Figures from Falmouth University and the Centre for Economics and Business Research show that design was worth £3.4 billion in 2012. This was up from £2.7 billion in 2008.
The gross value added figures relate to design, photography, and translation, a category, which has been created to reflect the way the Government sees different sectors, according to a spokeswoman for the researchers.
The design figures are part of a bigger forecast, which predicts that the creative industries will be worth more than £100 billion to the UK economy by 2018 and will employ 1.39 million people (4 per cent of total UK employment).
Meanwhile the number of people employed in the design, photography and translation industries is expected to reach 50,000 by 2018, marking an increase of 5,000 from 2012 levels.
The researchers say they have based their research on figures from the Office for National Statistics and defined different sectors using the Standard Industrial Classification framework. However, while advertising, architecture and public relations have their own SIC codes, design does not.
A spokesman for the researchers says: “The forecasts in the report are based on the performance of more aggregated industrial groups, so we haven’t forecast the design sector specifically. However, if we assume that design’s share of the ‘professional and administrative services’ sector remains constant, this results in [the] estimates.”