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The design industry, with its diverse segments, ranging from industrial and corporate design to service and social design, is one of the key drivers of innovation in the economy. Directly or indirectly, nearly all industrial sectors utilize design-related ideas, concepts and approaches.
Design covers a far wider field than just a product with an appropriate or appealing external form. There is increasing interest in resource-efficient production processes, sustainably produced products, and building strong brands or corporate identities. Integrating design expertise into innovation processes is one key factor in developing organisational, process-related and user-centred innovations, and so securing a company’s competitive edge.
Numerous studies have shown that strongly design-aware enterprises are more economically successfully and have a greater capacity for innovation. For companies both in the creative industry sector and outside it, the method known as design thinking has become accepted as a new approach to generating innovative solutions. Since design thinking synergises a diverse range of competences, it can open up new fields of application and use.
Design belongs to those market segments in the creative industries which comprise a number of diverse business sections and are characterised by a higher-than-average proportion of solo entre-preneurs (“non-employer businesses”) and freelancers. In particular, the main challenges facing solo entrepreneurs include self-marketing and the acquisition of work.
In the years from 2009 to 2012, the total figure of design industry companies rose by 25 percent to over 5,100. In the same period, turnover increased by no less than 100 percent to 2.2 billion euros, while the figures for those working in this sector rose by approx. 44 percent to 16,800. As these figures show, the design industry belongs to those market segments in Berlin’s creative industries with the strongest dynamics of growth.
At present, the main offices of eight percent of all companies working in the design industries across Germany are located in Berlin. In terms of jobs, approximately six percent of those working in the design sector nationally are employed in the city. Moreover, after Hamburg, Berlin has the second-highest proportion of designers and graphic designers (1.2 percent) in relation to the total of all those employed in the region. Although average monthly net incomes for designers and graphic designers in Berlin (1,505 euros) have risen since 2009, they are still under the national average of 1,685 euros.