David Berman Communications
David Berman will help you repeat your successes

Seven Habits of Highly Profitable Design Agencies

April 19, 2013 Nanaimo, BC GDC Vancouver Island call
October 2, 2009 Scottsdale, AZ HOW MYOB Conference call
October 23, 2008 (postponed) New York, NY AIGA GAIN Conference call
October 17, 2003 Calgary, AB GDC Alberta South SOLD OUT

*Discount packages for non-profits, and travel subsidies available. Additional discounts available for groups over three people. If you refer at least four registrants to one of our courses, we’ll give you a complimentary registration to a course of your choice. Call (613) 728-6777 for details.

All prices, offerings, and dates subject to change without notice.

To register for a course given by our own organization, register online or call (613) 728-6777.

Event Schedule (all events)

Course Description

If you are looking for more ways for your creative organization to prosper, spending time with David is bound to open your eyes to new ways of fulfilling your business objectives. From strategy to clients to collaboration to knowledge management to ethics, learn some uncommon sense that tends to show up in the most sustainably profitable design and marketing agencies.

This event typically blends two components. 1. an informative and memorable presentation by David Berman, sharing knowledge he has gained in running successful creative agencies for over three decades. 2. An optional round-table workshop where participants will be challenged to share and solve tricky problems that arise with clients, employees, and suppliers.

The benefits: improved results, increased likelihood of repeating your successes, and reduction of personal stress. Make both yourself and your firm more valuable: equip yourself with new ideas and techniques, while having the opportunity to share your toughest problems with David and other participants.

Participants are encouraged to bring their most distracting business problem.

This course incorporates adult learning principles and activities appropriate to a variety of learning styles, and qualifies for CEUs (certified by organizations such as the Center For Plain Language and PPAC).

What’s Wrong

Caught up in the tight-deadline reality of day-to-day operations, most design firms struggle to find time to deal with what is important in addition to what is urgent. Design firms are not typically run by Harvard Business School grads: their leaders typically chose their roles because of a passion for the profession, rather than having sought out the most profitable industry. Thus, design firm leaders typically learn how to conduct business by the seat of their pants: without a business plan.

“A great way to get back in ‘planning mode’ for reassessing a design firm that needs new life and refocus.”

– Seminar attendee, Calgary

What Makes This Course Unique

David’s mix of design, business management, consultancy, and expert speaking experience results in fresh approaches to classic problems: business advice in vocabulary that anyone can understand. The hands-on course portion of the event gives you the opportunity to walk away with solutions to some of your most challenging business problems, and optionally spend some time brainstorming with “the competition” in a forum that is refreshing and revitalizing.

What You Will Learn

You will gain general and specific advice on how to run your design agency in more profitable, more satisfying and less stressful ways. You may also go away with the value of confirming what you are doing right, as well as what can be improved.

Benefits to You

By participating in this event, you will make yourself more valuable to yourself, to your firm, and to your clients and community. Your firm can prosper, your people can achieve more with less, and your clients can be more pleased with your deliverables.

Benefits to your Organization

  • Improved results by doing things better
  • More effective use of time and other resources
  • Previous “unrealistic” goals become within your reach
  • More resilient, sustainable and durable approach to business
  • Increased chance of repeating your successes
  • Stronger team, with higher morale
  • A healthier bottom line


At the end of this event, you will:

  • Know how to solve some problems that you haven’t yet been able to get a handle on
  • Have a clearer vision for your organization
  • Make valuable business contacts with others in the industry


Be involved or interested in managing a creative firm or agency.

About the Expert Speaker

David Berman has over 20 years of experience in graphic design and strategic communications. He has been involved in helping 100s of design firms organize themselves more effectively, yielder better results for principals, firms, clients, and community.

He trained at University of Waterloo in computer science and at Carleton University in psychology and typography. He has worked extensively in the adaptation of printed materials for electronic distribution, including Web design, plain writing and graphic design.

David has been a partner in several design firms spanning three decades, including Herrera Berman Communications, arguably Ottawa’s most experienced design agency.

He served as the first elected president of the Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario, drafting the association’s constitution and Rules of Professional Conduct, and authored Ontario’s accreditation examination on professional responsibility. At present, he is Ethics Chair of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada, and was made a Fellow in 1999, the second youngest in history. He has served in two terms as a vice-president of Icograda, the world body for communication design. He is also a member of AIGA’s Boston Chapter, and is a published author with AIGA Press.

Full biography of David

Who Should Attend

This course is targeted to all design and agency executives, designers, project managers, production coordinators, strategists, and financial controllers:

  • People who run design firms or agencies
  • People who coordinate designers and production staff
  • People who are involved in the finances or financing of design
    firms or agencies
  • People who hire graphic designers


Duration: 1- to 2-hour presentation, followed by 1 to 3-hour workshop


If you would like to be notified via e-mail of when new instances of this course are scheduled, subscribe to our Events E-Newsletter.

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Reviewed August 3, 2011

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