A report out this week suggests that the creative industries in the UK are the fastest growing sector, worth £71bn in 2012. This is a rise of 10%, according to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, which sees the industry making up 5% of the total UK economy, and 8% of what the UK exports.
Using the DCMS definition, ‘design’ (product, graphic or fashion design) is now worth in the region of £2.5 billion each year. Even bigger is the UK publishing industry at £9.7 billion. Largest of all is the marketing industry at £10bn. Even crafts play a significant part, accounting for £248 million. It is a good news story on the jobs front, too, with a total 1.68 million, up 16% in 2012 when other industries continued to struggle.
The Chair of the Creative Industries Council, Nicola Mendelsohn, outlines ongoing work to hone the strategy across the sector, to continue building the success. Her commitment is echoed by the Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, who confirms the sectors outperform other major industries.
Is there still an image problem for designers? Perhaps those studying design are still facing if not outward criticism then negative judgement; are they studying art/design because they aren’t ‘bright enough to take a real subject?’
To make the most of this booming industry, there needs to be a cultural change. Design is now the fastest growing sector, yet there is not one national newspaper with a regular design critic. Most will find space for food, fashion, even ‘celebrity.’ The industry needs a greater public platform to shift this image and improve perception.
It’s been well known for many years that first impressions count, so fashion designers have been telling us how to dress to make the most of our assets, perhaps to get a job or meet a successful date, and interior designers help us add value to our homes and even to sell them.
Working together with others, developers or investors, interior designers help vendors maximise profit, yet there is rarely adequate recognition for them. With reports like this most recent from the DCMS, designers could help boost other industries, even giving a kick start for the property industry.
If you think a creative service such as show home staging could help you or your business, research it. Think about the services you require, and then talk to the people who will be delivering them. Do you ‘click?’ Do they share your vision? You might not always agree with the designer, but you will need to trust them if your design is to work.
Some are doing big business from show homes. Check out show home hire in London and see how it might help, or inspire you. It’s understated, but so is the part that the designer plays. Let’s hope to see the creative talent coming out of the shadows and achieving maximum potential for themselves as well as their clients.
Using the show home example, developers want to sell as quickly as possible but they also want to show their property at its best. Hiring a designer will not give you an interior to everyone’s tastes, but it will highlight the best points, and sell a lifestyle image to the buyers.