Make a stand - Building a Raft culture



20. July 2018

Read time

2 min


Organization, Culture

It’s important to stand for something that challenges, that sets you apart. If you aren’t making people think, then there isn’t a point to what you’re saying.

After Raft had been going for one year, we were still receiving questions from people on our culture. Internally it was a topic we had never really thought hard about until it was thrust in our face. Incoming designers and companies we worked with wanted to understand more of what we believed and valued.

It took us 6 months to write out a series of cultural principles. These would finally define what we shapelessly discussed in the studio around our beliefs, work styles, methods, and how to engage with internal and external teams. Recently, we printed them out and suspended them in the studio to cement their meaning. Hanging these crystalized the direction we had organically grown as a company and placed them front and center for discussion. They now act as a beacon for the values and personality we strive to display within the studio, while ensuring new designers coming in understand the character of the company.

No matter how great the designer, understanding what is expected of their character and style is just as important as hard skills.

We value questions over answers
We believe what we see
We shepherd work in an organization

Like our work with clients, we aimed to take a pragmatic approach. We mixed our personality of practical grit with concrete methods.

It was important we not simply reflect a general designer ethos but create statements that stood out and challenged the reader.

  • We value questions over answers: the aim to always understand more about the underlying needs, reflect on our own bias, and understand both clients and users better
  • We believe what we see: always being skeptical of accidental skewing of information.
  • We shepherd work in an organization: the drive to help clients deliver products that drive value and not simply ideas.

Like everything at Raft, these are, and will be always shifting as we learn more, mature, and grow as a company. Over the years, these will change and adjust, and we look forward continuing to challenge the typical design consultancy culture, values, and output.

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