Guest post by Raul Harman
Running a design start-up in the high-tech world of today is a rewarding experience in many ways. You can travel the whole wide world, and make a living in a country and a city of your choosing. Some places are better than the others, though, and choices do matter. Social, economic and political landscape differs and so do business opportunities.
● New York
The City of New York is a booming center of the design on the East coast, and has at least 50% more design jobs than other American hubs. Big Apple is great for starting up an enterprise, freelancing, but also for assuming the senior status. Just bear in mind that living in N.Y. could cost you an arm and a leg, much more than in an average state.
● Los Angeles
California is designer’s heaven, and there some other cities to keep an eye on besides L.A. It does draw attention that the city of angels has a lower annual average salary than other elite areas in the U.S. But, the presence of Hollywood enables designers to find some top-notch work in the entertainment industry.
● San Francisco
The pearl of the West coast offers highest average salary ($77,940), but also the highest living costs. Silicon Valley is home to some of the most impressive tech giants and promising start-ups in the country. The Northern Bay area also holds many prime job and collaboration opportunities, making San Francisco top of the tops.
This prosperous town in Connecticut can’t offer the glamour and excitement of a shining metropolis, but it has some aces up its sleeve. Graphic designers earn $69,750 a year here, and Bridgeport is on par with some of the best designer’s hubs. The proximity of Yale University is a big plus, since this institution offers the highest grade programs for aspiring designers.
When it comes to areas such as new technologies, audio-visual and video games, Bilbao sure has a burgeoning design scene. It managed to transform this city in Northern Spain into a flourishing community. Bizkaia Design and Creativity Council is a body that nurtures design and creative ideas through numerous projects, exhibitions and initiatives.
With five great art universities and 5,000 design students, the capital of Germany is a place to be. With events like Design Mai and The Berlin Photography Festival, the city offers a plenty of chances to see and to be seen. Also, the Project Zukunft aims to connect the innovative projects into a thriving network of modern creative economy.
This concrete Australian jungle is a visually inspiring environment in its own merit. The owner of Sydney’s successful digital agency named Toast Creative can’t praise this city enough when it comes to conditions and start-up-like atmosphere. He claims that those into interior, product and web design will feel like at home, and find no shortage of clients and partners.
Although far away from other important design centers, the city is buzzing with dynamic and innovative companies and start-ups. Some of them are hidden gems, but are more than ready to hit big. Also, Melbourne’s implacable living conditions and sheer beauty will leave no one disappointed, especially not designers.
China’s cultural capital has more than 30 Creative Cluster Areas throughout the city, and embraces a creative economy. The new Nairobi Innovation & Design Research Center provides many workshops and courses for those seeking to improve their knowledge and skills. Also, the annual Beijing design week showcases the best of Chinese design.
There are few places in Asia that can rival Seoul when it comes to design. The city focuses on a mechanical design sector involving IT devices, digital home appliances, and automotive industry. The stunning Dongdeamun Design Plaza is a designer’s dream comes true, as it contains labs, libraries, and educational design facilities.
Raul has a B.Sc. in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and his main areas of interest is researching and highlighting opportunities for businesses and not-for-profit organizations to make use of innovation and creativity towards realizing their marketing goals. In free time, Raul is a passionate food lover and self-proclaimed gastronomy guru, as well as a lover of all things European, especially when it comes to food and sports.
Follow him on twitter @Raul_Harman