On Hiring Younger Designers

Interesting article written by: Warner Carter: “Younger means hunger.” This was a half-meant private joke uttered by a friend during a Web Design Convention we both attended. Poorly-conveyed as it is, I never thought this joke-turned-rant would resound in my mind. Although this has no direct connection to what I am about to say, it reminds me of how many business owners prefer to hire veteran and older designers over younger neophyte designers, something I consider unfair and unreasonable.

Yes, young designers are hungry for everything—recognition, innovation, and improvement. I am just writing to be a conduit for discovering new talents and giving them a chance to enter the market.

Owners of small-scale businesses usually put more trust in seasoned designers because they want assurance. However, as small businesses ideally have smaller target markets, it’s illogical why many of these businesses’ owners choose costly veteran designers over beginners.

I would be a hypocrite to say that I’ll choose a young yet under-qualified designer over design experts such as David Airey and Saul Bass. My advocacy of considering younger designers comes with a responsibility, too. Choosing age over experience requires serious scrutiny. A young designer doesn’t have to be a professional to understand a project, but he or she should have at least a deep knowledge of design and a portfolio of previous works, if any.

Young designers may lack that impressive experience, but they have the character that other seasoned designers do not have. They have the desire to fully understand the client or target market’s needs, to be able to break into the design market. Many veteran designers today insist on what they want for your business’ website, especially when the client is a small business owner like me. Providing ideas is good, but not considering the client’s thoughts on a design concept is simply not acceptable. That’s why I love hiring new and young designers. Aside from having fresher ideas, they have this notion of considering every project as a learning process. This makes them fully focused on the project every step of the way.

This issue is subjective. Some will consider a veteran over a newbie because of experience, market knowledge, and established portfolios. Some, like me, opt to hire the young ones, the promising kids from design school who have the passion to close a deal, nail a campaign, and bring a new approach and feel to branding.

Small business owners like us should open a wide pathway for young designers, not just to give them job opportunities but also to give them a fair chance of exploring and practicing their craft. Look for talent, knowledge, passion and love for the craft, and don’t focus on the fact that they’re lacking in hands-on experience. Small business owners should be the first people to understand young designers.

Don’t underestimate young designers; after all, a graphic design student was responsible for creating the famous Nike Swoosh.

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Josh is a multidsicplinary designer who has a love for creativity and design. He enjoys learning and experimenting in all areas of design. Please feel free to follow Josh on Twitter