DUTCH DESIGN SECTOR BOUNCES BACK (BNO INDUSTRY MONITOR 2006)

15 March 2006
Amsterdam (The Netherlands) - After going through a difficult period, the design sector has now turned the corner. That conclusion can be drawn from the findings of the survey recently carried out by the Association of Dutch Designers (BNO).
Amsterdam (The Netherlands) - After going through a difficult period, the design sector has now turned the corner. That conclusion can be drawn from the findings of the survey recently carried out by the Association of Dutch Designers (BNO). The survey was conducted among the BNO members. Although the results achieved in 2004 were disappointing, the preliminary figures for 2005 show that the Dutch design industry has now clearly regained momentum.

The BNO membership comprises about 2,500 individual designers and 200 design agencies. All in all, the BNO represents at least 6,700 designers who have graduated from universities or schools of higher professional education in the field of design. This periodic research, known as the BNO Industry Monitor, therefore not only provides a representative picture of the BNO members, but also gives a reliable picture of how the whole design industry is now faring.

Growth but not yet economic recovery in 2004
The design sector had not yet fully recovered in 2004. Total sales achieved by the sector fell by 11% to 670 million. Even so, the number of design businesses grew slightly, which can be attributed to the increase in the number of small agencies and one-person businesses by 10%. By contrast, the number of larger design agencies (more than 5 employees) fell by 20%. Employment declined almost across the board; there were almost 1,200 fewer jobs in 2004 than in 2002.

Price war between supermarkets takes its toll
The hardest-hit professionals were packaging designers. In all likelihood, they were affected by the cutthroat competition within the Dutch supermarket sector. To some extent, the packaging design agencies managed to compensate for this loss of sales by attracting more business from small and medium-sized companies in the Netherlands. For new sources of income, industrial designers and spatial designers sought to tap into markets outside the Netherlands.

The lowest point of the recession is now behind us for good
There are now clear signs indicating the beginning of a recovery. The preliminary figures for 2005, based on the known results for 2005, show that the design sector was performing considerably better in 2005 than in 2004. Prospects for 2006 are even rosier. To be more specific, 40% of those surveyed look back at last year with satisfaction or even great satisfaction. Likewise, 50% have good or even high hopes for 2006. Equally encouraging was the high level of optimism shown by packaging designers.



For further information please contact:

Freek Kroesbergen, Communications
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A summary of the survey findings can be downloaded at www.bno.nl. The survey was partly funded by two organizations, namely 'Stichting Collectieve Rechten Illustratoren' en Ontwerpers and the 'Stichting de Visuelen'. The survey was carried out by ABF Research in Delft.