A-Z Popular Blog Design Search »
Related Guides
Key Concepts
Related Topics
Design Concept

Design Methodology

12 Examples of a Design Culture

 , updated on
A design culture is a set of expectations, norms, habits, principles and philosophies that influence the work of a design organization or team. As with all culture, a design culture can't be dictated from above but emerges with the shared experiences of the people involved. The following are illustrative examples of a design culture.


A willingness to pitch brave ideas that might get shot down versus a culture where everyone is conservative out of fear of saying something that could be criticized.


The degree to which a design team is grounded in reality such that they explore data, use their own products and get out to meet end users.


Employees are always telling stories about a firm. In some teams, these are bitter personal complaints that are as uninspired as they are uninteresting. Other teams tell stories of struggle with a sense of team pride whether the end result was a failure or a triumph.


The leadership style of the team or organization. For example, a command-and-control style organization with everything requiring the approval of a creative director. Alternatively, a design firm may have a laissez-faire style of leadership whereby designers do what they want as long as they keep their clients happy.

Reward & Recognition

A culture where managers reward their friends versus a culture where hard work and results are eventually rewarded. Some design teams go a bit far with recognition such that employees are constantly being recognized despite mediocre performance. As with any celebration of mediocrity, this can serve to set low expectations.


How work is orchestrated. Some teams are self-organizing such that people can be trusted to follow up on commitments. Other teams require an coordinator or project manager to track everything closely.


Expectations for work throughput and time management habits. Some teams take long lunches and schedule questionable meetings. Others are always in a rush such that lunch is skipped and meetings are a few minutes long.


A team with a common sense of purpose and mutual respect such that work feels socially fulfilling.

Clients & Stakeholders

A team that has a good working relationship with clients and other stakeholders built on a foundation of respect for the customer. Alternatively, a team may be in the habit of complaining about clients or treating them poorly.

Design Philosophy

A fundamental approach to design that is shared by a team. For example, a team of ardent minimalists or a team that rejects minimalism in favor of complexity or ornamentation.


The degree to which work is refined and perfected versus a culture of always doing the minimum required.

Weak Culture

A weak culture is a normless design team whereby everyone is an individual with few shared habits or principles. This can occur when everyone is a consultant or when a team has high turnover such that members don't necessarily identify with the team. It is also far more likely to occur for remote teams such as teams that regularly work from home.
Overview: Design Culture
The expectations, norms, habits, principles and philosophies that influence the work of a design organization or team.
Related Concepts


This is the complete list of articles we have written about talent.
Area Of Expertise
Career Opportunities
Character Building
Cognitive Abilities
Cognitive Traits
Creative Ability
Creative Traits
Creative Works
Data Literacy
Decision Making
Design Thinking
Gaming Skills
Meaningful Work
Personal Presence
Personal Resilience
Problem Solving
Professional Self
Public Speaking
Self Direction
Self Management
Systems Thinking
Visual Design
More ...
If you enjoyed this page, please consider bookmarking Simplicable.


A comprehensive guide to design.

User Needs

The definition of user needs with examples.


The definition of discoverability with examples.

Design Failure

The common types of design failure.

Design To Cost

The definition of design to cost with examples.

Design To Value

The definition of design to value with examples.

Creative Value

The definition of creative value with examples.

Design Objectives

A list of design objectives.

Functional vs Non-Functional

The difference between functional and non-functional with examples.

Design Philosophy

A list of design philosophies.

Less Is More vs Less Is A Bore

Two common approaches to architecture.

Form Follows Function

An overview of form follows function with examples.


An overview of emergence.

Creativity Examples

A list of creative pursuits.

Design vs Science

A few differences between design and scientific thinking.

Graphic Design Examples

An overview of graphic design with examples.

Design Styles

A list of the foundational design styles.


An overview of variety in design.

Modular Design

An overview of modular design.

Design Definition

Definitions of design including from well known designers and design theorists.
The most popular articles on Simplicable in the past day.

New Articles

Recent posts or updates on Simplicable.
Site Map