Over-specialisation can restrict creativity

I was recently asked what the opportunities are for designers to move from one discipline to another. The question came about during a discussion with a young designer on the skills required for working in a consultancy specialising in package design, compared with one producing corporate identities and brochures.

This started me thinking about the CVs I receive, and how I can usually tell applicants’ ages when I see a list of their skills and work experience. Generalising for a moment – an older applicant, say 30-plus, tends to have experience in three or four different areas, such as publishing, graphic design, the music industry and possibly advertising, whereas a younger applicant will have concentrated in, at most, two of the above. Is this a good or bad thing, and does it matter?

For the development and success of tomorrow’s design industry, I think it does. As the business becomes more competitive and professional, and as long as we continue to advertise for specific positions insisting on relevant skills and experience to the job vacancy, the more difficult it will be for young designers to cross over, and the poorer in creative terms, the design industry will be.

Tony Huggett

Quarto Design

Arundel

W Sussex BN18 9DH

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