AIGA's New Case Study Competition Helps Demonstrate the Value of Design

AIGA's New Case Study Competition Helps Demonstrate the Value of Design

How do we measure the success of design's impact? And more important, how can designers be equipped to describe the effectiveness of communication design?

This year AIGA challenged designers to answer these questions by entering "Making the Case," a competition awarding honors to case studies that demonstrate the value of design in a clear, compelling and accessible way. Honors were awarded to nine outstanding case studies for the inaugural competition. An esteemed jury comprised of experienced designers and educators made their final selections from the nearly 60 case studies submitted.

While designers are often tempted to base the success of a design on whether the client is pleased, they are typically one step removed from tracking more objective measures of success simply due to the nature of traditional client-designer relationships-where ongoing reporting happens primarily on the client side.

But that needn't be the case, explained Richard Grefe, executive director of AIGA. "Designers should absolutely be asking these questions and continuing to follow up with clients after a project is implemented. Through challenges like 'Making the Case' we can begin coaching designers on how to measure their success-what questions to ask, what metrics to track, and how doing all of this can help prove the effectiveness of their work to existing and prospective clients."

AIGA's goal for the competition is to encourage the development of a public archive of examples documenting how designers, through their approach to solving problems and their execution of exemplary design solutions, have created value for their clients, their audiences and society.

"These case studies are great tools to explain the value of design to non-designers, including brief explanations of challenges, approach and actual metrics of effectiveness," added AIGA's director of competitions, Gabriela Mirensky. "If you thought that case studies are only worth developing for mega projects, you'll be pleasantly surprised at the wide array of projects represented."