Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What Does the Bad Economy Mean for Designers?

Unless you have been living in a hole, you are probably acutely aware of the critical state of the economy. Yes, banks are going out of business left and right, Starbucks had its worst quarter ever, and the Detroit auto industry is asking for a $25 billion bailout. But what does this mean for you as a Graphic Designer?

In April 2005, AIGA began conducting a quarterly survey of design leaders to assemble an overall statement on the current conditions within the design economy.

Each quarter several hundred design leaders answer a few simple questions—the possible responses to the following questions are: substantially better, moderately better, same, moderately worse or substantially worse. A few sample questions:

•How do you rate present business conditions for the economy as a whole, as compared with six months ago?
•How do you rate present business conditions for design, as compared with six months ago?

The quarterly index for October 2008 dropped to the lowest level since the survey was launched in 2005, hitting a measure of 50.

Only thirty-four percent of respondents believe the design economy is as strong or better than six months ago. Yet their perspective on the next six months is more positive than business leaders’ (though still very sobering): 38.5 percent feel the design economy will be moderately worse, and 13 percent feel it will be substantially worse. Twenty-three percent believe the design economy will be stronger in six months.

A fellow designer recently told me, "It (the job market) is really depressing. I feel like I'm going to be stuck at my job for longer than i like because the job market is so bad. I'm frustrated with looking for jobs." Is this true? How do you feel about the job market? Does your job feel secure?

-article content via AIGA ••••


sarahheartsdesign said...

AAAHHH!!!! Scary, scary. The first time I graduated was after 9/11...job market=bad. Graduating the second time in 6 months...job market=worse. My timing is all off. But, these things are cyclical and eventually the economy will have an uptick and jobs will again be plentiful. Probably art and design will reflect the times and someday we can look back and be thankful we're not here.

DanaDoesDesign said...

Yeah I just found out 2 weeks ago I don't have a job at the end of the year. Newest hire, first to go. And...no one in my city is hiring. I have managed to find freelance, but agencies are holding off on hiring even if they are bringing in new accounts. Can say I blame them, but it's unsettling not knowing what is going to happen to me.