New Research from AIGA Empowers Designers and the Industry to be a Force for Change


November 18, 2021

Media Contact

Michelle Koenigsknecht

(212) 710-3138

This landmark design research initiative compiles 18 months of analysis, providing a current snapshot of the industry and a look forward 

New York, NY—Today, AIGA, the professional association for design, released the final installment of its 2021 AIGA Design POV Research Initiative. This comprehensive report collects and synthesizes data from both surveys of the design community and secondary research on the industry. The report analyzes market data and industry surveys to identify the biggest trends in the design industry to better understand how the industry can anticipate future change and offer insights into the design field and what it means to be a designer.

“The design industry is dynamic, innovative, and evolving,” said AIGA Executive Director, Bennie F. Johnson. “AIGA has learned much from this work and we will continue this research and these important conversations to better understand the challenges designers and the industry face. We want designers to be able to maximize the dynamic future that is ahead.” 

The 2021 AIGA Design POV report includes ten focus areas:

  • The Market Reset that took place following the on-set of the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenges faced by the community, and adaptations made in the transition.
  • A Future Forward approach to the newest technological trends in design, including AI/machine learning, augmented and virtual reality, and collaborative design software.
  • How Design Leads people and organizations to be a force for change at all levels of an organization.
  • The Value of Design to strengthen brand equity, create a culture of innovation, and improve financial performance for organizations.
  • The practice of Being a Designer: cultivating a skillset, a mindset, and an ‘Impactset.’
  • The many emerging Design Pathways that new artistic and creative talent are using to enter the industry and advance the practice of design.
  • A Market Intelligence analysis of design businesses, specialties, pay/income, employee benefits, and education.
  • The journey of Lifelong Learning that designers undergo: identifying competency gaps, and analyzing how lifelong learning needs to help designers continue to adapt to industry changes. 
  • The impact and need for investment in our many Creative Communities, many of whom are still underrepresented in leadership positions and the industry as a whole.
  • How designers have been working to Design for Positive Impact, both by volunteering their time and prioritizing working for and with others who share values for social justice.

“Over the last year, the design community has continued to step up. As problem solvers, designers have helped to reimagine the ways we work and interact with each other even as the world evolves around us. We are proud to be a part of this research that has offered insights to help designers continue to deliver meaningful solutions,” added PepsiCo’s Chief Design Officer, Mauro Porcini. 

In 2022, AIGA will be expanding the AIGA Design POV research initiative to look at leadership in design, dive deeper into the design and technology relationship, take a closer look at diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility issues in the industry, and study design centers of excellence to expand best practices and support for the community. 

If you would like to participate in the 2022 AIGA Design POV research initiative, please contact us at

The 2021 AIGA Design POV research was made possible thanks to the support of PepsiCo.

Additional information about the report can be found here. To request a copy of the report, which is available free to members of the media, please email

Media Contact

Michelle Koenigsknecht

(212) 710-3138


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, AIGA brings together practitioners, enthusiasts, and patrons to amplify the voice of design and creates the vision for a collective future. AIGA defines global standards and ethical practices, guides design education, inspires designers and the public, enhances professional development, and makes powerful tools and resources accessible to all.