“More than half (54 per cent) of UK businesses are planning to use design to help them survive the economic downturn, according to new research published by the Design Council. Its National Survey of Firms 2008 reveals that, far from retreating to safety and resorting to cutting costs, increasing numbers of firms are using design as a powerful tool to help combat the toughest economic conditions in decades.

The survey also showed that the number of firms who regarded design as integral to their operations had doubled in the past three years, from 15 to 30 per cent.

The Design Council research, which covered 1,500 UK firms of all sizes and across all sectors, showed that design is fast rising up the business agenda. Over half (53 per cent) of the businesses surveyed said that design has become more critical in helping the firm achieve its business objectives over the past three years; and the same number agreed that design is integral to the whole country’s future economic performance.

In response, the Design Council has created a new online resource to help businesses discover how design can help them in a downturn. It includes a free practical guide to finding and working with a designer, and case studies covering a host of small and large companies from different sectors who have bucked the recessionary trend through the strategic use of design.”

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(Source: Dexigner Newsletter)