The introduction of new products to a company’s product range used to be done in a very arbitrary way, with little planning or co-ordination. In the early 1970s however, things began to change. Many companies closed due to world-wide recession. Those that survived had to work harder to maintain a place in the market. Ranges had to be well presented, with marketing becoming increasingly important. For example, for yarn manufacturers and spinners it was no longer sufficient to show new yarns just on cones. Ranges had to be carefully planned, the presentation of the range to the customer become very important and the presentations began to include how a range might be used. Spinners started to employ designers to put together trend ideas. Different yarn qualities within a range would often be colour co-ordinated to help the customer maximize use, and fabrics that illustrated the current trends would be made up from the yarns in the range.
Presentations of a range are often both written and oral. There will normally also be drawings and photographs illustrating how fabrics from the range work together, how fabrics work when make up into or incorporated into products and how these products work with other, related products. Presentations often reflect the theme used for the design work.
For a presentation to be successful, the designer must have answered the brief. If the brief is not clear, it is difficult to solve the design problem. At a briefing meeting, the designer is trying to get as much information as possible. Everyone who briefs a designer will have a preconceived idea of how a job will turn out and the designer’s job is to find out what this is. It is therefore important that presentations should be made to the person who gave the briefing.Presentation of the final range to the person who asked for the work to be undertaken is, however, not the only type of presentation a designer will be called upon to contribute to or to make. Once the range has the approval of the relevant directors or company board members, the designer may well be asked to make presentations to sales teams, agents and customers. Designers are called upon all the time to give presentations of their work and so an ability to present themselves and their work well is very important.