Wednesday, June 03, 2009

5 Things To the 2009 Design Graduates

I recently put together a few talking points to share with the 2009 graduating class at the school of advertising art. I put these five points together based on my experience while I was in school and over the past 10 years in the field. The 5 things that have stuck with me and I think lead to being a successful designer.

1. Concern yourself with being good, but even more so with being interesting.
There are plenty of design robots out there doing “good” design. The key is to really strive for “interesting” design. Bring something new to the idea, don’t be scared to try new things. It’s the interesting design that creates impact for your clients, it’s good design that falls to the periphery.

2. Always stay away from the expected solution
This ties back to what we just said, be interesting. Designing the expected thing is a sure fire way to just be good. Take the expected and twist it and add to it.

3. Any experience is valuable
You will, no doubt, find yourself at some point in your career working a job that may not line up with your afore mentioned passion. When you find yourself in this place don’t spend your time complaining or writing a-hole comments on facebook with the hopes that your boss will see it and fire you. Instead appreciate your situation for what it is and pull out any nutritional nugget possible that you can keep with you once your tenure with that employer is over. Nothing is waste.

4. Always be aware of who the best is. Not locally the best, the best
You have a responsibility to yourself and your clients to be knowledgeable about who is doing what not only locally, but globally. Don’t strive to be better than the other mid-level local shop, strive to be better than the most decorated agencies in the country/world. Raise your own bar. Doing this is as simple as keeping a membership to CA or Print magazine.

5. Beware the trap that is your pride
Your pride has the capability to make you the best designer and the least employable. There is always someone better than you. As soon as you think you’re great you will be passed by a younger more malleable designer willing to learn. Be confident, but be humble to an extent. Not to take anything away from any of your great work over the past two years, but if you are sitting here with a pride filled chip on your shoulder already-go on brush your shoulder off. There isn’t one of you who has proven yourself as a pro yet, just remember to temper your confidence with a good dosage of reality every now and then.

No comments: