graphic design

20 Eye-catching Graphic Design Statistics [New for 2020]

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As we continue to spend more and more time in the digital world, the graphic design industry is going through some massive changes.

The thing is:

Graphic design statistics point to a dramatic shift from press to screen and the ever-growing importance of good visual content.

What’s more:

As our attention is split between multiple devices, apps, and platforms, an image has less and less time to catch our eye and make us react. 

And that’s an issue:

After all, the goal of graphic design is to communicate the message in a way that will make us stop, engage, and react. 

That’s where a professional designer comes in as a deciding factor that trumps instant online solutions and tools. 

Let’s have a look at some facts and stats about the industry.

Game-changing Graphic Design Facts (Editor’s Choice)

  • Graphic design industry revenue in 2019 was worth $15 billion.
  • The median pay for graphic designers is $25.05 per hour.
  • 90% of graphic designers are freelancers.
  • There were 16,823 graphic design businesses in the US in 2019.
  • The average graphic designer is 40.5 years old, white, and female.
  • Digital categories in graphic design are predicted to rise up to 24%.
  • The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text.

Graphic Design Industry Statistics

1. There were 16,823 businesses in the US graphic design market in 2019.

(Finances Online)

Looking at the market in the last five years, 71% of businesses created ten times more content in 2015 than they did in the years before. This gave impetus to a five-year growth for the sector. 

There were 260,300 graphic designers in the US in 2016. The number of businesses in the graphic design industry was reported to be close to 17,000 in 2019.

2. Graphic design industry revenue in 2019 was worth $15 billion.

(BLS, Finances Online)

Up to the end of 2019, the graphic design industry was witnessing steady five-year growth, as the global economy was improving. New businesses increased their demand for graphic design services. 

In fact, revenue increased at a rate of 3.2% to a whopping $14,6 billion. Graphic design industry growth was estimated to be 2.9% in 2019.

However, the graphic design industry today is not only facing plenty of challenges. We’ve yet to see what the consequences of the sudden change in the global economy in 2020 are going to be.

3. The graphic design industry is expected to grow by 3% from 2018 to 2028.

(BLS)

Industry growth is projected to be 3%, with 11,000 new jobs added in the next 8 years.

What’s worrying:

Graphic design job growth is considered to be below average growth for the sector. It’s also slower than the average for all other occupations, as the projected percentage of employment growth in all fields is 7%

And with the graphic design employment rate dropping, even greater competition in the field is likely to become a trend, as fewer positions become available.

4. The median pay for graphic designers in 2019 was $25.05 per hour.

(BLS)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for graphic designers in the US dropped from $54,680 in 2014 down to $50,370 or $24.21 per hour in 2018. In 2019, the average income for a graphic designer was $52,110.

Those on the lowest end of the workforce, the bottom 10%, earned less than $29,610, while those at the top were making around $85,760.

5. The average graphic designer is 40.5 years old, white, and female. 

(US Census Bureau)

Looking at graphic design demographics, men are 1.47 years older than their female colleagues. In fact, the median age for male employees is 41.3, while women in graphic design are 39.8 years old on average according to the US Census Bureau data from 2017.

Looking at ethnicity and race, most graphic designers are white (77%), while 8.89% are Asian. Only 5.1% of all graphic designers in the US are black.

In terms of gender, women are choosing this profession more often than men, as 53.4% of graphic designers are female.

woman exploring graphic design statistics

6. Only one-third of designers are employed in-house, graphic design statistics confirm.

(Finances Online)

Around 30% of marketers use in-house designers, while 49% use online tools and various graphic design software, and 10% use freelance designers. 

Among non-designers, 35% of digital marketers who use tools spend under two hours weekly. Additionally, 37% spend up to five hours creating visual content, and 19% spend more than ten hours a week designing their visuals.

What’s more:

Up to 35% of respondents report their main challenges to be consistency and 31% that it is most difficult to produce quality designs.

7. Up to 40% of graphic designers leave the profession in the first two years.

(All Art Schools)

The graphic design career outlook is not that glamorous. Finding a job as a graphic designer is hard due to the competition. But sticking to it is even harder. 

The thing is:

One of the demoralizing facts about graphic design is that four in ten designers quit within two years. They’re followed by another 30% in the first five years, leaving 30% of designers to work in the sector for over five years.

Now:

The most common degree among graphics designers is a bachelor’s degree, followed by an associate’s degree. Most graphic designers have studied fine arts, commercial design, and advertising.

The top three majors for graphic designers, according to the Census Bureau, are Visual and Performing Arts, Engineering, Communication Technologies, Architecture, and Business.

8. 90% of graphic designers are freelancers.

(Finances Online)

The graphic design industry employs most of its workforce in specialized design services, a full 20%. In comparison, the manufacturing industry employs 14% of graphic designers who work full time.

Nine in ten graphic designers in the US are freelancers. Click To Tweet

9. Graphic design industry analysis points out the print sector is facing a 22% decline in employment between 2018 and 2028.

(BLS)

Graphic design industry trends show the print sector is facing a steep decline after a long slump. Specifically, employment figures of graphic designers in classic sectors such as books, newspapers, and all forms of print are projected to plummet by 22% between 2018 and 2028.

As the market goes digital, the classic of the design field is saturated. So, demand for new jobs and services is on a definite downward spiral.

10. Digital categories in graphic design are predicted to grow by up to 24%.

(Learn2G, Finances Online)

One of the undeniable design facts is: 

The graphic design categories expected to grow in the next eight years are animation infographics, video editing, design for computer systems, and mobile advertising

Another one of the interesting facts about graphic design is that the growth in these categories will match the fall in print, showing us where the demand is shifting. 

Up to 60.8% of digital marketers claim visuals are the most important component of successful marketing.

11. Up to 85% of consumers use multiple devices at the same time.

(99designs)

According to graphic design and marketing research conducted by Google in 2016, multitasking and splitting our attention between multiple screens is becoming the new normal. 

What that means is: 

Marketing experts have to double their efforts to grab users’ attention now that their ad space is not the only one people look at at any given moment. Graphic content not only competes with other brands in quality but in capturing one’s eye faster and for longer than the content on the other screen.

12. 51% of marketers in the B2B sector consider the creation of visual assets to be top of their priority list, graphic design statistics reveal. 

(99designs)

You might think visuals are something that would be the primary concern of B2C brands. 

But that’s not the case:

When it comes to business to business customers, graphic design is an even more important element of a successful marketing strategy. In fact, over half of marketers in the B2B sector are primarily focused on having top-notch graphics when representing their brand to other companies.

13. Visual stats show that 65% of B2B marketing managers love to use infographics.

(99designs)

A Content Marketing Institute study in 2017 discovered that infographics are the preferred form of visuals for B2B marketing strategies. When done right, this type of content makes a huge impact, as the information is conveyed quickly and in a way that sticks in the consumer’s mind for longer.

Graphic Design Statistics and the Power of Visual Content

14. We remember only 10% of the message we hear if it is not followed by an image.

(Finances Online)

One of the fun facts about graphic design and its influence on our perception is that if we hear a message, we will remember only 10% of the content three days later. 

On the other hand:

If that message came with an infographic or a visual aid of some kind, we will retain up to 65% of the information after a three days period.

That’s huge!

15. Up to 68% of marketers say they will use more visual content in the future.

(Finances Online)

86% of marketers use at least one visual format in their blog posts, while 88% use visual content in more than 50% of the articles they publish.

Stock photography resources are the most used (40%), followed by original graphics (37%), and charts and data (12%).

Next:

Videos and presentations are used 7% of the time, and gifs and memes in 4% of cases.

67% of small businesses have expressed the opinion that the role of graphic design will be more important in the next five years.

16. Social media posts with visuals have a 650% higher performance than those without images.

(Finances Online)

Graphic design industry news tells us tweets that have an image attached to them have 150% more retweets, and Facebook posts have a mind-blowing 230% higher engagement if they carry visual content with their message. 

When it comes to blog posts, those with images generate double the amount of traffic of those with text only.

17. 92.6% of consumers reported their purchase decision-making was influenced by color.

(Finances Online)

Ads in color have 40% more viewers than black and white ones.

And that’s not all:

Color improves readership by 40%, while it affects comprehension and learning by 73% and 78%, respectively.

When it comes to brand recognition, color is paramount, with 80% of brand recognition lies in the right choice of color.

So, if you’re thinking of launching your own brand, you need to choose the colors of your logo carefully. 

18. One of the most interesting graphic design facts is that the favorite color of 57% of consumers is blue.

(Kissmetrics, Finances Online)

Design stats show up to 43% of shoppers associated the color blue with reliability, 34% said it signifies trust, and 28% said it offers a sense of security. This is why  33% of the 100 most successful brands use this color in their logo. 

Like BMW, for instance.

BMW logo

The color red is a very effective call to action, as 76% of consumers associate this color with speed.

Meanwhile, 28% of buyers associate the color orange with fun, and 26% say it reminds them of promotions and sales, as it carries the association with something being cheap.

19. The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text.

(Finances Online)

It is for this reason that most brands add an image component to their logo. An impression is made within ten seconds of looking at a website.

Web design industry statistics say up to 18% of small businesses are willing to pay around $1000 for a logo, and 67% would pay up to $500

20. 75% of people form opinions of websites based on visual content.

(In Vision, Design Resources)

Did you know that your online targeted audience sees a whopping 5000 ads a day? 

And they will have a lasting impression of only 12 of them. 

Three-quarters of people form opinions of the websites they visit based on how the visuals made them feel and the general aesthetics of the website. 

What’s more: 

94% of users’ first impressions of websites are related to design. 

Still have unanswered questions about graphic design?

Read on.

FAQ

Q: How competitive is the graphic design industry?

The graphic design industry is very competitive. If you’re just starting out, the graphic design job outlook is less than perfect. You can expect to work long hours with a salary close to the bottom 10% of the workforce. This is what makes most graphic designers change occupation in the first five years. 

Making a career as a graphic designer takes patience, time, and dedication, as the field is constantly changing. New trends are emerging faster than one can even read about them, let alone implement them. 

Key takeaway:

Endurance and perseverance are more important than creativity when it comes to beating the competition on the graphic design job market. Click To Tweet
Q: Is graphic design a dying career?

Graphic design is facing a certain type of commodification that is slowly but surely decreasing the need for designers. This trend is affecting the quality of the content for the sake of meeting the increased visual content creation demands.

Here’s why:

Platforms that offer pre-designed templates and easy interfaces that turn everyone into a DIY designer are convenient, cheap, and efficient from the point of supply and demand. 

Combined with the freelance designer platforms that are constantly lowering the price of creative work (with logo design being at the ultimate low at $5 a piece), this spells doom for traditional designers who are not ready to shift or expand their careers to new fields.

Q: How big is the graphic design industry?

The market in the US stood at $15 billion in 2019. The current market growth in the first half of 2020 is 1.7%, which is significantly lower than the already below-average growth, which was projected to be 3% for the period from 2018 to 2028. 

Q: Is there a demand for graphic designers?

Employment of graphic designers is growing at a rate of 3%, which should lead to 11,000 new jobs by 2028. But the current global market is unpredictable, and all previous projections are extremely unreliable at this point in time. The print sector will need 20% fewer workers, while the digital was expected to employ 24% more.

The Bottom Line

Graphic design statistics have looked promising for the last five years. Steady growth was a given, due to the rapid expansion of the digital market and the global economy. 

2020 changed all that. And while the occupation of a graphic designer offers a much-needed option to work remotely and from home, demand is in a state of stagnation at best. 

When it comes to long-term trends:

Design statistics show graphic designers are pushed to conform to the shift from print to digital and expand their skills portfolio from traditional to a more versatile one. 

Sources: