Design leaders anticipate economic recovery

NEW YORK, February 10, 2010. The AIGA Design Leaders Confidence Index for the fourth quarter of 2009 reflects strong confidence in an economic recovery. The index held at 98, up from 51 in October 2008 and consistent with designers' attitudes during the period 2005-2007.

AIGA anticipates that the real measure of the state of the design economy is likely to come in the first quarter of 2010, as designers experience the effects of corporate budgets that were determined during a weakened economy. However, only 6 percent of the design leaders surveyed last month expected business over the next six months to be worse than current business levels.

Nearly a third of respondents (29 percent) believe they will be more likely to hire new designers in this quarter than last; only 18 percent felt they were less likely to hire new designers. And 44 percent felt their plans of purchasing new hardware and software had increased compared with three months ago.

Comparison to corporate CEO confidence 

Design leaders' confidence is consistent with the Conference Board measure of corporate CEO confidence, which increased to 64 in the fourth quarter of 2009—the fourth consecutive increase, and a significant increase over 24 one year ago.

CEOs' assessment of current economic conditions was much more optimistic, with 75 percent stating conditions had improved compared to six months ago. The Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators also showed modest, but consistent improvement.

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® also continues to improve. The Present Situation Index (confidence in current conditions) increased to 25.0 from 20.2, and the Expectations Index increased slightly to 76.5 (up from 75.9 last month).

The next Design Leaders Confidence Survey will be conducted in mid-May 2010. For more information on the methodology of the survey, visit

About AIGA

AIGA, the professional association for design, is the premier place for design—to discover it, discuss it, understand it, appreciate it, be inspired by it.

AIGA's mission is to advance designing as a professional craft, strategic tool and vital cultural force. AIGA stimulates thinking about design through journals, conferences, competitions and exhibitions; demonstrates the value of design to business, the public and government officials; and empowers the success of designers at each stage of their careers by providing invaluable educational and social resources.

Founded in 1914, AIGA remains the oldest and largest professional membership organization for design. AIGA now represents more than 20,000 design professionals, educators and students through national activities and local programs developed by 64 chapters and 200 student groups. AIGA is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) educational institution.

For further information, please contact: Jennifer Bender
Director of communications and marketing
AIGA | the professional association for design
Tel 212 710 3136 Fax 212 807 1799