The design industry

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Posted by - Starbots Creative
11/05/2018

Is the Design industry broken?

designer ideasA recent report conducted by Create London found that creative occupations are exclusive, with people from affluent backgrounds dominating the sector, and women and ethnic minorities facing hurdles to get jobs. With 41% of people surveyed indicated that they had completed unpaid internships early in their career. Create London found that unpaid labour was commonplace across the board of creative jobs, but that this is particularly high in design and advertising professions. Understandably, many graduates can’t afford to work for free unless their parents are affluent enough to support them with accommodation, travel expenses and sustenance. And this can be a barrier to success, but not defining.

You can read the full report here

Can a designer succeed with hard work?

hardworking designerThe report looked at the creative industry as a whole, with the questioning focusing on how important, to each respondent, each of the below was in terms of getting ahead

– coming from a wealthy family;
– having well-educated parents;
– being well educated;
– having ambition;
– hard work;
– knowing the right people;
– your talent;
– your ethnic group;
– your gender;
– your class;
– your religion

The responses to these questions were then used to plot an individuals position on the below graph.

From the analysis of answers to the above questions, there was a general consensus from the respondents that Meritocracy, working hard and never giving up, was the key to success. With only some respondents believing that social reproduction, having a wealthy and connected network, is essential to success. This sounds like great news for graduates or those about to enter the creative industry. However, when you look at who these people know you could say that these people are unaware that their social position has influenced their own success.

Does it help to know people?young designer

The report asked people ‘which occupations do creative workers know? Interestingly, over 75% of these people knew a Lecturer, Artist or Graphic Designer. And over 65% of creative workers know a Journalist, Web designer and actor. In contrast, less than 30% of creative workers know a bus driver or postman. So when we say that the respondents ‘don’t want to accept’ that social reproduction has played an effect on their success, it’s because the overwhelming percentage of people questioned know people who could help them to succeed. Imagine if your family knew a university lecturer or Graphic designer, wouldn’t it be easier to give your teenager advice, guidance and even some work experience? In ways that a bus driver or postman might not be able to provide their teenager.

Starbots creative continue to invest in Staffordshire’s creative talent. If you’re interested, read our blog about our latest Graduate designer here.