that people will want to buy. The following is a general overview of the steps you should take to do this, split into two parts: setting up and business planning.

Part one: setting up

Research your market

Researching your market allows you to address problems before wasting too much time, effort and money. It involves identifying and contacting potential customers to determine whether your idea meets a need: you want to make sure that there is a real demand for what you are planning to sell.

Make sure you:

  • Identify and talk to potential customers about their specific needs.
  • Make a prototype of the product, test it with potential customers and ask them for feedback.
  • Find out what potential customers would be willing to pay for the product or service. Try different pricing with different customers to see what people will really pay. This will help ensure you can make a return on your investment.
  • Determine what makes you stand out from competitors. Are you providing something better than or different from what is already available?

Develop and plan your product or service

  • Test your product or service with real potential customers; make changes based on their feedback and test it again.
  • Continue to test until you are sure that customers will be willing to pay what you are asking and that their needs are being met.
  • Address any issues, including how you are planning to make and sell the product or service.
  • Write a business plan to show the results of your customer research and explain that your idea is viable. This will be essential in helping you secure funding and find partners.

Find partners and suppliers

You need to work with others to develop and sell your idea. Many businesses start with just one person, but consider taking on partners and suppliers:

  • Having a partner allows you to bring in someone with different skills and expertise with whom you can share responsibilities.
  • Contact potential suppliers if you need raw materials, supplies or equipment to run your business. You should get estimates, negotiate prices and develop relationships with reliable and trustworthy suppliers.


  • Decide what legal structure your new business will take: sole trader, partnership or limited company. Each structure affects personal liability, tax requirements and control issues.
  • Decide if you will be employing staff. If so, this may require additional legal responsibilities, such as health and safety compliance, insurance requirements, licences and permits.

Find additional funding

If needed, explore different sources of funding, including bank loans, government-backed schemes or selling shares.

Further resources

For business advice and support over the phone, you can call the Business Link Helpline on 0845 600 9006 (Monday – Friday, 9:00 to 18:00).

There are also business training courses available from the National Careers Service, and many business training and networking events are listed here.

For help in developing business ideas, you can also visit the National Enterprise Network.

Part two: business planning

Creating a business plan is one of the most important aspects of starting a new business. It can help you focus and clarify your ideas and business objectives, plan for the future and attract investors and funding.

It may sound like an overwhelming task, but it is actually quite manageable when broken down into steps. All business plans should be jargon-free and easy to understand and update.

The following sections outline what should be included.

Executive summary

The executive summary is an outline for your business plan. Although this is the first section, complete everything else before you write it. It should highlight all the main points in the rest of your plan, including:

  • Your product or services
  • The opportunity in the market
  • Financials and forecasts

Keep it brief and straightforward, but make sure that it is appealing for investors.


The second section (but first step) is to write down the basic details of your business, i.e.:

  • The name of the business
  • The registered address of the business
  • The business’ website
  • Contact details, including email
  • The legal status of the business (partnership, company, etc)


In this section, you need to describe the background and vision of the business. This should include:

  • When do you plan to start the business?
  • What sector will you operate in (e.g. construction)?
  • Any related experience you have
  • A description of your products and/or services, specifying:
    • What makes your product or service different or better than all others in the marketplace
    • Why you think customers will prefer it
    • How you will develop it over time
    • Details for any patents, copyrights, trademarks or design registrations you hold or plan to hold


Lay out what your business goals are, but make sure they are measurable: you will want to assess them periodically to see if you are meeting them. This section can include:

  • How do you want the business to progress in the future?
  • What goals do you want to achieve in the next year? Three years? Five years?
  • What are your long-term goals for the business?

Legal obligations

Write out any legal obligations you may have, such as:

  • Licences
  • Insurance
  • Health and safety law requirements
  • Other legislative requirements

Market research

As explained above, you need to make sure that you have a group of buyers with a common need that you can satisfy at a profit. In this section of your business plan, provide information about the market research you have conducted.

Elements to include are:

  • Your market knowledge: information on market size, potential for expansion, market trends and any potential customers and competitors in the marketplace.
    One way to get this information is to find similar businesses and potential customers and ask for their feedback through a structured process, such as a questionnaire.
  • The group(s) of customers you want to target, their needs, what they expect to pay and what they are willing to pay. This can include profiling potential customers by age, sex or interest.
  • Compile a list of competitors and assess their strengths and weaknesses. Specify how you can improve on what they are offering to show that you have unique selling points.

Sales and marketing

Use this section to show how you will position, promote, market and sell your product to customers. It should include the following:

  • A business model describing how you will use the product or service to generate income.
  • The sales channels you will use to distribute your product or service to the market (for example, phone, internet or face-to-face). Base your sales channels on feedback from target customers.
  • A pricing structure outline that details your costs and how much above this price your target customers are willing to pay.
  • An overview of how you will promote the product or service. This does not have to be too specific, as you should have a separate marketing plan.


The financial section of your business plan will help you lay out forecasts and projections to determine whether your business will be economically viable. Your financial section should include:

  • Estimated running costs: calculate how much you will spend on equipment, premises, materials, stock, transport, insurance and potential employees.
  • Sales forecasts: analyse customer spending habits and the performance of similar businesses.
  • Profits and loss forecasts: outline potential risks, such as rising costs, and list assumptions that support your forecasts.
  • Cash flow projections: identify potential shortfalls and determine whether you will need additional funding. If so, know how much and when you may need it.

Once your business plan has been completed and implemented, make sure to revise it when necessary. The business environment is constantly changing, so keeping your plan updated can help you stay one step ahead of the curve.

Rock Graphic Originals: Revolutions in Sonic Art from Plate to Print ’55-‘88


Written by Peter Golding FCSD and Barry Miles

Published on 20th November 2018 by Thames & Hudson

256 pages and 1000 colour illustrations

Peter Golding, a Fellow of CSD, amassed over the years a collection of rock graphic memorabilia that would grace any museum collection. In fact in 2003 Sotheby’s staged a major international exhibition of some 300 pieces from his collection, ‘Inspirational Times’, at their Olympia venue;  his collection has featured at Tate Liverpool’s ‘Summer of Love’ exhibition (2005) and contributed to the V&A’s ‘You Say You Want a Revolution’ (2016-17).

He is a musician and fashion designer and created the world’s first ‘designer jeans’. He picked up his first item, a poster from a protest concert, in 1967. As a leading figure in the 60s and 70s fashion scene with his ACE boutique in Chelsea, he mixed regularly with the biggest names in rock at the time, lending provenance to his collection.

This new book, ’Rock Graphic Originals: Revolutions in Sonic Art from Plate to Print ’55-‘88’ sets his collection in both an historical and cultural context with authoritative text from Barry Miles, a bestselling author of many histories and biographies of the Beat Generation, a founding member of International Times (1966) and regular contributor to OZ, the NME and Time Out in the 60s and 70s.

For those reminiscing, opening this book is like opening your mind on a trip down a psychedelic memory lane.  From the front of the book a face on a Cambers Brothers poster by Moscoso stares out from an orange and magenta dot screen through cyan glasses bearing the familiar flowing barely legible lettering and inviting you to look further. It is then that the visual and musical memories start flooding back.

The book carries an informative introduction section providing a timeline from 1954 when Aldous Huxley describes his LSD experience in ‘The Doors of Perception’ through to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the various rock culture interventions throughout. The visual influence on psychedelic poster and album design of Kitagawa Utamaro, Aubrey Beardsley, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Alphonse Mucha is acknowledged in the intro, although the absence of William Blake is noticeable.

When flipping through the pages of the book it is not only the sound of the music and the visual imagery that echoes from the past: it is a whole experience of moments that coloured this period, the OZ trial, Grosvenor Square, anti-Vietnam war rallies, Kent State University, Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh’s Little Red Book, the Beat Poets, the Roundhouse happenings, Perfumed Garden, concept albums and fill in the rest from your memories.

Some of the images will be familiar if you were buying the albums or attending the gigs; the other unseen images will be equally familiar as they speak for a whole period of graphic design that encompasses a mood and way of thinking that now feels comforting as opposed to revolutionary.

Those buried in the underground culture of the time will readily identify images designed for the Yardbirds, Butterfield Blues band, Grateful Dead, Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Moby Grape, Country Joe and the Fish and the haunting Incredible String Band, whilst imagery associated with more recognisable names such as the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd, Cream, etc. illustrate the importance of rock music across the whole musical experience.

For the more curious designers amongst us there are insights into the development and influences of the imagery, noticeably the section ‘Designing the Dead’ which depicts the late Rick Griffin’s sketches and designs for posters for the Grateful Dead, acknowledging 17th century artistic references, and displaying various logo styles developed for the band.

Griffin’s 1969 poster for a Fillmore East concert featuring Jimi Hendrix and John Mayall stunningly shows his signature icon the flying eyeball which was produced more than six feet (1.8m) high. Although it is reproduced here under one foot high, it still begs to be hung on the wall.

And that is what the book is about: bold, enthusiastic, youthful, rebellious, loud, vibrant, fantastic, surreal, mystical, evocative imagery with eye straining words swirling around and serifs flowing into eternity.

This book is a visual treat and can only be bettered by grabbing your favourite vinyl and putting it on the turntable whilst looking through the pages.

Thames & Hudson has kindly agreed a CSD members’ discount – please visit the members’ area for full details.

What happens to design rights after Brexit? The experts explain

Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

Brexit is currently one of the biggest challenges facing UK industries, especially when it comes to intellectual property rights and protecting your designs.

We asked Graham Coles & Co, who have almost three decades of expertise in patents, trade marks, and other intellectual property rights, to explain what might happen to design rights after Brexit. Simon Coles MCITM explores the issue below.

Designs and Brexit

Original designs for the appearance of the whole or part of a product may be powerfully protected by EU-wide legal rights, but Brexit will have a big impact on this. Designers and rights holders have a few things to think about before it’s too late.

How it works now

New designs first disclosed in the UK receive automatic “Community Design” rights against copying in all EU Member States for three years, as well as separate UK Unregistered Design Right, which is enforceable in the UK for up to 15 years.

There are some differences in the nature of these UK and Community rights. For example, unregistered Community Design protects 2D “surface decorations”, which are specifically excluded from UK Unregistered Design Right.

A design may also be protected in the UK and all other EU Member States by Registered Community Design (RCD). This may be enforced for up to 25 years, provided that the design had not been disclosed more than 12 months prior to the date of application.

Registered and unregistered Community Designs are only protected in the UK by virtue of the UK’s membership of the EU. Without action by the UK government, these would no longer be enforceable in the UK post-Brexit.

After 29 March 2019 if there is a “no deal” Brexit (and likely even if there is a deal)

New designs first disclosed in the UK after Brexit will not qualify for protection as unregistered Community Designs. Their protection in the remaining 27 EU Member States could only be secured by filing applications for Registered Community Design.

The UK government has committed itself to ensuring that the property rights in all registered and unregistered Community Designs existing on exit from the EU will continue to be enforceable in the UK.

The details are sketchy, but they say this will be made possible by:

  1. Existing Registered Community Designs being “cloned” as new, equivalent Registrations in the UK with the original effective filing date of the RCD. These new UK rights will be provided “with minimal administrative burden” and will then have a separate existence from the “donor” RCD, needing to be separately renewed and able to be assigned separately to a new owner. It is not yet clear what the “minimal administrative burden” will involve for owners.
  2. The owners of applications for Registered Community Designs still pending on 29 March 2019 will be allowed nine months in which to apply for the same protection in the UK, retaining the effective date of the RCD application. However, there are no plans for the owners of these applications to be notified of the need to do so.
  3. The creation of a new “supplementary unregistered design right” in UK law which matches the unregistered Community Design. This means that existing unregistered Community Design Rights will be upheld in the UK, and designs disclosed after Brexit will also be protected in the UK on the terms distinguishing the Community Design from existing UK Unregistered Design Rights. This will happen without any action required by owners.

What should design rights holders be doing?

  1. As always, give careful consideration to protecting your designs by registration in all countries of interest. Remember that once the design has been disclosed, you only have a maximum of 12 months before the opportunity to register it is lost altogether.
  2. If you want to protect any design in the 27 other EU Member States, you are likely to be in a better position by filing applications for RCDs now than by leaving it until later. This will reduce the likelihood that you will have to re-file and pay further official fees in order to secure registered protection in the UK.
  3. If you wish to be sure not to incur the administrative burden that will be involved in maintaining the protection of your RCD in the UK post-Brexit (no matter how “minimal” that turns out to be) and your design was disclosed sufficiently recently, you may wish to consider separately applying for a UK Registered Design now.
  4. Check whether you have any RCD applications that will still be pending on 29 March 2019 – for example, if they have been filed on the basis of deferred publication. If so, you may wish to file applications to register the subject designs in the UK to make sure that you do not overlook the nine-month limit for re-filing in the UK that would otherwise apply.
  5. Think carefully about where you first disclose new designs. In the post-Brexit world, if the design was created by a British designer but was first disclosed in an EU Member State (perhaps at an exhibition) it may well qualify for both UK Unregistered Design Right and unregistered Community Design Right covering the remaining EU Member States. On the other hand, if it was first disclosed in the UK, the only protection available in the remaining EU Member States would be by registration.
  6. Take advice from an IP Professional, such as a Chartered Trade Mark Attorney, who (despite their title) is qualified to advise you in detail about how best to acquire, manage and protect rights in designs – as well as trade marks, which are similarly affected by Brexit.

Further information may be found at the following links:

UK Government Statement on Trade Marks and Designs in a No Deal Brexit

Intellectual Property Office Article: “IP and Brexit – The Facts”

EUIPO FAQ on the impact of Brexit on EU Trade Marks and Community Designs.