Most businesses “fail to understand benefits of design”

The 2015 Design Week Salary Survey has revealed that the majority of businesses fail to understand the full benefits that design can bring to an organisation.

Image by Vancouver Film School on Twitter
Image by Vancouver Film School on Twitter

More than 70 per cent of designers working in-house say that the rest of their company fails to understand what design is or see it as a cost.

The 2015 Design Week Salary Survey saw more than 1,500 designers across different disciplines surveyed about their average salaries, job satisfaction and their companies’ attitudes towards design.

Of the in-house designers who were surveyed, 19 per cent said design was not understood by the rest of the business. Meanwhile 52 per cent said their companies partially understood what design was, but saw it as a service that comes at a cost.

Just 28 per cent of in-house designers surveyed said their companies understood the benefits of design and put it at the heart of their business.

Design Week and sister title Creative Review recently held a panel discussion looking at what design and creativity can bring to business.

The Advertising Week Europe session featured Diageo global design director Jeremy Lindley, Leon head of design Jo Ormiston and SomeOne co-founder Simon Manchipp.

Among the points under discussion were that businesses can often perceive creativity as a surface activity – “lipstick on a pig”, according to Manchipp – and that for design to be embedded in an organisation it’s vital for it to be understood at a high level.

Design Week has also looked recently at how Macmillan Cancer Support is using design and innovation to improve its services, and how Silicon Valley tech companies are increasingly seeing the value of design – with 20 per cent of the leading venture capital-funded businesses in Silicon Valley having designer co-founders.


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How much should you be earning? Find out with the Design Week Salary Calculator here.

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