Companies in this industry plan, design, and manage the production of visual communications involving graphic art and illustrations. No major companies dominate the industry.
Digital publishing technology and the internet have enabled graphic design firms to service clients internationally. Designers may do work for clients remotely or establish offices abroad. Clients with international audiences require graphic design firms that have cross-cultural savvy and multi-lingual capabilities.
The US graphic design services industry includes about 15,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $8 billion.
Regional economic activity drives demand, because most graphic design firms are small and work locally. The profitability of individual companies depends on accurate bidding, timely delivery of projects, and a steady volume of work. Large companies have advantages in marketing and sales, breadth of services, delivery of complex projects, and supporting ongoing contracts. Small companies can compete effectively by responding more quickly, adopting new trends, and specializing by services or markets. The US industry is highly fragmented: the 50 largest companies account for less than 15% of revenue.
Graphic design firms compete with complementary industries that serve the business market and with clients' in-house graphic design staffs. Freelance designers may be competitors or contract labor. Ad agencies, marketing groups, and architecture firms are among the industries that provide visual services and products and include graphic design in their repertoires. Companies as diverse as packaging manufacturers and commercial printers...