Despite variances in contexts and styles of design activity, recurrent patterns emerge in design innovation approaches and processes which lend themselves to analysis and discussion. Using a Design Innovation framework [1] that is built, in part, on the UK Council’s ‘4D’ (Discover, Define, Develop, Deliver) model of design [2], we develop design signatures, graphical maps of design innovation processes. Design signature analyses of four multi-disciplinary industrial case studies illustrate the value of design signatures as useful design activity plots that can be used to plan and manage innovation teams and activities, and to identify critical features for reflection, for clarification, and for further analysis. This work is of interest to design practitioners, managers, researchers, and educators with various motivations, such as to seek a tool to convey and analyze design innovation activity.

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