Every year for a half century GDUSA has used the first magazine of the year to spotlight People To Watch. It’s our subjective selection of the newsmakers, influencers, leaders, talents and/or just plain intriguing individuals who will shine in the coming year. The issue will be published early in February. Meanwhile, here’s a preview of advice they would give to a young designer just starting out from a dozen of our 2017 honorees.
Learn from your mistakes, but don’t let them define you.
TRICIA CHRISTIANSEN, CD AND PRINCIPAL, CHRISTIANSEN CREATIVE
Save your money, be cool to everyone, don’t rest on your laurels, don’t work for free, don’t let anyone dismiss creative as “expendable.” You picked the best and worst career in the world, congratulations.
TED BRAMBLE, CREATIVE DIRECTOR, FUEL
Cultivate mentors inside and outside your organization. You need multiple points of view that can speak candidly and frankly about your work and career path. Don’t be discouraged by setbacks, they happen to all of us.
JOHN LUU, ART DIRECTOR, SCHLUMBERGER
Look at every project (not matter how large or small) as a way to enhance your skills. Attack every single one with determination and an inquisitive mind.
STEVE DUNPHY, VP CREATIVE DIRECTOR, BULLETPROOF
Understand economics. Your career and the value of your work will be affected by how business and economics works — whether you like it or not. This will give you greater control, power, and influence. It will allow you to do incredible craft at incredible scale.
LELAND MASCHMEYER, CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER, CHOBANI
1. Live life. Get out there. You are only as good as your experiences. You can’t create things that move people’s hearts and minds if you don’t understand them.
2. Don’t be afraid of failure. Learn to be in an uncomfortable situation and lean into it – you’ll never know how good you can be unless you try.
3. Love what you do and everything else will follow.
MARIA VERASTEGUI, ECD, ACORDA THERAPEUTICS
Design lots of stuff. Start with one concept. Pull down a new page or art board. Refine. Pull down a new page or art board. Refine. Repeat 10 times. Sleep. Look at them all again, and start eliminating. Sleep. Refine. If you were not a designer, what would you be? An editor, which I’ve already been.
SUZANNE PETTYPIECE PRINCIPAL PETTYPIECE & CO.
Don’t just design something because it’s how you feel it should look. Research your client, their audience, the industry. View design as problem solving. Learn how to justify and sell your work and make sure your solutions are backed with your approach and reason. Also, if you plan to work for yourself, learn how to run a business – it ends up being even more part of your day-to-day than design itself.
NIKI BLAKER, OWNER, FIVE SIGMA STUDIO
Always talk about why you created something and why it is the right choice, not what it is.
CHRIS LOWERY, PRESIDENT, CHASE DESIGN GROUP
Go for a walk. Read a book. Experience the world. Your inspiration for great design shouldn’t only come from other designers. And always read the copy. Great design amplifies the power of the message; it doesn’t just look beautiful.
KIM LE LIBOUX, ECD, JOHN MCNEIL STUDIO
When applying to studios and agencies, it’s crucial that you acknowledge their design style and culture, and consider whether or not you’ll fit in before sending your portfolio; be honest with yourself and it will go a long way. Tell them what you’re great at, why you’re a good fit, and where you belong on their team.
JASON WHITE, ECD, LEVIATHAN
Take a business class and learn the business of design.
ED BENNETT FOUNDER & EXECUTIVE DESIGN DIRECTOR 10 THOUSAND DESIGN
You can read the whole story here.