Graphic Design Services

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 15,700 graphic design services in the US plan, design, and manage the production of visual communications. Major client industries include advertising, publishing, retail, fashion/apparel, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, sports, and entertainment. Graphic design firms may specialize in particular area, such as packaging or website design.

Sensitivity To Performance Of Client Industries

Demand for graphic design services is dependent on the financial health of client industries, which can be cyclical and vulnerable to economic downturns.

Demand For Digital Grows

As clients shift marketing dollars from traditional advertising vehicles to digital programs, graphic design firms have adapted services accordingly.

Industry size & Structure

The average graphic design service provider operates out of a single location, employs fewer than five workers, and generates about $803,000 annually.

    • The graphic design services industry consists of about 15,700 firms that employ about 59,500 workers and generate $12.6 billion annually.
    • The graphic design services industry is extremely fragmented; the top 50 companies account for just under 17% of industry revenue.
    • Large firms include SGS & Co. and Warschawski. Large firms that also offer graphic printing include Quad/Graphics and Matthews International.
    • The majority of graphic design firms are small, independent companies that operate within a limited geographical market.
                                  Industry Forecast
                                  Graphic Design Services Industry Growth
                                  Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                  Recent Developments

                                  May 9, 2024 - Industry Growth Softens
                                  • The US graphic design services industry is forecast to notch steady growth for the next several years following expected sluggishness in 2024. The industry’s year-over-year sales increased 5.5% in 2023 after posting 13.6% growth in 2022, according to Inforum and the Interindustry Economic Research Fund, Inc. Sales growth is projected to slow to 2.4% in 2024, then rise to 3.8% in 2025. The industry will then see slightly better average annual growth of about 4.3% through 2028, according to Inforum and the Interindustry Economic Research Fund, Inc.
                                  • For now, it seems typographers are safe from being supplanted by generative artificial intelligence (AI), according to Wired. Some industry insiders suggest that typography developed using AI tends to be fuzzy, warped, and illegible. The human instinct component in type design is difficult for AI to replicate as it fails to recognize that typography design is a series of systems with inherent conventions rather than a simple visual representation of language. AI is not very good at the nuances of typography, such as legibility and readability. However, some in the industry feel that while AI is an insufficient tool for creating new typefaces that pass aesthetic muster, it could help streamline typography workflows.
                                  • A new survey by recruiting firm Robert Half highlights the hiring and career trends creative professionals can expect to see in 2024. About 55% of creative managers say they are currently hiring for new roles (including graphic designers and user experience designers), and 43% have openings in existing roles. However, 92% of creative managers report having trouble hiring skilled talent. Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents said that including salary ranges in job listings helps attract the most qualified talent, and 60% of those leaders said salary transparency helps give their firms a recruiting edge over their competitors.
                                  • US net media owner advertising revenues, a demand driver for graphic design services, are expected to rise by 9.1% in 2024 over 2023, according to a recently revised forecast by advertising firm MAGNA. Out-of-home (OOH) ad sales, led by digital OOH, are forecast to increase by 5% in 2024 to nearly $10 billion. While direct mail ad spending is expected to contract by 4% in 2024, MAGNA said direct mail has remained resilient despite significant pullbacks in spending by some local media channels. Pure-play digital ad spending is forecast to grow by 12% in 2024, accounting for 72% of all ad dollars.
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