An event for digital animals since 2009

From the twitters:

An enviable Creative Economy? Hell Yeah!


It is often claimed that Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole has an enviable creative economy.  However, the quality of the two universities notwithstanding, this statement has been based largely on anecdotal evidence.  Until now.  With over 230 individuals registered via the Eventbrite account and potentially more than that in actual attendance, Meetdraw 13: The Student Takeover, was the biggest and best Meetdraw yet and they were all there to see the fruits of some considerable hard work which once and for all would prove that statement undeniably true.

One of the artefacts produced for Meetdraw 13 (there was also a fantastic group of final year Interactive Media Production students from Bournemouth University showing off their pretty awe-inspiring digital innovations too: @timofetimo, @tomrpi, @mrfirthy, @joewheats, @dj10dj100 and @andytouch) was a startling graphical representation of the creative economy of Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole.  Based on some recently conducted research, brought to life by four excellent final year BA(Hons) Graphic Design Students from Arts University College at Bournemouth (@jessgibbs_ @stephjaneh @joshharker @krowedesign) and kindly given a physical form by Dorset Digital Print.  This infographic shows the size, sector, location and age of 100 agencies and the picture it paints is an exciting one.

For a start it shows 100 agencies.  100 agencies that between them employ over 1000 people.  That’s an average of 10 employees per agency – twice the national average (research done by The Design Council suggests that the average agency size is just 5 staff).  And even after the figures are adjusted to remove the top 10 employers, the average size is still around 7.  To me that suggests a strong sector based down here.

Another indicator of a buoyant creative economy is the signs of its growth.  The infographic shows that starting way back in 1961, the number of agencies appears to have grown exponentially year-on-year.  Talented designers and passionate entrepreneurs are all seeing an opportunity and starting small agencies and the fact that these agencies are still around suggests there’s work for all of them.

Its good work too.  Although the infographic doesn’t show this, the region is rich with award-winning agencies.  And I’ve said it before, success breeds success.  We should be proud to live / work / study in an area that has this much going for it and we should celebrate it more don’t you think?

9 Responses to “An enviable Creative Economy? Hell Yeah!”

  1. Great infographic Matt, so encouraging to be right in the middle of so much digital talent. Thank you for championing this industry. Dom

  2. I really like the look of the infographic but how have you worked out the agency size?

  3. Looks good but I don’t understand it completely. Why so some agencies boxes stop on a date even though they’re still going?

  4. I contacted each agency and asked them a series of half a dozen questions relating to their age, size and sector. The infographic is based on the results to these questions.

  5. All of the agencies featured are still trading as the information is current – the boxes indicate their size based on staff numbers. So where the box starts tells how old the agency is and where the box ends gives an indication of size. Make sense?

  6. I just wanted to know what you mean by size? employees, revenue etc

  7. Hi Matt, It’s a shame that you weren’t clearer about how you intended to use this information, as we like to support Meetdraw and would have liked to be included. is now missing from this infographic despite 22 staff, £1m turnover and a 1997 start. Sadly this information isn’t an accurate representation of the “Creative Economy in Bournemouth”. I don’t see how this serves Meetdraw members, when considering career opportunities and partnerships in Bournemouth. I wonder how many other large or small agencies have been missed off this information? Shame.

  8. Michael Winner

    Calm down dear… it’s only an info graphic!