The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) tracks the evolution of the design industry through surveys of professionals each year since the inaugural census in 2016.
To get a better sense of the changing design landscape, Design Census 2019 worked with Accurat, in partnership with Google.
In 2020 the survey hopes to extend the Design Census Worldwide.
The census collected insights from 9,400 designers, who answered questions about everything from their salaries and benefits (10% make less than $25,000; 2% make more than $200,000) to their opinions about the future of the profession - AI and machine learning, not parametric design.
According to the results, design remains stubbornly homogeneous when it comes to diversity, though it does show some small signs of improvement; 71% of respondents reported themselves as white, compared to 73% in 2017.
In 1920, AIGA began awarding medals to "individuals who have set standards of excellence over a lifetime of work or have made individual contributions to innovation within the practice of design."
Job satisfaction decreased quite a bit between 2017—when 82% felt satisfied—and 2019, when 65% said so. A twin metric that saw a sharp decline? Designers feeling stable in their jobs. Where 25% reported feeling “rock solid” in 2017, just 4% responded that way this year.
Created by Google and AIGA, the Design Census 2019 is an open and collaborative resource for understanding the complex economic, social, and cultural factors shaping the design practice today in the United States.
The Census aims to uncover insights through data, leading to deeper and more informed conversations about where the design industry is now and where it's headed.
The 2019 AIGA Design Census was open to the public for five weeks starting April 1, 2019. It was shared directly with AIGA’s members and attendees of the AIGA Design Conference, as well as the wider U.S. design community via social media, paid advertising, and Eye on Design’s readership. Next year we hope to extend the Design Census to the rest of the world.
We spent months developing a tight lineup of survey questions, and while the 2019 Design Census questions and resulting data set are stronger than in previous years, there is always room for improvement. Thank you to those who have sent us feedback. Your input will not only help us make next year’s Design Census even more comprehensive but in the short term, it has helped us in our contextual reporting around the 2019 results. If you have feedback, please email us at [email protected], and a senior editor will log your comments.
In order to get a more accurate picture of the current state of design, we went beyond simple data visualizations and identified the key areas of interest as well as the topics that required a more nuanced approach. To do this we created Python code that enabled us to work with both quantitative and qualitative data, regardless of the number of responses, as some questions enabled the user to select multiple-choice answer options. Once the data was streamlined, we used applied pivots and different types of aggregation. We then compared qualitative-textual answers with different scales, like charting the broad correlation between salary and satisfaction. Download the raw data and give the data a whirl.
The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) is a professional organization for design. Its members practice all forms of communication design, including graphic design, typography, interaction design, branding, and identity. The organization's aim is to be the standard-bearer for professional ethics and practices for the design profession. There are currently over 22,000 members and 73 chapters, and more than 200 student groups around the United States.
In 1911, Frederic Goudy, Alfred Stieglitz, and W. A. Dwiggins came together to discuss the creation of an organization that was committed to individuals passionate about communication design. In 1913, president of the National Arts Club, John G. Agar, announced the formation of The American Institute of Graphic Arts during the eighth annual exhibition of “The Books of the Year.” The National Arts Club was instrumental in the formation of AIGA in that it helped to form the committee to plan to organize the organization. The committee formed included Charles DeKay and William B. Howland and officially formed the American Institute of Graphic Arts in 1914. Howland, publisher, and editor of The Outlook was elected president. The goal of the group was to promote excellence in the graphic design profession through its network of local chapters throughout the country.
In 1920, AIGA began awarding medals to "individuals who have set standards of excellence over a lifetime of work or have made individual contributions to innovation within the practice of design." Winners have been recognized for design, teaching, writing, or leadership of the profession and may honor individuals posthumously.
In 1982, the New York Chapter was formed and the organization began creating local chapters to decentralize leadership.
Represented by Washington, D.C., arts advocate and attorney, James Lorin Silverberg, Esq., the Washington, D.C., Chapter of AIGA, was organized as the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Incorporated, Washington, D.C., on September 6, 1984.