(Last updated August 2020)
What has been happening in the graphic design sector
In recent years there has been strong growth in demand for graphic designers' services because:
- much more importance has been given to having a well designed printed product - whether this is packaging, a company's annual report, an advertisement, a magazine, an album cover etc.
- companies of all sizes have been eager to create a strong brand image for themselves and their products or services by the use of logos and distinctive corporate identities that help to make them instantly recognisable
- a properly designed website has become a business essential for many businesses
- demand for a huge range of digital products including desktop software, mobile apps and games has soared
At the same time though there has also been an increase in the range of sophisticated design software programs that can be used by both businesses and individuals with relative ease so that perfectly acceptable basic design work can be produced without having to commission a specialist graphic designer. So it makes sense to aim to offer your clients a service that they can't easily undertake for themselves.
Bear in mind that demand for design services reflects the state of the economy as a whole - during times of recession there are fewer business clients and existing businesses cut back on their design and printing requirements. During periods of growth designers see an upturn in demand. Remember too that the rise of alternative communication channels means that traditional printers are getting less work - this will affect demand for your services if you focus only on design for print.
Keeping up to date with developments
Joining a trade association is an excellent way of keeping up with developments in your industry.
The Chartered Society of Designers (CSD) was established in 1930 and aims to promote good design. It regulates its members who must comply with their code of conduct. Visit the CSD website for more information.
Other organisations that may be of interest to graphic designers include:
- the Design Council
- New Media Knowledge. The NMK website has information for designers " web developers and so on
- the British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF)
- BECTU (the Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematography and Theatre Union)
You can find out more about these organisations and the services they offer on their websites.
You can get a lot of useful information by visiting a trade show for the graphic design and printing industries. The Exhibitions website includes details of trade shows that may be relevant to your business.