In their words

“Jan has the perfect mix of persuasive personality, creative integrity, observant insight and business focus. Her work on our design roster helped us fully realise our creative potential and work in a more efficient and effective way. We still follow her recommendations three years on. Her people-focused perspective means she gets to understand your organisation and the challenges within it, giving you something that will work in the real world. Add to that, she’s a lovely person to work with.”

Louise Kyme
Head of Design, British Heart Foundation

In brief

As the UK’s number one heart charity, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) recognises the power of good design to spread its message and build support. I was asked to improve their design commissioning process and assess the existing creative resources. I then helped put together a design roster and systems for ongoing design management, which contributed to the BHF being voted Design Week Benchmark’s Client of the Year in 2012.

The BHF is one the UK’s most popular charities. Reporting to their senior brand and marketing management team, I was asked to help educate and support the project managers who commission design, most of whom did not have a design background. I was also asked to review the current creative resource and its output.

I started by interviewing the existing design consultancies, internal commissioners, external design experts and charity specialists to build a deep understanding of the current position, including the strengths, gaps and areas for improvement. It became clear that the BHF needed an established agency roster and an agreed design-agency management process.

I was involved in the roster selection and created a structure whereby these agencies would meet on a regular basis – an invaluable way to share skills and experience, and raise creative standards across the board. I also devised and delivered a ‘Commissioning Design’ workshop for BHF staff. The template for this is now being used to support ongoing creative commissioning.

This was a deeply rewarding partnership that made a lasting difference to the way the BHF works. I was delighted to see them being voted one of the ‘Hot 50 people making a difference in design’ in a Design Week poll and Design Week Benchmark’s Client of the Year in 2012.