Doing the Numbers: Designers’ Earnings Across the World


That’s it. We’re packing up and moving to Hong Kong. Either that or somewhere in India. Granted, neither of we UnBeige writers are designers by trade, we’d still like to be where the money is, and judging from this amazing series of graphic representations plotting the average incomes for designers, our usual stomping grounds, the US, Canada, and Europe, sure as heck aren’t it. Before you go browsing around, here’s the scoop:

We took the average salaries of the top 14 countries in our survey and ran them through The Economist’s Big Mac Index. Doing so allows us to see, in a comparative sense, how “large” a designer “rolls” on his local turf. For instance, the chart indicates that while cruising their respective neighborhoods, a UK designer rolls larger than does her German counterpart. The simple economic explanation of these differences is that they are due to deviations in demand – in some countries designers are simply hotter commodities — and as is the case with rockstars, demand turns into dollar$$$. And this is why we measure the degree of this demand in units of “rock-osity,” of which there are eleven.