Confidence in Design Economy Remains High, AIGA Survey Finds

As thousands of design school graduates accept their diplomas, stopping briefly to scrutinize the font choices before returning them to their leatherette holders, they will meet a “design economy” that is on the upswing. Today AIGA released a quarterly update of its Design Leaders Confidence Index, and while down from the all-time high recorded in January, the 300 design leaders surveyed remain optimistic about the general economy, the design business, and the prospects for both. According to AIGA, the majority of respondents were confident the state of the economy as a whole—and of the design economy in particular—would be moderately better in the next six months. Fewer than nine percent of design leaders surveyed felt that the design economy was worse today than six months ago, and fewer than six percent felt that conditions would be worse six months in the future. Meanwhile, as design firms find themselves juggling more projects with smaller budgets, hiring is still pretty slow. Nearly two out of five design leaders surveyed by AIGA felt the chances of hiring additional staff were better than in January, while 13 percent thought they were worse. Half of corporate CEOs reported plans to hire additional staff in the next six months, so recent grads, keep an eye on the job board.