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The Future of Work survey results

survey results 01

The Future of Work survey results

Tamasin Handley Knowledge share

The results are in: Pentagram is the favourite agency and the future of design is digital, technical and exciting.

The launch campaign for FS Industrie first began at the end of 2017. A link to an online survey entitled ‘the Future of Work’ was promoted through email and social channels. Over 400 creative professionals completed the survey, and their input formed the basis of the content in the printed specimen.

Some of the survey results are visualised as statistics, highlighting FS Industrie’s ability with technical data. Other responses were more qualitative, such as opinions on where design is heading, or what the greatest challenges facing our industry are.

The survey was designed to give us the specimen content, but has proved to be a fascinating thing in its own right, offering some interesting insights into the views held by our audience of designers.

Here are some of the results:


Unsurprisingly the audience pool was made up almost entirely of creatives (92%). Of those creatives experience levels were higher than expected with the bulk being senior level. 88% were either creative director, senior creative, design director, art director or agency head. 7% were mid-weight designers and just 3% junior.

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Most respondents work in an agency (46%), 36% are freelancers and 14% work as in-house designers. 

The vast majority work in either a brand or design agency:

Paul Rand and Pentagram on top

We asked the respondents who their favourite designer or creative agency of all time was. Paul Rand came out on top of the designers (followed by Saul Bass, Alan Fletcher, Dieter Rams and Herb Lubalin). Pentagram was the top agency (followed by Vignelli Associates, tDR, North and Wolff Olins).

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We also asked who’s the most exciting designer or creative agency working today? The majority of answers were agencies rather than designers and Pentagram was number one again, followed by Sagmeister & Walsh, North, Spin, Moving Brands, Snask, Michael Beirut, Gretel, Anagrama, Made Thought, Stockholm Design Lab & Dixon Baxi.

The future is exciting

After a tough 2017 the majority of our respondents feel excited about the future. Interestingly out of the 400 responses there was only one mention of Brexit, across all answers to all questions. Great to see our industry moving on and feeling excited about what the future holds. 

When you think about the future of work, how does it make you feel?

Excited – I see a world full of possibility 53%

Worried – I’m nervous about what the future holds 21%

Confident – I know that I will be successful 19%

Uninterested – I tend not to think too far ahead 7%

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The future is technical 

When asked what is the one new skill that designers will increasingly need to learn? Technical came out on top with 40%, followed by thinking skills 29%, human skills 12%, craft skills 10% and commercial skills 9%.

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When we asked which of the 5 so-called “Megatrends” poses the biggest challenges to how we might work in the future, technology came out on top.

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Technological breakthroughs - Rapid advances in technological innovation – 38%

Resource scarcity and climate change - Depleted fossil fuels, extreme weather, rising sea levels and water shortages – 33%

Demographic shifts - The changing size, distribution and age profile of the world’s population – 16%

Shifts in global economic power - Power shifting between developed and developing countries – 9%

Rapid urbanisation - Significant increase in the world’s population moving to live in cities – 4% 

The future is digital

We asked for one word that sums up where design is headed. There were 314 useable responses to the question (after removing blanks and long form answers), and digital was the most common response followed by automation, everywhere, interactive, exciting and simplicity.

The pictogram represents all the answers with more common results largest and singular occurences in small text. All images set in FS Industrie which is available to test drive and buy here.