All reports can be downloaded from the design council website.

The design Economy

Design Cover (small)


Research from the Design Council has quantified the total contribution of the design economy - those in design roles inside and outside the design sector, per se - in terms of economic impact, productivity, employment and other general economic factors.

Download exec summary here

Design Industry Research 2010


In autumn 2009, the Design Council conducted its second comprehensive survey of the UK design industry.

The survey covered 2,200 design businesses including in-house design teams, design consultancies and freelance designers working across communications, digital & multimedia, interior & exhibition, product & industrial, fashion and service design disciplines. Design businesses were asked about the profile and size of their businesses, their clients and the competition they face, their business practices and the education, training and skills of their employees.

The key findings from the research can be found at on the Design Council website, along with a series of individual PDF factsheets which provide more detail on research findings.


This Design Council publication, which appeared in 
Design Week in March 2010, is based on the findings of the Design Industry Research outlined above. It is designed to go a bit further than a research report and policy briefing document, aiming to capture and make sense of the overlapping stories within the design industry for the benefit of the design community that created them.

You can download Design Council reports from its website.

International Design ScoreBOARD

Published 2009


The International Design Scoreboard reports on findings from a two-year project to compare design capabilities across nations.

East Asian nations which have traditionally competed on price and low labour rates are now increasingly competing through design as well, according to the Scoreboard.

The research, led by the University of Cambridge and supported by the Design Council, marks the first-ever attempt to compare national design capabilities.

A total of 12 countries are assessed on a series of indicators, including numbers of design graduates, and the strength of the design consultancy sector. The results suggest that Western nations are under increasing threat from emerging east Asian ‘powerhouses’ as they develop their design sectors, invest in national design promotion and produce skilled design graduates.

The report lays out a proposal for future work which will build on these findings, adding more countries and improving the robustness of the rankings.