For a young designer to succeed years from now, you’d better have some serious design chops—so start working hard. But in addition to this, you’d better understand how to deploy those design skills in a way that helps solve business problems for your clients. So you’ve got to understand business, as well as how to tell that client’s story across a wide variety of media. Print may not be dead, but the tools we have to tell stories these days are dramatically different from those of even just a few years ago. In other words, there are plenty of designers out in the world who know how to make a nice poster, but the select few who are going to thrive in the months and years to come are going to be the ones who can tell a complex story across a range of media in a simple, clear and elegant way. So learn from the great storytellers—watch tons of films and read lots of books. And while you’re at it, read the business section everyday and start to pay attention to the analytical studies that your strategic planners keep talking about. It will pay off.
Alan Dye is creative director at Apple in Cupertino, California
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