The Business of Design:
The Design Council and the Design Business Association have released new in-depth research into the British design industry: The Business of Design. (2.2Mb, PDF) There’re like the geese in autumn, these facts & figures reports. When you see them appear, you know the cold winds of government policy are a-blowing. Some findings I found notable: there’s a noticable bias toward male designers (61% of 134,000 designers), especially among freelancers (79% of 47,400 businesses). But ethnic minorities are represented at the same percentage as in the general population. The West Midlands has nearly 4,000 designers, with a slant towards product design and industrial, but that’s only 6% of the national share. Nationally, the overwhelming majority of firms are very small, with the “big teams” being either London-based, or a corporation’s or local council’s ‘communications’ dept.. Very few firms develop and then keep intellectual property that they can sell again and again. Firms are very satisfied (90%) with the quality of the graduates they take on. 19% of designers are currently “involved in design education”, although that includes simply offering work placements.