Craft revival and an industry wake-up call

Howard Milton’s article, ‘Let’s revive our craft’ (DW 31 August), appears to have been greeted by total apathy in the industry. He rightly points out that these days, design is so computer-driven that the life and soul has gone out of creativity and design in general. In addition, he says: ‘Today anyone can do it, Mac skills are acquired in the same way you learn to type or drive a car’; and ‘The machine has killed the craft it sought to replicate’. It goes to the heart of what is wrong in the industry.

We are all victims of technology. The way agencies have to create work for clients plus financial restraints have brought this about – time is pressured and in the process good craft skills have been lost. As a result, the whole process of recruitment has now become polarised to such an extent that if a creative does not match exactly the recruitment criteria, they are not even considered, even though they have skill and ability plus experience to bring to the table.

‘Stepping Stones’ (DW 7 September) by John Stones proves still further what is going wrong with our industry. It’s fine for recruiters to talk about flexibility and have different books of work, and then different CVs, but really it’s a waste of time and just creates frustration. Don’t keep putting pressure on the creatives, put it where it’s needed – your clients – or is it the case that recruiters are afraid to do this?

Recruiters have told us that there is a shortage of good experienced FMCG packaging designers, not just in the UK, but on a global basis. Why is this? The colleges are not to blame, they can only take students so far, the recruiters are to blame in some way by pandering to the whims of their clients.

Finally, Richard Scholey’s article in Inspired (DW 7 September) mentions over-40s design codgers. As one of those over-40s, I recently had an interview at Elmwood with one of his colleagues, who was very appreciative of my work, but told me my work was too varied. Ho hum!

Peter Godkin, Design consultant, by e-mail

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