Your Cart

No products in the basket.

From the Newsdesk

Design Economy – People, Places and Economic Value

The Design Council recently announced the latest findings from their landmark research programme Design Economy in a report on People, Places and Economic Value.

Key findings highlight the UK design sector’s growing economic value, its regional distribution, demographics, and the challenges that it faces for the future.

> In 2019, the design economy contributed £97.4bn in GVA, 73% more than in 2010.

That’s two thirds of the financial sector’s contribution.

> Digital was the largest area of growth, almost doubling since 2010 to 866,000 people. 

> The growth of the design economy was distributed across almost the whole of the UK, with the highest increase at 33% in Scotland. 

> Clusters of design practices were discovered in specific regions such as Architecture in Islington, Product and Industrial in East Renfrewshire and Wrexham, Digital in Northern Ireland, and Craft in Newcastle. 

> Seven out of ten designers took Design and Technology at GCSE level but there was a 68% decrease from 2010 to 2021 in the number of young people taking the course. 

> 77% of designers identify as male, a figure that has not moved since 2016. 

Dids Macdonald, OBE., CEO of ACID said, “The importance of the Design Economy cannot be underestimated, and this ongoing project is timely as Government reviews the all-important intellectual property underpinning this sector to ensure that the IP framework supports all designers and protects innovation. The UK Design Economy punches well above its weight and continues to make seismic growth”

Minnie Moll CEO of the Design Council said, “We want as many people as possible, from the design community to design commissioners, the business sector to government, to really engage with the big messages from the research which recognise that design is a powerful tool to be used right now.”

The full report can be accessed here

What is Design Economy and what does the project hope to achieve?

Design can be used to address some of society’s most pressing challenges – from the coronavirus pandemic through to the climate emergency. Every day the Design Council consults with industry, government, and organisations to advise them on how design can improve the things that matter most.

This research is all about working collaboratively with people across the entire design economy to better understand the current state of design in the UK and its potential for the future.

Design Economy, with its ambition to explore the role that design can play to build back better and create a more just, healthy, and regenerative world, provides us with a platform to do this.

Throughout the programme, they will consider the diversity of the design sector, its vital role in levelling up the UK’s regional economies, and the changes that must be made to ensure that design works for everyone.

Design Economy aims to help understand the current and future value of design to the UK from a social, environmental, and economic perspective.

Over the next three years the Design Council will be looking at:

  • the social and environmental value of design
  • the economic value of design
  • business understanding and use of design
  • public sector understanding and use of design
  • public understanding of design
  • regional variations in the use of design
  • how the design economy might evolve and change over time

Spend a couple of minutes to see a short video about the Design Economy here

Spread the Word

IP - Protect it or forget it!
Become “IP savvy” and part of a growing community who are anti copying in design