10 things you recognizne after graduation

You always know better when it’s over. Same thing with studying design. Am I ready for the job? Is there something I need to know first? Here are 10 things each designer recognizes after graduation.


1. You have got (almost) no clue

No doubt… the quality of design colleges can differ a lot. But no matter how „good“ or widely spread your design studies are, studying is practicing. Entering the real work life, you need do admit that there definitely is a lot of room left to grow.

2. Everything is somehow feasible

But even if the requirements of the real work life seem to be overwhelming, you need to know that everything is some how feasible. Even if you are aware of it or not, during your studies you have gained skills, knowledge and perspectives the will make you handle most challenges, better or worse. You will see that your CAD model, your PhotoShop rendering or your chosen color & trim is useful and will have impact.

3. They are no different from anybody else

Even if some big and small names of the industry do their best to make them look special, they most companies only differ a little when it comes to a basic working strategy. When you finally enter the business and especially after switching between several employers, you find out that each company has to deal with the same problems to reach their goals.

4. Deadlines are relative

´The schedule is always right, right? Oh no, it is not… Since clients quite often do not really know what they want, how they want it and when it is the best time to get it, each schedule can stretch or shrink. This makes a designers job a very demanding matter, in which flexibility comes to a new level.

5. Student projects (often) are more appearance than substance

No mistaking here… Students do have brilliant ideas and they have huge impact to the market. Especially the semester end shows are useful for the industry and the newcomers to get it touch. But after some years in the professional business, you somehow realize that the details, the presentation and the initial approach of their projects run the show. And that is totally fine, since the industry will form each newcomers skills and deep understanding of design anyway.

6. Money runs the (design) world

Everything is possible! At least, as long the budget is big enough. The traditional design principles “form follows function”, “form follows emotion”, etc. actually need the addition “if we can afford it”. Each entry level designer will have a hard time fighting against design limitations, caused by financial short comings, no matter how impressive and useful a draft may be. Financial limitations have massive impact to a project’s result.

7. What the client wants and what he needs = two pair of shoes.

A designer sometimes needs to conquer his client’s wishes… as long as it is for the business and the project’s sake.

8. In the middle – you’re the twit

On one hand you try to do your best to convince the client from YOUR design, since he is the one who judges your work and will might be the one who makes it famous. But on the on the other hand you have to do what your supervisor or boss wants… cause he is the boss. The one or the other way, you have to justify your work, even if you don’t like it.

9. Design is not everything

Studying design is fun, no doubt about it. But since the real job does differ a lot from the general idea, quite many youngsters find themselves in a too subjective and repetitive environment. Therefore it is great that the design world needs more than just capable designers. It needs modeling pros, strategy and development experts, managers and design engineers. And when those know about design…checkpott!

10. It is a hard way up….very hard.

The days of design celebrities are over. Becoming the “one” designer, each company wants to work with, has never been more difficult, since professional design it taught almost everywhere in the world. That makes it very hard for individuals to stand out of the already talented crowd. And those talented people are not getting less, when you finally enter the professional industry after college. So even if you are not interested in competition at all… if you want to climb up the ladder, you need pass many skilled people.

Long story short…you never stopp learning

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