How Exceptional Design is driven by Strategic Insights

Rick Nugent, Head of Design and Innovation, Omnia
May 3, 2024



I have always been a bit torn between “Strategy” and how it can really impact design, I guess it’s like most things in life there is a big difference between Good and Exceptional. When something is good you appreciate it and it kind of ticks the boxes, but when something is exceptional it stops you in your tracks, sometimes even subconsciously, but it gives you a different feeling; a feeling that someone has really thought things through and the attention to detail and craft is felt everywhere. Exceptional design comes from exceptional strategy.


Having worked in many companies, agencies, startups and large banks the value of a well defined strategy is often overlooked. At Omnia, ‘exceptional’ is something that’s deeply embedded within the relationships we have with our partners. It’s a mindset that pushes design and creative thinking in new ways, building exceptional brands and experiences, which in turn, can end up going full circle informing key business decisions.


There are many examples I could share on how strategic thinking, whilst working hand-in-hand with a client partner who really understands the value of what we’re trying to achieve, makes such a valuable difference. Sometimes there is skepticism “why are they asking us all these questions? Surely, they should just go and design something?” but it’s typically at the start of an engagement and short-lived. Once they understand the value of exceptional strategic thinking, they can connect the dots to see how it informs and then translates itself into exceptional designs, that carry through to desired outcomes and outputs in completely new ways.


Remove subjectivity with strategic business insights


Actions that are deeply linked to an organisation’s over-arching business strategy via exceptional strategic thinking will remove subjectivity. It becomes much more purpose driven, creating exceptional design that’s not just “design for the sake of design”.


The outputs of a “brand”, with all its related experience offerings (ie: Brand Experience) could actually be vast, and yet so subtle, or even subconscious in its transferal. Consider the sound of a product’s packaging when you open it or when you turn it on, it could be the unique colour palette which is instantly recognizable, or the feedback response when you swipe a button within an app. Today's methods of delivering a brand experience can be done in so many ways; some visual and some invisible, extrinsic or intrinsic. For example, you may not think about the way that something is written in a banking application, because it’s been crafted to make you not even notice it. Or the strategic story behind a new brandmark that demonstrates a company’s drive for a sustainable future. All of these outputs have to be deeply considered and formed from an exceptional strategy.


Exceptional design comes from strategic insight. 


Strong Relationships lead to strong results.


At Omnia, we are lucky to work with the likes of Arabsat, NEOM, Mubadala Energy and Central Bank, to name a few, who truly understand the value of exceptional design. Working closely with us to build exceptional strategic foundations that underpin the work we deliver. 

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