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Design Economy considers the diversity of the design sector, how well it is responding to people’s different wants and needs, 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: 2018 found that

£85.2 bn
in Gross Value Added to the UK economy – the equivalent of 75% of the insurance and financial services sector

1.69m
people work in the design economy

1.3 m
of them are designers, and others are people working in design firms (such as marketing or HR professionals)

68 %
of designers work in non-design industries such as automotive and retail

78 k
The rest work across 78,000 design firms and agencies, many of which are freelance or SMEs

30 %
Design is unevenly distributed across UK regions, with 30% of all design firms based in London

Design & STEM

Is the UK economy being damaged by our design education policy?

Is the UK economy being damaged by our design education policy?

1 May 2019

In the UK, the design economy is booming. It generated £85.2bn in gross value added to the UK in 2016. However, continuing success looks shaky. A shortage of talent afflicts the industry, and its roots are in education policy....

What makes a knowledgeable, talented, and skilled designer?

What makes a knowledgeable, talented, and skilled designer?

1 May 2019

Yasushi Kusume is Innovation and Creative Manager at IKEA and formerly headed up branding and design for companies like Electrolux and Philips. We asked him what constitutes a great designer, and where the concept of ‘design...

The Design Council's Framework For Innovation (2019)

Framework for Innovation: Design Council's evolved Double Diamond

17 May 2019

Design Council’s framework for innovation helps designers and non-designers across the globe tackle some of the most complex social, economic and environmental problems. It is a fundamental part of our work: enabling us to support...

Localisation

Uniti cars: From Sweden to Silverstone, the electric car revolution

Uniti cars: From Sweden to Silverstone, the electric car revolution

11 December 2018

The demand in electric cars is increasing. Elon Musk has said he wants electric vehicles to be successful even if it means Tesla going bust.  Swedish automotive start-up Uniti’s first eco-friendly city car will be built at...

London isn’t the only option – the growth of regional creative hubs

London isn’t the only option – the growth of regional creative hubs

11 December 2018

Our Design Economy 2018 report shows that despite one in three design firms being based in London and the south-east, every other UK region (bar Northern Ireland) has experienced growth in the number of design firms since 2010....

Dundee: Think global, act local

Dundee: Think global, act local

11 December 2018

Dundee has gained a reputation as ‘Britain’s coolest little city’ and a worldwide ‘hot destination’. Here Mike Press, Co-Director of Open Change a service design and innovation company, and Emeritus Professor of Design Policy at...

How design benefits business

The Guardian: The benefits of design thinking

The Guardian: The benefits of design thinking

21 November 2018

Earlier this year The Guardian underwent a rebrand introducing a new font, masthead and a tabloid format.  Design thinking has not only helped them change their funding model and boost revenue but also to adapt their culture and...

The Design Economy 2018 – Fjord

The Design Economy 2018 – Fjord

14 November 2018

As part of our flagship Design Economy 2018 research, we present seven case studies, which bring to life how a selection of different firms use design in practice. For an introduction to the case studies, please see here. This...

The Design Economy 2018 – The Guardian

The Design Economy 2018 – The Guardian

14 November 2018

As part of our flagship Design Economy 2018 research, we present seven case studies, which bring to life how a selection of different firms use design in practice. For an introduction to the case studies, please see here. The...

Diversity & Inclusion

The Design Economy 2018 – Studio Moross

The Design Economy 2018 – Studio Moross

17 September 2018

As part of our flagship Design Economy 2018 research, we present seven case studies, which bring to life how a selection of different firms use design. For an introduction to the case studies, please see here. Studio Moross is an...

Diversity and business performance – is there a link?

Diversity and business performance – is there a link?

13 August 2018

Why Design Council commissioned the research Diversity and inclusion underpin Design Council’s values, delivery and research. Design is about understanding the needs of diverse populations, individuals and businesses and so there...

Podcast: Sarah Weir, on how design, diversity and inclusion are linked

Podcast: Sarah Weir, on how design, diversity and inclusion are linked

17 September 2018

What do you think of when you hear diversity and inclusion? What impact does diversity and inclusion have on your life? How are design, diversity and inclusion linked? These are some of the questions which will be answered in...

Innovation

Monzo: Designing good mental health into the way we bank

Monzo: Designing good mental health into the way we bank

17 October 2018

Research has found that mental health conditions can have an impact on spending, something which banks and financial institutions often neglect. Zander Brade, Lead Product Designer at Monzo, talked to Design Council about the...

The Design Economy 2018 – Monzo

The Design Economy 2018 – Monzo

10 October 2018

As part of our flagship Design Economy 2018 research, we present seven case studies, which bring to life how a selection of different firms use design. For an introduction to the case studies, please see here. Monzo is a digital...

Video: The link between design and innovation

Video: The link between design and innovation

10 October 2018

Sally Benton, Director of Policy & Communication at Design Council talks with Alistair Kitching from Reece Innovation about the importance of design and innovation to find solutions to everyday challenges and the part design plays...