In April 2005, AIGA began conducting a quarterly survey of design leaders to assemble an authoritative statement on the current conditions within the design economy.
This Design Leaders Confidence Index is modeled on the confidence indices developed by the Conference Board for private sector corporate leaders.
Each quarter we obtain the answers to a few simple questions from several hundred design leaders—the possible responses to the following questions are: substantially better, moderately better, same, moderately worse or substantially worse.
How do you rate present business conditions for the economy as a whole, as compared with six months ago?
How do you rate present business conditions for design, as compared with six months ago?
In looking ahead six months as compared with today, do you think business conditions for the economy as a whole will be:
In appraising the prospects for design, do you think business over the next six months, as compared with today, will be:
Compared to [three months ago], are the chances of hiring additional staff:
Compared to [three months ago], are the chances of purchasing additional hardware and software:
Over time, the responses enable AIGA to develop a confidence index of conditions in the profession that will be helpful to members and their colleagues in judging current conditions nationwide. The index will also help us in advocating the interests of the design community in Washington and with sponsors.
Most recent results
The AIGA Design Leaders Confidence Index for the fourth quarter of 2009 reflects strong confidence in an economic recovery. The index held at 98, up from 51 in October 2008 and consistent with designers’ attitudes during the period 2005–2007.
AIGA anticipates that the real measure of the state of the design economy is likely to come in the first quarter of 2010, as designers experience the effects of corporate budgets that were determined during a weakened economy. However, only 6 percent of the design leaders surveyed last month expected business over the next six months to be worse than current business levels.
Nearly a third of respondents (29 percent) believe they will be more likely to hire new designers in this quarter than last; only 18 percent felt they were less likely to hire new designers. And 44 percent felt their plans of purchasing new hardware and software had increased compared with three months ago.
January 2010’s index is 98.72 compared to 2009 when it was 54.55