The 50 Things Every Graphic Design Student Should Know

British designer Jamie Wieck from the studio Airside compiled this list of useful wisdom for design students about to enter the workforce.

Here are my favorites:

6. The path to work is easier than you think.
To get into the industry you need just three things: great work, energy and a nice personality. Many forget the last attribute.

13. Time is precious – get to the point.
Avoid profuse humour or gimmicks when contacting studios for work, they’ve seen it all before. Get to the point, they’ll be thankful.

15. Do as many internships as you can stand.
Internships are a financial burden, but they are vital. They let you scope out the industry and find the roles that suit you best.

16. Don’t waste your internship.
A studio’s work can dip, as can its energy. Ignore this and be indispensable, the onus is on you to find something that needs doing.

26. Network.
There’s some truth in ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’. Talk to people, send emails; at the very least sign up to Twitter.

47. Share your ideas.
You’ve nothing to gain from holding on to your ideas; they may feel precious, but the more you share, the more new ideas you’ll have.

50. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Take your work seriously, take the business of your craft seriously, but don’t take yourself seriously. People who do are laughed at.

50 Things every graphic design student should know.

(via Khoi)

11 Comments leave a comment below

  1. Nice. Here’s the flip side. A client recently shared this on her blog:

    Hire and promote first on the basis of integrity; second, motivation; third, capacity; fourth, understanding; fifth, knowledge; and last and least, experience.

    Without integrity, motivation is dangerous; without motivation, capacity is impotent; without capacity understanding is limited; without understanding, knowledge is meaningless; without knowledge, experience is blind.

    Experience is easy to provide and quickly put to use by people with all the other qualities.

    – Dee Hock, founder and CEO emeritus of Visa in The War for Talent.

  2. Great points. And I like Brian’s quote as well.

  3. 51.
    After having studied 3-5 years, all them internships and all that integrity, motivation and experience you won’t earn half the money your enginieering and business friends will make.

    Definetly something students should be told before getting into this field.

  4. Great stuff. I think these points should be followed by any designer, not just those starting out. We all need to remember our values and goals to stay fresh.

  5. I would love one of these for photographers.

  6. I dislike these types of lists. They’re the equivalent of a rag magazine telling you how to be beautiful and sexy by following an exact set of parameters. Life and work are conditional, and any checklist that tries to prevent that is sure to be disappointing.

  7. To the comment regarding point 51.

    Money is important, no doubt. Whoever tells you it isn’t is simply just lying to you. But if you’re in it ONLY for the money, then you’re not in it at all. The key to being content with your career is to find one in which you would carry on with even if you weren’t getting paid.

    Students shouldn’t enroll in design programs looking to make money. The ones that do, usually end up going nowhere in the field. They should enroll due to them actually wanting to create.

    Passion > Paycheque

  8. @point15:
    The creative industries in particular seem to expect a great deal of highly skilled labor for free before the possibility of paid work is even an option. While this is obviously a burden for the intern, it is ultimately the industry that suffers by limiting the pool of possible new comers to those that can afford to forego even a minimal wage for an extended period of time. Add on to this the fact that almost all unpaid internships are illegal under current US labor law (per this document http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.pdf) and I find this point distasteful at best, and deplorable at worst.

  9. 50 things yeah. If students knows these 50 things they goes high.

  10. Thanks for this insightful gem!

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