Chartered Society of Designers

The Chartered Society of Designers (CSD), is the professional body for designers. It is the world's only Royal Chartered body of professional designers. It is unique in that it is multi-disciplinary – representing designers in all design disciplines including Interior Design, Product Design, Graphic Design, Fashion and Textile Design.

TypeLearned society
Legal statusRoyal Charter granted 1976
HeadquartersLondon, England
3,000 (34 countries)
Official language
English, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian
Peter Bosson PCSD
Key people
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh (Royal Patron)

David Callcott PCSD (Immediate Past President) Chris Ramsden PPCSD (Hon Treasurer) Jake Leith (Hon Secretary)

Frank Peters FCSD (Chief Executive)

Founded in 1930 as Society of Industrial Artists, the Society is governed by Royal Charter (granted in 1976), and as such its members are obliged to practise to the highest professional standards. It is also a registered charity (UK Registered Charity Number 279393) and adheres to best practice as a membership organisation. Its Royal Patron is HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

The CSD is not a trade body or association and functions as a learned society. Membership to the Society is only awarded to qualified designers who must also prove their professional capability during an admission assessment. Members can use the post-nominal letters, MCSD or FCSD (indicating Member or Fellow, respectively), after their names. Both MCSD and FCSD are registered trademarks of the Society.

In addition membership exists for those embarking on a career in professional design and those in design related areas such as research, management and design education. Membership is offered as Associate and enables the use of the post-nominal Assoc.CSD.

Membership was extended in 2015 to include those practising in design related fields at various levels. They are awarded affiliate membership or fellowship and may use the post-nominals aCSDm and aCSDf respectively.

The Society exists to promote concern for the sound principles of design in all areas in which design considerations apply, to further design practice and encourage the study of design techniques for the benefit of the community. It also seeks to secure and promote a professional body of designers and regulate and control their practice for the benefit of the design industry and the general public.

The Society also incorporated the British Institute of Interior Designers in 1988. The institute dates back to 1898 and can trace its origins as far back as 1236.

The Society's head office is at 1 Cedar Court, Royal Oak Yard, Bermondsey Street in London.

The Register of Chartered Designers

The Chartered Society of Designers maintains the Register of Chartered Designers for the design profession and is able to award the title 'Chartered Designer' (a registered trademark).


The history of the Society reflects the changes and developments in the design profession in the United Kingdom since 1930.

Year Description
1930 Society of Industrial Artists formed following inaugural meeting at the Ye Olde Cock Tavern in London's Fleet Street.[1][2]
1932 First Regional Group formed in Stafford, West Midlands.
1951 The Society and its members take a leading role in the redesign of Britain after World War II.
1963 The Society changes its name to the Society of Industrial Artists and Designers.
1976 Royal Charter granted in recognition of its work in establishing the profession of design. HRH The Duke of Edinburgh becomes Patron and remains so to this day.
1986 Changes its name again to the Chartered Society of Designers and sets up The Design Business Association
1988 Society incorporates the British Institute of Interior Design
2010 CSD Course Endorsement Programme launched
2011 The Society granted the power by HM The Queen Elizabeth to set up The Register of Chartered Designers and enabling the award of Chartered Designer.
2016 The Society takes over the Prince Philip Designers Prize established in 1959 by its Patron HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

Interior Design

  • Office, shop, hotel, factory, public, commercial, and industrial interiors
  • Domestic interiors
  • Television, film and theatre design including sets, lighting and costumes

Exhibition Design

  • Exhibition and display including permanent and temporary display
  • Museum design

Fashion Design

  • Fashion and clothing including garments, bags, footwear, millinery and other accessories

Graphic Design

  • Type design, typography, lettering and calligraphy for reproduction
  • Illustration
  • Design for advertising
  • Design for print including annual reports, brochures, books and magazines
  • Design for two- and three-dimensional packaging
  • Corporate identity
  • Applied graphics including signing systems
  • Vehicle livery and graphics on product design
  • Architectural graphics
  • Design for film, television or video reproduction including multi-sensual, time-based or still imagery
  • Photography

Interactive Media Design

  • Web sites, intranets and extranets
  • Multimedia CD-ROMs, DVDs and kiosks
  • Computer games
  • Interactive elements for video DVDs
  • Interactive elements for use within web sites
  • Interactive content for mobile devices

Product Design

  • Engineering based, three dimensional products including capital goods, and consumer goods, environmental and interactive information technology design
  • Transportation/automotive design
  • Furniture including contract, domestic, free-standing ranges and individual pieces
  • Craft related products including ceramics, glass, jewellery, silver, cutlery, toys, souvenirs, travel and leather goods and decorative building elements

Textile Design

  • Surface pattern including printed textiles, printed carpets, patterned papers, patterns for ceramics and tiles
  • Woven and knitted textiles including rugs and carpets, non-printed wall coverings, laminates

Published works

A wide variety of books have been published under the "Chartered Society of Designers" name, see here.


CSD has an awards programme to ensure that designers are recognised for their work.

Member recognition

The Minerva Service Award is to be awarded to members of the Society who have made an outstanding contribution to the life and success of the Society. Consideration is given to those who have played a leading role in the work of CSD and assisted it to achieve its objects under the Royal Charter. This award has only been recently introduced, the first award was made in 2015.


  • 2015: John Sermon PPCSD

The Minerva Medal is the highest award the Society can give to its members, usually for an overall lifetime achievement in design. Many who have received it are recognisable names, each having helped to raise the professionalism of design. The Medal is cast from sterling silver, bearing the profile of Minerva, Roman Goddess of Wisdom, Knowledge and Education, and the CSD logo.

List of Past Winners

Past winners include:

The CSD Life Fund was established through the generosity of a group of CSD Fellows in 2000. Since then the fund has grown substantially through donations from other Society members. The aim of the fund is to make awards to members who have suffered severe hardship or trauma in order that they may be able to continue with design study or practice.

The Prince Philip Designers Prize was instigated by CSD's Patron, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in 1959 and was awarded annually until 2011. The award was made to a British designer or design-team leader whose exemplary work has had an effect on the perception of design by the public, and on the status of designers in society. A representative from the CSD, along with those from other design organisations, sat on the panel of judges who met at Buckingham Palace to determine the winner from a shortlist of inspiring designers in all fields of activity. The nominations were received from various professional bodies. The winner of the Prince Philip Designers Prize in 2005 was the influential graphic designer Derek Birdsall FCSD. Design engineer Alex Moulton and architect Edward Cullinan were both awarded special commendations. The award is currently under review, the last recipient being Quentin Blake CBE FCSD RDI who was nominated by the Society.

The Prize was re-instated by the Society in 2015. Prince Philip suggested and agreed various changes to the Prize that build on its heritage in order to reflect today's design profession including opening the Prize to international nominations.[3]

The Prince Philip Student Design Awards were recently introduced to recognise the design talent of those at the outset of their design careers. The awards will be made to students across a range of design disciplines.

See also


  1. "History". Archived from the original on 5 September 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2009.
  2. Saler, Michael. The Avant-Garde in Interwar England. ISBN 978-0-19-514718-6.
  3. "Prince Philip Designers Prize | Chartered Society of Designers". Retrieved 16 December 2015.
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