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Last week the NEA released research based on its analysis of data from the U.S.
Census American Community Survey, a new annual survey tool that complements the
decennial census. Its results highlight a number of characteristics of the U.S. design
community. The design categories are aggregated to include commercial and industrial
designers; fashion designers; floral designers; graphic designers; interior
designers; merchandise displayers; and set and exhibit designers. Still it provides a
profile of communication designers, who represent the largest of these
The NEA used a five-year data set (2005–2009) to get a large
enough sample size for a thorough analysis. Of the 2.1
million Americans identified as artists, designers make up the largest segment of the
creative community in the United States, representing 39 percent of
artist/creative category, or nearly 830,000 workers. The number of trained
communication designers has been estimated by AIGA as 350,000—NEA estimates there
are 390,000 with a communication or graphic design degree.
Slightly more than 20 percent of designers reflect a minority race or ethnic
characteristic. Fourteen to 16 percent were foreign born—about the rate in the
national workforce, but a higher percentage than many of the other disciplines.
NEA reports estimates that 54 percent of the designer category are women. AIGA’s
membership is approximately 55 percent women, although we expect that to
increase—two-thirds of design students surveyed by AIGA are women.
Complete information is available from the NEA report, Artists and Arts Workers in the United States.
Although other data are offered in the analysis, the broad “designer” category
masks the relevant data for communication designers.
Richard Grefé is the executive director of AIGA, the professional association for design. While guiding all of AIGA’s activities, his most significant contributions are in strategy, formulating new initiatives to enhance the competitive success of designers
and advocating the value of design to business, government and the public.
Today, designers are designing to
enhance understanding when form and content are conditioned by context and
impact over time. “Defining the Studio of 2015” seeks the perspectives of visionary design thought leaders
who have organized their studios—physically, technologically and
culturally—with an eye toward the future.
Join Doug Powell and Amy Chapman as they discuss AIGA’s Design for Good efforts from the past year. Learn how to share your socially impactful work on AIGA.org, where to
find opportunities to design for good and what is
coming up in 2013.
is AIGA’s initiative to encourage members and chapters to become involved with
local schools and school districts to improve understanding of design practices
among young people, and to encourage the use of these practices as problem-solving
The Living Principles for Design was created as a framework to guide the development and evaluation of sustainable design solutions. Drawing from—and distilling—decades of collective wisdom, theory and results, The Living Principles weaves environmental, social, economic and cultural sustainability into an actionable, integrated approach that can be consistently communicated to designers, business leaders, educators and the public.
Sean Adams, partner of AdamsMorioka and former AIGA
president, presents a visual history of
AIGA and hosts a live chat about the organization’s past, present and future.
The Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) is an annual online survey and data-management system designed to improve arts-school education through tracking the training, careers and lives of arts graduates.
Section: Tools and Resources -
job search, professional development, accreditation, college, graduate, education
Executive director Richard Grefé finds evidence to show that the opportunity for design and
designers has never been greater.
Section: About AIGA -
AIGA Insight, education, business
The Colorado State University AIGA student group embarks on a summer tour, visiting AIGA chapters and studios across the country, to learn what makes each design culture tick and what connections exist to bridge the gap between education and profession.
Section: Inspiration -
Career, Education, chapters, student groups
Becoming a Specialist Generalist: The Multidisciplinary Digital Creative
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Adjunct Design FacultyQuantom Studios, Partner of Northern Virginia Community College
Alexandria, VirginiaMay 2 2013
Real Good Experiment