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NEW YORK—September 25, 2012. The results of the 2012 AIGA|Aquent Survey of Design Salaries may come as no surprise to working communication designers: salaries have seen little movement. Yet there are areas of the design industry experiencing growth, and lessons to be learned from the data.Design salaries overall have remained relatively flat for several years. The good news is that design is increasingly in demand, both as a result of greater awareness of design’s value in advancing business strategy, and as companies seek competitive market advantage in anticipation of an improving national economy. Salaries do not seem to reflect the pressures of increasing demand as a result of several factors: a large number of underemployed designers, the constantly changing nature of technology and expected design competencies, and the impact of an estimated 12,000 emerging designers graduating each year from four-year design programs accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. The positions that reflect increasing compensation appear to be those involved with integrating design into business strategy—strategists and operations management—as well as roles that deal with usability, web and interactive design. Other patterns are also evident:
AIGA cautions against using the survey results prescriptively. “The survey reveals what is actually paid in the marketplace, not a recommendation on pay scales,” notes AIGA Executive Director Richard Grefé. “As a matter of principle, AIGA takes the position that design is never valued highly enough. Yet the difficult truth is that design compensation has not increased—nor even kept up with inflation—for several years. AIGA’s highest priority is to increase understanding of the value of design.”AIGA is creating resources to address these issues by helping designers develop skills—by establishing professional development opportunities and providing resources for everything from career questions to management advice—and offering strategy experience through chapter projects and programs such as Design for Good. For more insights into the survey results and the communication design industry, visit designsalaries.aiga.org.
AIGA is the
professional association for design, a nonprofit organization dedicated
to advancing design as a professional craft, strategic tool and vital
cultural force. Founded in 1914, AIGA today serves more than 22,000
members through 66 chapters and 200 student groups across the United
States. AIGA stimulates thinking about design, demonstrates the value of
design and empowers the success of designers at each stage of their
Aquent is the only global staffing company dedicated to creative, marketing and digital roles exclusively for Fortune 1000 companies. The world’s most renowned global brands come to Aquent for high-caliber freelance talent. Its new division, Vitamin T, provides small, mid-sized and ad agency clients with faster, easier access to in-demand interactive talent. Aquent and Vitamin T have built an impressive global network of marketing and creative services professionals, including print and interactive designers, UX designers and developers, copywriters, brand managers, market researchers and more.
For further information, please contact:Jennifer Bender, director of communications and marketingAIGA | the professional association for design
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