Grant Barratt: Quantifying Design Success

Creative Director of Grant Barratt Design

by Elizabeth Lavis


21 Feb 2024

Gold in Integrated Graphic Design for Graphic Design 2023
“Learn how to quantify the success of a great design in measurable ways with data and analytics, manage a budget and pick up some basic marketing principles”

Creative Director Grant Barratt’s philosophy is to work hard where you must and work smart where you can. It’s a streamlined, goal-oriented approach that focuses on good planning and clarity and a water-tight brief that considers the bigger picture to achieve success. “My best advice for aspiring designers is not to limit yourself to studying design. I know it sounds a bit counter-intuitive, but as you get more experienced, you’ll realize the true value you can add is not providing clients with a perfectly weighted logo or beautifully laid out brochure; it’s about understanding how brands and businesses become successful,” he says.

Barratt’s essential tip comes in the form of measuring metrics. “Learn how to quantify the success of a great design in measurable ways with data and analytics, manage a budget, and pick up some basic marketing principles,” he says. Understanding these mechanics will serve aspiring designers well because they are all things a CFO or CEO will understand, and you’ll be able to foster trust immediately. He also believes in keeping proper focus. “Don’t worry about things you can’t control,” Barratt says.

England-born Barratt grew up in a southern, provincial coastal town called Bournemouth, lived in Japan for two years, and currently calls London home. “It’s the best city in the world,” he says. “It’s a melting pot of every background and culture imaginable, and some of the most innovative design comes from here. If you can’t find inspiration in London, you’ll struggle to find it elsewhere.”

"AlphaSights Rebrand", Grant Barratt

Barratt’s design path solidified in his collegiate years. “I knew I wanted to do something creative, but I didn’t figure out what until university,” he says. “As a kid, I loved art and doodling cartoons when I should have concentrated on algebra. Professionally, though, I don’t think I found my feet and truly started to love what I do until I became a Creative Director. I love finding creative solutions to business problems, but building a strategy and roadmap that shows exactly how to get a business from Point A to Point B is the most interesting thing for me.”

His approach hinges on the “three D’s”: discovery, development, and deployment. “Discovery is the research and strategy phase, development is where you do the actual work, and deployment is how you launch or roll out the final deliverables to engage the target audience most effectively,” Barratt says.

There’s also a foundational strategic element, especially in branding campaigns and projects. “Once you’ve agreed on the strategy, it’s like a blueprint for building, and the designers will be so well armed with insight that the creativity almost takes care of itself,” he says. You may have to reign in a few ideas, but so long as you can clearly draw a line between the agreed-upon strategy and what you’re proposing, it’s unlikely that it will become too diluted.”

Barratt manages burnout through delegation and good planning. “You also need a good team around you who you trust and have their strengths that complement each other,” he says. He also believes in taking breaks to clear his mind, like taking a walk, exercising, or bouncing ideas off other team members. “Creativity can’t be turned on like a tap, and there’s no point in banging your head against the wall if it’s not happening. It’s better just to put it aside and focus on something else for a while,” he says.

Aside from design, Barratt is deeply driven by his family. “I want them to be proud, and I want to provide a nice life for them,” he says. Fear can also be a big motivation. I’m always fearful of stagnating, and I want to continue improving as a creative and a leader.”

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