Through concise, pointed, and revelatory features that illustrate the structure, motivations, and endeavors of in-house design, communication, and brand teams from companies around the world, In-house In-focus highlights and celebrates the work — and the people behind it — that make it possible for companies to build, develop, and evolve a sustainable, engaging, and consistent brand from the inside out.
Long considered a secondary and less desired career path for designers — working at a design firm, brand consultancy, or advertising agency being the primary and most desired — working for an in-house design team has become a viable, covetable, and enjoyable option. A big part of this mis- and pre-conception is that working in-house is creatively stifling by limiting designers (and all other creative professionals) to working on a single brand day in and day out under the hierarchical stress of most organizations. In the last five years, perhaps ten, however, as organizations have placed more emphasis, trust, and responsibility on design they have built in-house teams that are empowered to make significant contributions to the brand (and the business) and, as a result, has created environments in which some truly fantastic work has been produced by a broad pool of extremely talented creatives.
A recurring put-down in design circles when a bad design surfaces is “Oh, it was probably done in-house” or, if it’s known that it was actually done in-house, it would be something like “In-house strikes again”. One reason why this occurs is because there are few, if not zero, easily accessible resources to demonstrate that the opposite is true: That great design can — and does — happen in-house. Our hope is that In-house In-focus can serve as an ambassador for in-house teams around the world and help cement its viability and desirability as a fulfilling career path by bringing a new level of focus to the work and the people at the core of it.
We have devised an editorial structure that will apply equally to all teams that addresses some of the main issues surrounding working in-house. Each team feature delves into:
- What the benefits and challenges of working in-house are;
- how teams work with outside agencies and other collaborators;
- what role guidelines play in their day-to-day work;
- how individual team members feel about working in-house;
- where the team fits in the structure of the company and what the structure of the team is;
- who the people in the team are;
- what the physical environment of the workplace is;
- and, naturally, what the work they do looks like.
The goal is for all features to yield a robust showcase of each team and their work in a format that is engaging to potential hires, colleagues, and industry publications and media while raising the appreciation and understanding of in-house teams. We happily encourage and eagerly expect as many in-house teams to nominate themselves for being included.
At launch, we expect publication of new teams to be slow — perhaps 2 or 3 a month — but as nominations come in and features are developed we hope to post 1 or 2 a week so please be patient with us as we begin to build what will hopefully be a useful resource for anyone currently working in or thinking about working in-house.
With great optimism,
Bryony Gomez-Palacio and Armin Vit
Editors, In-house In-focus