London - design capital of the world?
There is no doubt that London is the design capital of the UK and one of the leading design centres in the world.
According to the Design Council, in 2010, there were nearly 20, 000 design businesses in London (23% of the UK total). There were 46, 000 designers working in the capital, of which 15, 816 were freelance designers, and 1, 300 were employed by in-house teams.
Graphic Design, Communication, Digital and Multimedia are the most common disciplines, followed by Interior and Exhibition, Product and Industrial and Fashion and Textiles design. Many companies are multi-disciplinary and around 62% work in communication design.
Only 19% of agencies have been operating for more than 15 years… Mercer Design celebrates 20 years in September 2012, so we are one of the longer-established agencies, and we are proud that companies who first-worked with us in 1992 are still working with us today.
What enables a company to be successful for 20 years?
One of the most important things to realise in design is that nothing ever stands still. It is important to adapt and change. At Mercer Design, we are always learning, pushing boundaries and adding new skills.
There are lots of factors that are important to the success of a graphic design agency, but these are our top 5 'keywords':
- customer service
Mercer Design are amongst the best and longest-established agencies in London. Agencies like Pentagram (established in 1972), Interbrand (1974) and Imagination (1978) are among the most recognised, but there are lots of smaller agencies who have consistently created great graphic design for 10, 20, 30 years or more.
Mercer Design are based in the Barley Mow Centre in Chiswick and we have always enjoyed interacting with other design agencies in the building. We enjoy sharing ideas, design tips, photoshop tricks, or just having a general chat about graphic design. We see the other design companies around us as friends rather than competitors, and we learn from each other.
We always strive to produce professional work of the highest standard for corporate clients, non-profit organisations and companies of all sizes.
What is the future for graphic design in London?
The term 'graphic design' was probably first coined in 1922 by US type designer and calligrapher, William Addison Dwiggins, so in some ways it is a new industry. However, graphic design has really been with us throughout history... from Paleolithic cave drawings in Lascaux 17, 300 years ago, to Johann Gutenberg's printing press in 1450, to the explosion of visual communication in the 20th and 21st centuries.