When I meet young designers and view their work, it never ceases to amaze me. There is an unbridled passion, original way of thinking and real enthusiasm to everything they do. It leaps out at you as an abundance of new and creative ways to explore ideas.
The reason I mention this is that I have recently been attending some student exhibitions, and have found it quite inspirational and refreshing from a professional and personal perspective.
Seeing young creatives’ work forces us take stock of our place in the industry and remind ourselves of the ever-evolving nature of what we do. As much as students still have a lot to learn, one thing we can glean from them is the ability to look at things with fresh eyes. They are not, generally, inhibited by client briefs and budget constraints, so their imperative is simply to strive to be the best they can be. Of course there can be a tendency for them to ‘copy’ things they like, but when they approach projects with a degree of naivety, there can be extraordinary results.
Over the past few years, we have been fortunate as an agency to support the Industry Placement Program of Swinburne University’s design school. Not only have we helped students on their journey to learn and develop, but they have helped us in return by forcing us to see things in a new way.
This experience reinforces that industries such as ours are in a constant state of flux. In design, marketing or even the retail and corporate worlds, you cannot afford to stand still for long. There will always be a ‘new kid’ on the block ready to take your place – a young designer, a better product, a bigger store or, as we are finding in the digital age, a new way of doing things.
It forces us to adopt the attitude of constant evolution. For a business, or for a brand, the focus at all times must be on rigorous innovation to stay ahead. We must remain relevant, keep learning, keep an open mind and, most of all, embrace change.
Don’t stop. That ‘young upstart’ is ready and waiting to take your place.
Check out some more student design work from Swinburne.
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