AIGA encompasses (and aims to support) everyone, from design fans to practitioners, including all backgrounds, all fields, and all levels of experience. Each year we ask you about who you are, what you do, and what you think.

This is the first in a series of posts sharing the insights and feedback we received in our Annual Survey. We want to share with you some glimpses into the local design community, some of the opinions expressed by those who answered our survey, and to respond to some of the questions and suggestions we received.

WE ASKED: Which of the following communities do you identify with?

Your Roles and Levels of Experience

Design encompasses a wide range of areas of expertise and the roles designers take on are equally wide-ranging. In our annual survey, we asked which communities designers identified with and what role they had. Respondents could pick as many or as few aspects as needed to identify with.

If we look at the experience levels and roles within organizations, respondents lean towards those with more experience and longer time in design, though over twenty-five percent of those responding were emerging designers and students. To recap, respondents included:

  • Solopreneurs/Independent Practitioners/Small Business Owners, 28.37%
  • Design Leaders (15+ years of professional experience), 24.82%
  • Emerging Designers (0-5 years experience), 19.15%
  • Senior-level Designers/Art Directors (8+ years of experience), 17.73%
  • Creative Directors/Managers (with direct reports), 16.31%
  • Mid-level Designers/Art Directors (5-8 years experience), 14.89%
  • Students, 7.80%
  • Agency Owners, 5.67%

2019 Annual Survey of AIGA MN members and non-members. N=141

Areas of Expertise

Design continues to encompass many different areas of expertise and focus. AIGA is very interested in all of the varieties of creative work happening, so we asked about the communities of creative practice respondents identified with.

Some core creative areas were clearly identified by our respondents. In-house designers made up one-third of our respondents. UX, digital, UI design and development were areas that almost a quarter of respondents identified with. Twenty percent of designers identified with a field of focus—product design, design for good, sustainable design, CX design. Production was the focus of almost 10% of respondents.

As we focus on partnering and collaborating, as an organization, we were happy to see a number of creative practitioners with and from adjacent fields respond, including photographers, illustrators, writers, developers, and design enthusiasts.

  • In-house Design, 29.79%
  • Digital/UX Design, 15.60%
  • Illustrators, 14.89%
  • Educators, 12.06%
  • Photographers, 12.06%
  • Design for Good, 9.22%
  • Production, 9.22%
  • Developers/UI Design, 7.09%
  • Product Design, 6.38%
  • Animator/Motion Designers, 4.96%
  • Sustainable Design, 4.26%
  • Writers, 3.55%
  • CX Design, 2.84%
  • Design Enthusiasts (e.g. Suppliers of Services/Products to Designers, Purchasers of Design Services, etc.), 2.84%
  • Developers, 2.13%

2019 Annual Survey of AIGA MN members and non-members. N=141

Do you see yourself here? Which areas of creative work and design do you focus on? We will continue to post insights from the annual survey. Look out for our the 2020 survey in December.

If you are interested in the design trends and want to learn more, please check out AIGA’s Introduction to Design Futures.

Contact Leadership

Tina Meyhoff
Tina Meyhoff
Tina Meyhoff has been working as a web designer in Minneapolis for the past 10 years.