test 1

The most important thing a designer needs to start a design firm is ?

  • office space
  • other designers (partners)
  • money
  • good ideas
  • industry connections
  • clients

0 voters

test 1

You are going to need some actual skill first. That portfolio is ridiculous.

I voted good ideas, talent should be an option in this poll, neither are prevalent in your folio, sorry man, nobody is gonna think you’re some kind of kewl rebel and hire you because you have condoms in your folio. Put some mature, “PC” projects in there and get some work experience. Trying to start a design firm right out of school is also “ridiculous”, unless of couse you have angel investors, which is what you’ll really need, and that’s not on your list. Sorry to be a harsh-ass.

If you need to ask a question like this then you are not ready to start your own design firm. This is not intended to be an attack on your skillset as it today. However, I think you will not get anywhere without establishing some real PROFESSIONAL credibility first.


In no particular order:
First, experience. Having some before trying to start the firm would be best, things are MUCH different in “real-world” design than in school. Also gives you some info on how clients operate. Lots of stuff you can learn “safely” (on someone elses dime) working for a variety of people first instead of learning those costly mistakes on your own.
2nd, Money: Trying to start off on the cheap can be a big mistake, there are some things you will need and don’t want to wait for or have to save up for since you won’t really have many clients up front. You should have all of your workable program basics (rhino, solidworks, creative suite, office, renderer), computer equip to run them well, and stock material basics for study models. Printer, paper, scanner, pencils, markers, etc…same stuff you have in school. It would be really nice to have a years worth of operating expenses.
3rd, team/network: You’ll want to be able to hire on someone for specific job needs, things out of your expertise, someone to collaborate/bounce ideas off of, etc. Part of why you’ll need good startup money. Also so that you can go for more work to have a steady stream of projects. Having people to do fulltime client hunting/ pr work/administrative/accounting would be really nice to have.
4th: Dedication. There will be dead spots, money will help you physically keep afloat, dedication and determination keep you mentally afloat. You have to keep pushing on through the tough spots.
5th: Honesty. You have to be able to judge yourself and your teams output/ design realistically. Honestly compare yourself to your competition to see where you stand.
I’m sure there’s plenty more, others will chime in. Hope this helps a bit.

I chose “Industry Connections” over “Clients”. In my opinion, the manager of a small ID firm or collective can find clients if he/she has the connections.

Skill wouldn’t be my first pick because a good collaborator or business-savvy designer might be able to do much more than just the sum of his/her portfolio by concentrating on providing a service to a specific type of client, or, specialize in finding clients for super-talented but introspective designers.

Summary: it certainly is not just design skill that is needed. That’s the part they teach you in studio but there is so much more to learn in order to fun a successful design business.