Design managers can work in a variety of fields. They could, for example, work for a web design company or an interior decorator. They could also work directly with real estate developers, builders and sales teams to design and implement packages for new business developments as well as older business renovations. Regardless of the industry, design managers generally work with buyers during the selection process. They organize, maintain and make changes to designs as needed. They also meet with vendors to maximize revenue opportunities and often lead teams of other designers to ensure that a given project runs smoothly. Because of the interpersonal nature of their job position, design managers must have great written and verbal communication skills. In overseeing design teams, they are often responsible for the hiring (and firing) process, training and any performance evaluations that need to be handled.
Design managers also often need to create reports and presentations. They must have a solid knowledge of designs programs and standards within their industries. For example, design managers within the architecture industry usually must possess some knowledge of electrical and mechanical engineering, and usually must have a working knowledge and proficiency in such software as AutoCAD. Design managers are usually required to possess at least a bachelor's degree (if not a master's degree) in a related field. Some companies will accept substantial work experience in place of a specialized degree. Design managers will normally work usual weekday business hours, but if a project is behind, they may be required to work nights, weekends and/or holidays.
Design Manager Tasks
- Develop hypotheses for brand improvement or growth and isolate key areas for brand opportunities.
- Lead and develop project team, and determine strategies to improvement productivity or overall team processes.
- Provide expertise on graphics, structures, and human factors to identify consumer needs and behaviors and develop a cohesive brand.