Advice for design graduates: “Be pro-active, enquire, be nosey…”

It’s degree show season. As prospective graduates prepare to enter the profession, we ask senior staff for any advice they’d pass on to the latest crop of design graduates. Our latest contribution comes from Director, Keith Noble.

“Have I got any advice for new graduates? Flipping heck, yeah. Where do I start?…

Keep your sense of humour and sense of adventure.
“Work can be a very serious place, but there’s always a chance to do something different and put a smile on a client’s face. Challenge convention and push boundaries. Design is emotive, make people feel something and if you can, make people smile.

Go get it.
“Don’t wait for everything to be served on a plate. Be pro-active, enquire, be nosey, explore, discover. Ask why? A lot.

You don’t know everything.
“Yes you have an education, but that’s the first step, it’s not the end of your journey, it’s the start of your real ‘education’ and the beginning of your career. Accept that this is the start of a brilliant, but long and challenging journey of discovery and experience.

Be willing to put a shift in.
“The creative industry isn’t 9am-5pm. No matter what you’re asked to do, always give 100%. Whether it’s making tea, or designing the next world leading brand.

Have a constructive opinion.
“EVERYONE has an opinion and so should you, but it has to be a constructive one. Saying ‘It’s sh*t’ doesn’t cut it. Having no opinion, doesn’t cut it. Not being bothered doesn’t cut it. Contribute and help.

Communicate with people.
“Our job is all about people and communicating with them, whether it’s through the work that you produce connecting with an audience, having a conversation with a client, or interacting with your team and colleagues. You have to be able to express yourself, listen and communicate.

Never lose your passion.
“Always be bothered. Love creativity, love design, love what you do, everything else you get from your job and career is a happy by-product.

“Creativity isn’t an individual ‘sport’, it’s a team game. I would argue that every project has been influenced by more than one person, I know all of our work has. It’s not ‘I did that’, it’s ‘we did that’. Just ensure you add your value.”

Keith is a graduate of the University of Central Lancashire where he studied for a BA(Hons) in Graphic Design.