Vision Supplement

Open a newspaper or turn on the TV and the universal headline is credit crunch. Many are, understandably, bored with this particular financial story, but there is no avoiding it and many commentators are predicting that the worst is yet to come.

AIndeed, some say it will wreak greater havoc than many previous economic shocks, including the oil crisis of the 1970s and the industrial restructuring of the 1980s.nd unlike last year, when the Beijing Olympics, the US elections and the Euro 2008 football tournament provided major event work for a raft of design and advertising consultancies, in 2009 there is no such biggie to boost the creative community.

Having flagged up the doom and gloom, few are predicting the world will end. Clients will continue to commission work, albeit with a forensic eye on costs and outcomes, and if the creative community follows suit, many will survive the difficult months ahead.

To put the economic turmoil into the context of the creative industry, we asked 14 expert commentators to think ahead. It’s not so much a crystal ball as a stock-take in seven key sectors, including digital design, branding, interiors and sustainability. For each we asked an industry specialist and a creative pundit to comment, and the results make for insightful reading.

While few expect the year ahead to be painless, there are coping strategies. The key message is that consultancies that genuinely meet clients’ needs, and address costs and overheads, will weather this storm.

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