Design needs new blood, so don’t put people off

I have to pick Ian Cochrane up on his sweeping statement that we should discourage people from entering the design industry (News in Depth, DW 29 January).

Of course, he’s right that job opportunities are few, and times are bleaker than ever, but he misses the point that young talent is the very lifeblood of creative industries.

It would be tragic to point someone with great potential towards an Aldi graduate programme. For many young people, design is a vocation, not an option.

Our industry has a greater problem lurking, in that it is populated by a lot of 40-something managers and consultants who want fat salaries, only to deliver complacency.

There’s also the fact that studios that used to have a natural churn of staff are now increasingly populated by ‘lifers’.

We need the new ‘new’, or our businesses will stagnate. So, ironically, the impetus of recession might be better directed to helping some people into ‘pastures old’.

My advice to despairing graduates is to believe that talent usually rises to the surface.

A sharp creative mind will find new ways to navigate new obstacles.

Garrick Hamm, D&AD President, by e-mail



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  • Rachel November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    At last someone who speaks sense!!!
    I struggled to find my first creative role as a newcomer to the design world – however so, so many roles (even junior ones) demand a minimum of two years experience. I know a lot of people who are incredibly talented and yet will never be considered for roles that they are more than capable of because nobody is prepared to give them an opportunity. They have the skills and the talent, they need an opportunity to prove themselves. Either that or there must be a bottomless pit of experienced designers out there!

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