This study, designed within the tradition of occupational prestige assessment, investigated public perceptions of the social standing of the design professions in both Korea and Australia. The results reveal the design professions as barely differentiated in each country. Collectively they occupy an intermediate level of social standing, though higher for the Koreans than for the Australians. Their perceived level of usefulness is low to the Australians, as is their perceived level of responsibility. Comparisons with the perceptions of design-trained respondents revealed an expected enhancement of the standing of the design professions by the Australian sample, but, surprisingly, no enhancement for the Korean sample. Implications for the design professions are noted.