What does the Experiential Graphic Design profession look like?
Over the past 18 months SEGD has been working on gathering information on the more than 7,800 firms who have done business with us. First we checked on-line that they still exist. Sadly, 1,900 have fallen by the wayside over the past 16 years. We gathered website addresses, categorized them into firm types and collected other relevant data points about them.
For the first time, we have a comprehensive picture of what the Experiential Graphic Design profession and SEGD's membership looks like. It's a first view so will probably get refined over the next few years based on your feedback (please comment on this article), but we thought it is mature enough now to share with the community. The firms information is now also available as part of the search function in the new SEGD Member Directory.
Our initial findings indicate that the profession is bigger than most may have thought with an estimated 60,000-120,000 employees. Until we can gather more information, we have taken a very conservative approach to estimating this number. We all knew that our uniqueness comes from the fact that we are at the intersection of many professions and industries, but seeing the pie chart tells an interesting story.
Of the 5,918 firms that still exist who have been involved with SEGD, 4,400 have bought something from the association. Today's SEGD membership represent 824 firms. Those 824 firms are receiving unprecedented exposure to SEGD.org's over 300,000 unique visitors and over 3.6 million annual pageviews. No other platform can give Experiential Graphic Designers that amount of exposure.
How did we classify the firms?
Firms were categoriized based on the language they use and the project examples on their websites.
This has been a fascinating study. Different firms take very different approaches to marketing similar design outputs and clearly the way they do this influences who they work for and who they interact with at a client company.
SEGD's members work for 29 different categories of firm and most are Environmental or Experiential Graphic Designers. 84.4% of SEGD's members are professional designers. 15.6% are Industry members - vendors and fabricators.
One of the data points we gathered on the profession was to understand what web technologies firms are using to create their websites. SEGD firms use 80 different web technologies to create their sites. 53% are using the latest Content Management Systems (CMS) such as Wordpress, Drupal and Joomla among others and reaping the rewards of easily updated content and accessibility for all in the office who work on their websites. Wordpress is used by 35% of our firms. 28% are still on old technologies such as HTML, Flash and custom coded PHP sites. Our recommendation to firms using Flash, Dreamweaver, HTML or any of the other non Content Management Systems (database driven systems) is to update to the industry standard. If you are on a Flash site, you are probably aware that you are not mobile friendly and being penalized in search by Google. Mobile usage of the internet crossed the 50% mark last year. It is probably time to upgrade.
Pictures are worth a thousand words, so please take a look at the SEGD Industry Intelligence report attached below for details of your profession and a breakdown of SEGD's membership.