Voxpop

Marksteen Adamson favours a back-to-basics approach to job titles, with a return to ’design director’ and a move away from ’creative director’. Which would you axe, and why?

Job descriptions can mark levels of experience, suggest farcical hierarchies and unattainable godliness, or describe with varying levels of exactitude what it is people actually do. When I worked with the marvellous Patrick Collister his card bore the legend ’I join all the dots’. Personally, I’d get rid of being a ’junior’ anything. Given the trials and tribulations of education and landing a job, I imagine being described as a junior is a bit of a kick in the teeth.
Patrick Baglee, Director, Navyblue

Hurray to Marksteen Adamson’s commentary on job titles, didn’t we all have a good chuckle at his last title at Interbrand? As more design groups are bought by large marketing services and advertising groups it is a natural evolution that creatives are increasingly bogged down with management and HR issues, not through choice. The need for a pecking order in this ’big business’ environment allows lunacy to prevail, with job titles adding no value to clients’ appreciation of design or its value.
Liz Dunning, Partner, Dunning Penney Jones

I’ve never had a job title on my business card.I think not having a set role gives you more scope to do a range of things, plus you should never be too senior to make the tea or do the admin. In fact, I think job titles can sometimes create unnecessary hierarchy, so I would axe all job titles. People’s roles should be built on their personal strengths, and in different projects these may change.
Deborah Szebeko, Director, Think Public

It depends on the type of group you are and what clients you work with. Some clients love to have the creative director on their account. For a commercial group it’s useful to have titles – it provides a clear structure and offers goals and aspirations to work towards, which is important for more junior team members. I wouldn’t axe any. Just keep them simple.
John Speight, Worldwide design leader big wig, 999 Design

This subject goes around in circles. We’ve gone from no job titles through to inventing our own, and back again in the past 15 years. Looking someone in the eye and hearing what they have to say will always outstrip the perception you can create from a job title on a business card. We should do away with the words ’title’ and ’job’. They feel super old-fashioned.
Jamie Anley, Founder, Jam

Latest articles