We are the first institution, with Goldsmiths, to support the campaign to include design in the English Baccalaureate (EBacc), a proposed new qualification. Currently, the EBacc will require pupils to achieve a certificate in five subject areas: maths, English, sciences, languages (ancient and modern) and humanities (defined as only history or geography). This formulation has been widely criticised for its exclusion of creative subjects, and sparked a widely supported campaign to include design in the core subjects of the qualification. The list of organisations and companies backing the campaign reads like a roster of design excellence, across the sector.
The case for design’s contribution to the economy was recently made by the Design Commission’s Restarting Britain: Design Education and Growth report, supported by the Design Council and other organisations. Its text makes a strong case for the contribution of the creative sector to the UK economy in terms of GDP, employment, and innovation. In particular, it highlights design’s role in inter-disciplinary skills that are essential for innovation and enterprise. Design is an enabling sector, without which many seemingly unrelated industries cannot function effectively: for example, advances in science rely on design for their commercial application, and successful differentiation. For Typography’s point of view, this is especially pertinent in a global market where using textual and visual information in meaningful ways is increasingly the product itself, separate from any rendering environments.