14 June 2007

All is not well with the UK design industry

Be the first to share

Business pencil“The creative industries account for more than seven per cent of the UK economy. But many are now struggling in the face of unprecedented overseas competition. The contribution made by the UK design sector has halved since 2000, with the number of larger agencies falling by one third.”

These strong statements were part of a short text by NESTA, the innovation agency, on the need for entrepreneurship education for creative industries.

With the help of NESTA’s staff, I was able to found out more details.

The 2006 Creative Industries Economic Estimates bulletin, published by the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport, has only data up till 2004. The publication shows that whereas the creative industries accounted for 7.3% of Gross Value Added in 2004 (as compared to 7.8% in 2000), only 0.5% of that comes from the design industry (a 50% drop from 2000, when the contribution was 1%).

The British Design Industry Valuation Survey 2005 to 2006 contains some further data:

  • 2006 turnover for the industry has seen a 6% fall on 2005 figures, from £4.6bn to £4.3bn, and a 36% fall on 2000 figures (£6.7bn)
  • Growth in 2006 has been in the mid-sized companies, suggesting that smaller, newer companies and freelancers are struggling.
  • Total fee income for the industry has fallen in 2005/2006 by some 16% from £4.0bn to £3.3bn, and by 34% as compared with 2000 (£5bn)
  • 2005/2006 employee numbers are down overall by 8.4% from 71,000 to 65,000, and a 21% fall on 2000 figures (82,000)
  • The growth in export income shows that design firms are becoming more reliant on winning business overseas to compensate for a shrinking volume of work in the UK.
  • The volume of employees in large agencies (the 50+ bracket) has fallen to account for just 38% of the total employment. Their total number went down from about 400 (in 2000) to 305 (in 2006).

Be the first to share
4 July 2015
Videos online of KISD service design conference
On May 18th 2015 the Köln International School of Design (KISD) in Germany hosted the conference "Service Design – Redefining the Meaning of Design". Designers, companies and scientists shared insights on theory and practice of Service …
2 July 2015
Getting citizens involved in protecting fragile energy environments
A new project funded under the FP7 European Commission framework is getting citizens involved in testing new tools for reducing energy consumption during peak loads, in the hope that its pilot program will set the …
2 July 2015
Interview with HTC’s head designer on experience design
Drew Bamford is the person responsible for making the ITC's experience design – how the company's devices feel and work like 'HTC phones' rather than just another Android handset. HTC's head designer's purvue is focused on …
9 June 2015
Alice Rawsthorn on the pros and cons of new digital interface design
Alice Rawsthorn asks why the aesthetics of something so pervasive [as digital user interfaces], the design of which is deeply sophisticated in other respects, are often underwhelming. Developing a definitive design aesthetic as Braun once did …
6 June 2015
Europe’s White Working Class Communities: A Report on Six EU Cities
Europe’s White Working Class Communities, a research series published by the Open Society Foundations, documents the experiences of “white” communities in six cities across Europe. Each report focuses on a specific district or neighborhood within a …
1 June 2015
Exploring the ‘next nature’ that people and technology are creating
The Next Nature website sets out to radically shift our notion of nature: Our image of nature as static, balanced and harmonic is naive and up for reconsideration. Where technology and nature are traditionally seen as …
17 May 2015
Design thinking without deep analysis is reckless. A more balanced approach is needed.
Larry Keeley, co-founder of innovation firm Doblin which is now a unit of Deloitte Consulting LLP, says that too often advocates of “design” regard it as an elixir that can somehow transform conservative companies into …
13 May 2015
We’re more than mere consumers, and business should remember that
Companies collect an ever-growing amount of information on customers, but forgetting the individuals behind big data is detrimental, not least to business, writes author and speaker John C. Havens. Today’s customers, empowered by mobile technologies and …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

2 July 2015
Getting citizens involved in protecting fragile energy environments

A new project funded under the FP7 European Commission framework is getting citizens involved in testing new tools for reducing energy consumption during peak loads, in the hope that its pilot program will set the new state of the art for protecting locations with fragile electricity supplies. One of France’s most fragile regions The Provence-Alpes-Côte […]

5 May 2015
Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록 in Design 4 Disaster

Design 4 Disaster features an engaging illustrated safety manual for ship passengers, a personal project by Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록. After the Korean ferry accident last year, Yuluck (who is Korean) wanted to find a way to make safety manuals more interesting to read. He spent one year designing an interactive safety guide […]

16 March 2015
Better Health and Wellbeing: Giving the elderly in Singapore sparkling golden years

Invitation: sharing session, Singapore, 30 March 2015   What are the hopes and fears of the elderly in Singapore? How can designers offer solutions that support the elderly in managing their health and wellness? What can healthcare professionals do to help them keep active? What role can technology play in the elderly’s daily lives? Design consultants […]

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
21 December 2014
Experientia’s Twitter feed live

Experientia has now its own Twitter feed. Four months of Putting People First posts and other links have already been uploaded. If you followed Experientia on Twitter through the feed of its CEO, Mark Vanderbeeken, make sure to now also follow the company (but don’t unfollow Mark, who will keep on tweeting away). And while […]

19 December 2014
Putting People First blog redesigned

Experientia’s Putting People First blog has been redesigned. It is now entirely responsive, allows for easier browsing, searching, and filtering, and features larger images on the posts. The entire history of posts remains accessible as before. We are still tweaking things and welcome any feedback.

See all articles