Landscape design is a conservation planning process, described in the landscape ecology literature, proposed to rectify the knowledge and implementation gap in planning that have limited the effectiveness of many conservation planning efforts. Use of landscape design bridges this gap through increased emphasis on the interdisciplinary nature of conservation planning and engagement of a stakeholder advisory team to create a conservation plan that resonates with biological, cultural, social, and economic realities of the area concerned. We define landscape design as a conservation planning process that integrates societal goals and values with established biological conservation goals, using science grounded in landscape ecology to describe future scenarios where specific and measurable biological goals can be attained. First, we describe a landscape design process and provide examples from the literature and partnerships such as Connect the Connecticut and the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative. We follow by discussing a case study of a landscape design effort to conserve playa wetlands to support waterfowl goals for migrating waterfowl established in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. We further highlight characteristics of a successfully completed landscape design. We conclude that landscape design is a powerful process that goes beyond identifying high‐priority conservation assets and intended to be an action‐oriented process. Landscape design provides a framework for ensuring that conservation planning does not occur in a vacuum by ensuring social, cultural, and economic needs of people are recognized before valuable conservation dollars are expended. It provides a mechanism for understanding the effects of future landscape drivers on natural resources and engages stakeholders in proactive discussions regarding conservation. The final result is a commitment by a partnership to a set of actions that will achieve the stated conservation goal.