Illustrators are the poorest but the happiest in the design industry, census finds

AIGA and Google: Design Census 2019
(Image credit: AIGA and Google: Design Census 2019)

It's that time of year again. The American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) has teamed up with Google to take the pulse of the design industry with the Design Census 2019. And its results make for eye-opening reading. In particular we were interested to see that illustrators were among the lowest paid, but they were relatively the most satisfied designers, proving that money can't buy you happiness.

Perhaps this comes as no surprise to illustrators. And while it must be fulfilling to see your best ink drawings or digital illustrations get distributed to a wider audience, it must be a little frustrating to learn that you're earning much less than designers in other disciplines such as animation and motion graphics. Although apparently it's not getting you down too much. Check out how salary and satisfaction compare in this sample from the census.

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Dom Carter

Dom Carter is a freelance writer who specialises in art and design. Formerly a staff writer for Creative Bloq, his work has also appeared on Creative Boom and in the pages of ImagineFX, Computer Arts, 3D World, and .net. He has been a D&AD New Blood judge, and has a particular interest in picture books.