CAREERS: Comment - Design industry should nurture creative talents

One of the major problems caused by technological advances in the design industry is the difficulty in finding staff with the versatility to combine technical ability and mindset to use computers in the design process, with the creative skills associated with the traditional designer.

One of the major problems caused by technological advances in the

design industry is the difficulty in finding staff with the versatility

to combine technical ability and mindset to use computers in the design

process, with the creative skills associated with the traditional

designer.



Human nature seems to dictate that the technical thinker and the

creative thinker are worlds apart and are seldom found in the same

individual as their minds work on two different planes.



Technically minded people have entered the design industry on the fast

track because of their mental capacity to learn new software packages

and keep abreast of the advances in computer-aided design. However, it

is these people who, crucially, often struggle with the creative thought

process.



The current dilemma is that we are working in a design industry

frighteningly bereft of truly creative staff, which has an abundance of

average Mac operators purporting to be creatives.



As an example of this conundrum, how many of your design staff can

illustrate?



How many have the ability to think beyond the parameters of the software

packages that they work within? Is it possible that this is the reason

for much of the lacklustre design solutions currently seen in the

marketplace?



With the advent of digital media solutions, design for web sites and

interactive CD-Roms, are young creatives entering our industry going to

feel insecure about being able to find employment?



We need to seek out talent, nurture it and preserve it. Imagination is a

critical requirement when pitching for a new account and isn’t it our

creative interpretation of a client’s brief that differentiates us as

agencies?



If more so-called ’creative heads’ saw imagination as a key ingredient

to their role and sought to acknowledge this at all levels within their

own organisations, perhaps we would see an end to agencies advertising

for ’Mac operators’ instead of ’designers with Mac experience’ - and a

cultural evolution in terms of attitude to creative skill to combat the

technical revolution.



From my personal perspective as a designer, I feel duty bound to stay

true to the core values of design.



It is Freestone’s policy to proactively provide opportunities for

talented, creative people and encourage them to understand the value of

their imagination in the commercial world.



We have a training programme in place that ensures that all staff are

exposed to the latest market trends and developments, but I do believe

that it is a combination of these initiatives that has contributed to

our growth.



Stuart Freestone is a senior partner at Freestone Design Consultants.



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