Designers see brighter demand for design

NEW YORK—May 14, 2013. AIGA’s Design Leaders Confidence Index was unchanged for the first quarter of 2013, at 101.62 compared to the previous quarter’s 101.72. While the aggregate number is not statistically different, there is optimism in the details: responses to specific questions within the survey suggest confidence that both the general economy and the design economy are improving.

Only 6.1 percent of respondents believe the economy as a whole has worsened in the past six months, with slightly more (6.7 percent) estimating that the design economy was worse in March than it had been in October. More than half of respondents (56 percent) believe the general economy has improved moderately or substantially, while 51.3 percent provided the same positive assessment for the demand for design.

Looking ahead, 59.8 percent of respondents believe the national economy will improve moderately or substantially over the next six months; only 2.8 percent feared it would worsen. As for design, nearly as many felt the demand for design services would also improve by October (55.6 percent). Only 3.4 percent thought it would worsen, and then only moderately.

In terms of hiring and growth, those professing the same or an increased likelihood of hiring additional staff today (compared with three months ago) is nearly universal at 88.8 percent. Roughly 93 percent believe their likelihood of investing in hardware and software is also the same or better.

The Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence™, which asks similar questions of corporate CEOs, continued to improve as well. The Measure now reads 54, up from 46 in the previous quarter (a reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses). CEOs’ short-term outlook is also more optimistic: 32 percent of business leaders expect economic conditions to improve over the next six months, up from 23 percent last quarter. Expectations for their own industries are also more upbeat, with 33 percent of CEOs anticipating an improvement in conditions in the months ahead, up from 19 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.

About AIGA

AIGA, the professional association for design, advances design as a professional craft, strategic advantage and vital cultural force. As the largest community of design advocates, we bring together practitioners, enthusiasts and patrons to amplify the voice of design and create the vision for a collective future. We define global standards and ethical practices, guide design education, inspire designers and the public, enhance professional development, and make powerful tools and resources accessible to all.

For further information, please contact:
Jennifer Bender, director of communications and marketing
AIGA | the professional association for design