Straight Forward Design – junior to a middleweight designer

How to make the jump from a junior to a middleweight designer

Our Creative Director, Mike, shares the Straight Forward approach to helping young designers reach their full potential.

At Straight Forward we do things a little differently. We push all our designers continuously, giving them new experiences and responsibilities so that they can develop and reach their full potential. But we don’t rank people as junior, middleweight or senior.

As a creative team, we’re all about ideas not hierarchy. For our designers to progress, they simply have to get involved and take responsibility. We’re a small studio so there’s lots of scope for the whole team to liaise with clients, take on projects and run with them.

We want people to grow and develop. A lot of people join us straight out of college, so we invest in nurturing young talent.

A project could go to anyone, potentially. Our newest recruit is just as likely to be briefed on a global redesign as an amend on a poster. We’re able to do this because we nurture, collaborate – and we make it safe for people to get things wrong.

The most significant difference as you progress is responsibility. Not the responsibility you are given, but the responsibility you take. Making sure a project is progressing in a timely fashion, that you understand the brief, that your work answers that brief. Contributing is crucial.

And we ask all our designers to be creative, curious and critical.

Creative

You may well produce great ideas, but do they fit the brief? As you grow, the gap between idea and brief should shrink – but creativity should always remain strong.

Curious

The more you experience, see and read, the more you’ll have to offer.

Critical

We encourage people to be candid at review stage. We want to make it safe for people to express their opinions. It’s a valuable skill to be critical of your work and the work of others. And it’s always about the work; it’s never personal.

Full article published on Digital Arts magazine