Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wolff Olins vs Pentagram

Pentagram was founded in 1972 by five partners who all specialized in different areas of design. Pentagram is an organization with broad skills with many different specialties. They are design focused with seven partners each responsible for separate projects in their own specialised field. Pentagram is now one of the most well known design firms in the world. They provide a service across all forms of graphic design, from architecture t products to interior design.

It is a multi-disciplinary structure, organised around the equal partners who all practising designers. There is sometimes collaboration between the partners on projects, but they mostly work individually and one of the partners is always in overall control of each project. Their organisational structure resembles a spider’s web with the partners in the centre and working closely with the other staff. This allows for speedy decisions but can cause problems if the partners are inefficient.

Wolff Olins was founded in 1965, and is also, one of the most well known design companies in the world. Wolff Olins is primarily focused on corporate branding. Staff are grouped by job function and work on multiple projects simultaneously. There are three separate departments who work on separate floors (project managers, designers and consultants). All departments are interdependent. The organisation of work is task based. Value is placed on expertise and talent. Individual workers can therefore charge high prices which increases running costs.

The main difference between the two studios seems to be the delegation of power. Both are effective and both fit accordingly for the way each runs.

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