The Ultimate List of Graphic Design Statistics for 2021

Graphic design is a crucial practice in modern brand building.

Companies, government groups, non-profits, and countless other organizations rely on graphical creations to send important messages to their audience. Whether you’re creating a logo, or building an entire advertising campaign, all groups need to invest in graphic design eventually.

Some studies suggest that as of 2021, the global graphic design market is worth around $41.8 billion, with consistent growth happening every year.

Today, we’re going to be exploring some of the most important graphic design statistics you need to know in 2021 and beyond.

Key Graphic Design Statistics – Editor’s Choices

  • The global graphic designers industry is ranked #9 among all business activities
  • There are more than 400,258 businesses working in graphic design as of 2020
  • 68% of digial marketers use visual assets in content creation.
  • People can remember 65% of visual information 3 days later, and only 10% of written content
  • 80% of digital marketers use graphic design in social media marketing
  • 36% of digital marketers say theu use online tools to create content

Graphic Design Statistics: The Industry and Careers

1. Globally graphic design was worth $45.8 billion in 2021

IBISWorld

According to a report from IBISWorld, the graphic design industry was worth around $45.8 billion globally as of 2021. The value of the industry in the US was around $12.7 billion. Though, on average, the annualized market-size growth of graphic design usually falls around 2.8%, the market grew by a massive 4.1% during 2021.

IBISWorld also found that logo design and branding made up around $3 billion of the total market- representing the massive scale of the graphic design space.

graphic design industry market size

2. The average graphic designer earns around $53,380 per year

Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that graphic designers earn an average of $53,380 in the current market, although it is possible to charge more than this depending on your specialty area. The total number of jobs reported in the US for graphic designers in 2019 was 281,500. Unfortunately, the number of professionals in the industry seems to be declining.

3. More than 50% of graphic designers are female

Data USA

According to Data USA, the number of female graphic designers in the field are increasingly, although their average salary is often a lot lower. Designers are often employed by specialized design services industry, where women made up around 53.4% of the workforce in 2017.

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4. Freelance graphic designers make up around 90% of the industry

IBISWorld

A report on the Graphic Designers industry by IBISWorld indicates that demand for online design is expected to soar, particularly among freelancers. Currently, Freelance graphic designers account for around 90% of industry participation. The number of employees working freelance in graphic design is likely to increase following the pandemic.

5. User Experience directors earn the highest graphic design income

Noodle.com

According to Noodle.com, the amount of money you can earn in specialized fields of graphic design is on the rise. A professional working in the UX environment supports the company or brand’s user experience strategy, which focuses on designing physical or digital products that are easy to use, and comfortable to interact with. People in this field can earn an average of $129,250 per year.

Graphic Design Statistics: Web Design and Logos

6. 94% of first impressions are design-related

Research Gate

One of the most common reasons for companies to access web design, is to build an attractive website or logo. Around 94% of people say their first impressions of a company are design-related. This research also builds on insights from companies like LevelEleven, who say that 94% of people say web design is the main reason they would mistrust a website.

7. Around 67% of small businesses would spend up to $500 on a logo

Red Website Design

According to a study conducted by Red Website Design, around 60.8% of marketers say that visuals are crucial to successfully marketing a brand, but 67% of small companies are willing to pay only $500 for a logo. Only 18% would pay up to $1000 for a logo design.

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8. Human brains process visual data 60,000 times faster

MIS

The human brain is more capable of processing visuals than text or audio. According to the University of Minnesota, the human brain can process images up to 60,000 times faster than text. What’s more, 90% of the information transmitted to the brain from the world around us is visual. This indicates design is crucial to a company’s success.

9. People spend around 6.4 seconds focused on a brand logo when visiting a website

Missouri University of Science and Technology

According to the Missouri University of Science and Technology, people spend around 6.48 seconds looking at the logo on your website, followed by 5.95 seconds viewing

10. The cost of graphic design is huge concern for small businesses

99 Designs

The majority of small businesses still don’t see graphic design as being essential to their success, according to 99 Designs. A major reason for this is that the cost of graphic design is a common concern. More than 50% of source work is done in-house, and 21% of companies use freelancers. Only around 7% work with design agencies.

11. 73% of companies invest in design for brand differentiation

Adobe Digital Intelligence

Adobe’s research into design found 73% of companies are spending money on design to stand out from the competition. The company also revealed that companies who do spend more money to become “design-driven” are 69% more likely to exceed their business goals.

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12. It takes customers 50 milliseconds to decide if they’re going to stay on your site

T and F Online

Studies into the attention spans of online customers found that most web designers have about 50 milliseconds on average to make the right first impression.

Choosing the right website design strategy is one of the best ways for companies to ensure they make the right impression on their target audience. Notably, InvisionApp research notes that the design of your website needs to be just as good and responsive on any device. 85% of adults think a company’s website should look just as good on a mobile device as it does on a website.

13. Color has a significant impact on the success of a design

Research Gate

According to a study into human decision making and behavior, people make their minds up about a company within 90 seconds. This means your customers only take a brief look at your website and design content before deciding whether to buy from you. Between 62 and 90% of the decisions consumers make are based on color alone.

Graphic Design Statistics: Design in Content Marketing

14. Companies in 2021 used original graphics in content most often

Venngage

As part of an annual survey into content marketing and design best practices, Venngage asked participants which kinds of visuals they were most likely to use in content. Original graphics, like illustrations, branded pictures and infographics took the top spot with 32.5% of the votes. Stock photos still followed closely behind, however, at 29.5%.

Venngage’s study also found that companies considered original graphics to be the ones most likely to help them reach their marketing goals. 40.8% of people said these tools were effective at generating conversions. 40.8% also said stock photos did not help them reach their goals.

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15. Most marketers add visuals to their content marketing

Orbit Media

According to Orbit Media’s 7th annual blogging survey, 90% of people use images in their blog content. This makes visual content one of the most consistent elements of any blogging strategy. The second most common thing to include in a blog is statistics, at 54%.

Interestingly, Orbit Media also found the more visual the content was, the better the results would be. Around blogs with 1 image had a 16% success rate, compared to blogs with 10 images earning a 39% success rate.

What are bloggers putting in their posts_

16. 52% of marketers rate visual content as very important

Venngage

The Venngage study on visual content marketing discovered around 52% of marketers consider visuals to be extremely important to their content marketing strategy. 24.6% also said they consider it to be “quite important”. The same respondents said they primarily create visual content for blogging (35.5%) but also have a strategy for Facebook (19.3%), and Instagram (13.9%)

17. Infographics and videos are some of the most popular forms of visual content

Hubspot

A content marketing report from HubSpot discovered video is the number one form of media in today’s average content strategy – more popular than blogs and eBooks. The top most valuable content overall were video at number 1, eBooks and blogs at number 2 and 3, and Infographics at number four.

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18. 84% of customers agree that promotional videos have convinced them to buy something

Wyzowl

Video is becoming an increasingly important part of the graphic design environment. According to Wyzowl, around 84% of customers agreed that access to promotional videos has helped them make a purchase. Another 83% of respondents said that video helped them to increase the amount of time visitors spend on their page. Additionally, 94% of business leaders believe that video has helped to increase user understanding of their product, while 84% believe it increases leads.

19. Infographics has had the largest increase in usage among B2B content marketers

Content Marketing Institute

In a study by the Content Marketing Institute into content production and distribution, the team found that Infographics have had the fastest growth among B2B companies. 67% of companies are using infographic production today. Video is also popular among 71% of companies, and blog posts and short articles (with visuals) are essential, with 89% usage.

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20. More than half of all Facebook posts are visual

Hootsuite

Visual content marketing has an important role to play for social media too. Visual content on Facebook and Twitter tends to get more shares. What’s more, Hootsuite found that 55.6% of the average Facebook posts created each day are photo content. Another 22% of the daily stream of content belongs to video.

General Graphic Design Statistics

21. 92.6% of people say the visual dimension is the number one influencing factor affecting purchasing decisions

Neil Patel

Today’s customers make decisions about what to buy and who to buy from based on a number of factors. However, graphic design could be the most important element determining whether someone will buy. Around 92.6% of people say the “visual” dimension, or what they see, is the most important thing affecting their purchasing choice.

22. Producing graphic design assets consistently is the biggest challenge for companies

Venngage

Although many companies understand the value of visual content, many struggle with creating the design assets they need. Venngage’s study found 36.7% of companies consider producing engaging visual assets consistently as their biggest challenge. Great design was another challenge for 20.5% of respondents. To overcome these issues, 41% of companies use an online tool for design (.e.g. Canva), 27.1% use an in-house designer, and 16.2% use a freelance designer.

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23. 94% of consumers will abandon a website with bad design

Red Website Design

A Red Website Design infographic discovered most people will simply leave a website with bad design. Around 94% of respondents said they would abandon a website with poor design. The same infographic also found around 46% of website visitors attribute website design to the credibility of a business or company.

24. Color improves readership by 40%

Colorcom

Using the right colors in your graphic design, whether it’s for a logo, visual content, or website, is essential. Colored adverts improve viewership by 40% compared with plain advertisements. Additionally, color can improve readership by 40%, boost comprehension by 73%, and even strengthen learning outcomes by 78%.

25. Most companies would like to automate graphic design

Venngage

The 2020 design infographic from Venngage found that around 37% of companies would like to automate the process of creating consistent graphical design assets for infographics, reports, eBooks, and content. While 40% of companies say their marketing strategies rely heavily on visual content, 36% of companies produce visual content less than 2 times per week.

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Discovering the Value of Graphic Design

Hopefully, these graphic design statistics have given you an insight into the graphic design industry, how companies use their design assets, and why great design is so important. In an increasingly visual world, today’s businesses need the right image to stand out from the crowd. Differentiation comes down to mastering graphic design.

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Rebekah Carter
Rebekah Carter is an experienced content creator, news reporter, and blogger specializing in marketing, business development, and technology. Her expertise covers everything from artificial intelligence to email marketing software and extended reality devices. When she’s not writing, Rebekah spends most of her time reading, exploring the great outdoors, and gaming.

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