Design Economy 2018 – Design Council research launched.

At the Great Exhibition of the North, the Design Council published their flagship state of design report, Design Economy 2018. The report builds from their 2015 report and looks in-depth at the value and importance of design to the UK economy.

You can download the report here.

The research highlights that design continues to grow at pace. It generated £85.2 billion in GVA, which is about 73% of the GVA of the financial and insurance industry. Around 1.69 million people are employed in design economy, a 52% growth since 2009. The number of design firms have grown by 63% since 2010.

This presents a positive picture of design in the UK. The research also highlights a number of issues that we believe have to be tackled if we are to continue to be a world leader in design (with China, the UAE and Saudi Arabia rapidly catching us up). We have to tackle design’s diversity problem, it is still 78% male. It is also regionally imbalanced with London and the South East continuing to benefit most from design economy. This uneven distribution of design risks a growing divide between those businesses, places and people that have access to design and those that do not.

Dids Macdonald CEO of ACID said, “Design Economy 2018 is a valuable piece of research demonstrating design’s significant (£85.2 billion) contribution to the UK economy which supports nearly 1.7 million people. The intellectual capital which underpins this massive growth sector cannot be underestimated of which intellectual property plays a key role. It is imperative that this thrives in an IP environment that is fit for purpose with cost and time effective protection and enforcement support available. Being IP ‘savvy’ in the 21st century is a must!”  

Design Council comment: “We are very excited about this report and the wealth of evidence it provides about the value and importance of the design economy. It would be great if you could tweet and share widely using the hashtag #designeconomy and linking to our website at”