web analytics

Research Project: Definition of ‘Creative Industries’

Research ProjectTo keep my Research Project manageable I’m limiting its scope to the Creative Industries within the UK, in the categories listed below.

A Advertising

B Architecture

C Crafts

D Design

E Designer Fashion

F Film and Video

G Computer Games

H Marketing

I Music

J Performing Arts

K Photography

L Publishing

M Television

N Radio

O Visual arts

P Web development

Table of contents for Research: Perceptions of Coaching in the UK Creative Industries

  1. Take Part in My Research – ‘Perceptions of Coaching in the UK Creative Industries’
  2. Research Project: Definition of ‘Coaching’ for this Project
  3. Research Project: Definition of ‘Creative Industries’
  4. Questionnaire for Managers in the UK Creative Industries
  5. Questionnaire for Employees in the UK Creative Industries
  6. Online questions for UK Creative Industry Staff
  7. Interview with Mick Rigby, Managing Director, Monkey Communications
  8. Research Project Featured on ‘Better Business Blogging’
  9. Interview with Ruth Kenley-Letts, Film Producer
  10. Interview with Chris Arnold, Executive Creative Director, BLAC
  11. Interview with Russell Davies, Advertising Planning Maestro
  12. Interview with Chris Hirst, Managing Director, Grey London
  13. Interview with David Roberts, Senior Project Manager, Creative Launchpad
  14. Interview with Neil Youngson, Technical Director, Cabinet UK Ltd
  15. Interview with Greg Orme, Chief Executive, Centre for Creative Business
  16. Interview with Chris Grant, Consultant, 14A Conversations
  17. Interview with Antonio Gould, Consultant, and Sara Harris, Screen Media Lab
  18. Interview with Richard Scott, Surface Architects
  19. Interview with Ben Demiri, Brand Manager, SIX Showroom
  20. Interview with Sian Prime, NESTA Creative Pioneer Programme
  21. Interview with Jill Fear, CPD Manager, The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising
  22. Interview with Terry Childs, Creative Director, Silver Chair
  23. Interview with Matt Taylor, Director, Fat Beehive
  24. Interview with Mark Earls, Advertising Contrarian
  25. Interview with David Amor, Creative Director, Relentless Software


  1. You really want antique shop owners and techies who sell accountancy software in your mix? Adding “Computer Services” is what has got the statistics on UK CI jobs growth into such a pickle.

  2. D’log – on reflection, no I don’t, so I’ve revised the list. Thanks for a useful question.

  3. Hi,

    I’m curious about this: why is web development considered creative, but the development of, say, a text message voting system is not? What’s special about something with a web front-end? I’m not preparing to shoot you down, I’m genuinely interested!


  4. Hi Richard, I agree that a web front-end doesn’t make you creative! The distinction I’m making here isn’t whether an industry is ‘creative’ or not, but whether it’s considered part of the ‘creative industries’ sector. E.g. the pharmaceuticals industry requires a lot of creativity, but isn’t usually considered part of the creative industries.

    There’s a separate debate to be had about whether the creative industries is a useful or valid concept per se…

  5. I guess that’s what I’m getting at. Clearly the ‘creative industries’ have some things in common that other industries (possibly with some creativity in them!) don’t. What would you say they are?

  6. Personally I think of the creative industries as industries where creativity IS the product rather than a means of creating the product.

    E.g. a lot of creativity goes into the development of a new drug or car, but most people probably wouldn’t think of these items as ‘creative artefacts’ – whereas I think most people would say ‘creative artefact’ was an accurate description of a film or novel.

    I’m influenced in this by my tutors on the MA in Creative & Media Enterprises at Warwick – who put it in more academically rigorous language:

    “‘Creative industries’ produce ‘symbolic goods’ (ideas, experiences, images) where value is primarily dependent on the play of symbolic meanings. Their value is dependent on the end user (viewer, audience, reader, consumer) decoding and finding value within these meanings… Furthermore, those who produce ‘symbolic goods’ are not necessarily or nor primarily motivated by financial outcomes; if they were, as Anthony Storr (1972, the dynamics of creation) suggests, they might decide to give up being artists and become stockbrokers.’
    (Chris Bilton and Ruth Leary, ‘What can managers do for creativity? Brokering creativity in the creative industries’ – International Journal of Cultural Policy, 2002 vol.8(1)pp.49-64)

  7. Sounds obvious, now you say it!


  8. Well it didn’t strike me as obvious at first, and there will be plenty of people out there who disagree with that definition…

  9. janet pagan says:

    I am also looking into a definition of “creative industries”. I am puzzled by the inclusion of the broad category “software” (rather than the narrower Leisure or entertainment software) in many definitions (UK, Norway governments). Do you happen to know the reasoning behind this?

  10. Hi Janet, yes it has provoked a lot of debate! I don’t know about Norway but here are links for the UK Government’s Creative Industries Mapping Documents –

    Creative Industries Mapping Document – 1998

    Creative Industries Mapping Document – 2001

  11. It seems to me (having worked on government documents regarding ‘creative industries’) that the word which dare not speak its name here is ‘artistic’. For, as you point out, creativity is inherent in many activities, so dividing the world into ‘creatives’ and ‘non-creatives’ ends up being rather meaningless, if not insulting to those excluded from the ‘creative’ category. However, if we see these worlds in terms of ‘artistic’ and ‘non-artistic’ then it all makes a little more sense. Hence some aspects of computing, e.g. designing the user interface, require artistic skill as well as technical ability, which presumably is the point at which you would call it ‘creative’ (much to the annoyance of all the other ‘non-creatives’ in the company, no doubt).

  12. Hi Nancy, I appreciate the thought that went into your comment but I’m not sure that ‘artistic’ would be more helpful than ‘creative’ in this context. To me it sounds more exclusive and therefore divisive than ‘creative’.


  1. […] Are you an employee in the UK Creative Industries? If so, I’d like to invite you to take part in my research on Perceptions of Coaching in the UK Creative Industries, by completing the questionnaire below. […]