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Employment ads that want it all..

Postby idainc » May 17th, 2018, 7:27 pm


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I've noticed quite a few ads - seemingly from smaller companies - that are looking for an industrial designer (ProE / Solidworks / Keyshot) plus a mchanical designer down to and including bills of material and a graphic designer (Illustrator / Photoshop / In Design) and expert physical modelmaking skills.

Truly a jack of all trades and a master of none.

How is this even remotely possible ? What has ID become ? Seems like a catch all for all things creative and all things people dont understand.

Re: Employment ads that want it all..

Postby MK19 » May 18th, 2018, 6:58 am


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idainc wrote:I've noticed quite a few ads - seemingly from smaller companies - that are looking for an industrial designer (ProE / Solidworks / Keyshot) plus a mchanical designer down to and including bills of material and a graphic designer (Illustrator / Photoshop / In Design) and expert physical modelmaking skills.

Truly a jack of all trades and a master of none.

How is this even remotely possible ? What has ID become ? Seems like a catch all for all things creative and all things people dont understand.

Most jobs in basically all fields want to run with bare minimum staff and maximum profits these days. Other than arguably the model making I wouldn't really say the example you've specified is asking too much though.

Re: Employment ads that want it all..

Postby AndyMc » May 18th, 2018, 7:37 am

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MK19 wrote:Other than arguably the model making I wouldn't really say the example you've specified is asking too much though.


I agree. Sounds like a pretty standard ID ad.


A larger company might be able to afford a designer to sketch and test ideas all day, and an engineer to CAD and get ready to manufacture while a graphic designer is working on new branding etc.

Smaller companies can’t afford to have a person dedicated to every task. My current and previous role the Designer(s) dabble in everything from branding, creating marketing/web/social media content, dealing with factories and suppliers, as well as the raw ID from product scoping all the way through detail for manufacture/production drawing with boms etc.

Re: Employment ads that want it all..

Postby bepster » May 18th, 2018, 9:11 am

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It's true that being solely responsible for all these things is tricky. Just from a time management point of view.
Especially if you have to deal with several leaders within the company.

But a certain proficiency in the different areas is definitely important and I also don't think it is strange that an employer would ask for skills besides sketching and CAD.
In my role, I do assume the responsibility for the ID of a product itself but I also do have to frequently deal with graphic design tasks (make presentations, place artwork on products) or create models.
I don't have to be an expert in these things but I should have a good understanding.

Personally I think it's great to be involved in all the different creative fields that make up a product experience. As ID, I am probably the person who knows the vision and story of the product most intimately so being part of the whole process to help carry through a cohesive story is definitely important to me.

I don't think I would be interested in a job where I was told to only sketch all day and not would be part of the other creative parts.

Re: Employment ads that want it all..

Postby idainc » May 18th, 2018, 6:40 pm


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In 18 years in corporate roles I was never asked to do graphics. I had responsibility for graphics and packaging but never had to actually sit down and do it. And on my own for more years than that, every time I need graphics or a model I call a graphic designer or a modelmaker on the theory that those are distinct disciplines in their own right and deserve undivided attention.

If I wanted to hire an industrial designer I would want 3D to be their entire focus and the same for a graphic designer. I dont know how anyone can claim to be the expert these ads call for in 5 pieces of software without diluting their efforts substantially to the point where they arent an expert in anything.

If you focus on 3D and only 3D then you can claim some level of expertise but if your time in 3D has been diluted by thoroughly learning Illustrator or Photoshop that wouldnt be legitimate. Begs the question - How much of your ID time can you sacrifice and still call yourself an ID ?

Sad in a way. Being a talented "industrial design expert" is no longer sufficient. I suppose that may be in smaller companies but some of these ads are from companies I;m surprised would want ID diluted.

Re: Employment ads that want it all..

Postby lychee » May 19th, 2018, 3:55 pm

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I think it’s reasonable for a young ID to have an understanding of these things, but to expect sophisticated aesthetic sensibility and high proficiency in delivery in all those areas, even after three years out of school, is stretching it IMO... but most importantly the pay should reflect that. For sure, some industrial designers can know what good and successful GD looks like, but to expect them to deliver an effective GD solution on par with a legit graphic designer? I hope not... again, make sure the pay/benefits reflects this diverse skill set and level of expectations. Because it takes some kind of life style to work towards being that kind of designer. Some employers are a lot more reasonable with their expectations of course, but some aren’t. :/

Re: Employment ads that want it all..

Postby AndyMc » May 19th, 2018, 6:24 pm

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idainc wrote:If I wanted to hire an industrial designer I would want 3D to be their entire focus and the same for a graphic designer. I don't know how anyone can claim to be the expert these ads call for in 5 pieces of software without diluting their efforts substantially to the point where they aren't an expert in anything.


Surely the ad you are referring to is only asking for some capability or knowledge in the other skills, rather than being an expert. I would expect the average IDer to be able to do some basic graphic or mechanical design, even if only to explore ideas, but certainly not to the same standard as a graphic designer of engineer.

The alternative is the classic 'student job' ad, where they just ask for literally everything.

"Seeking junior student for part-time job in retail environment, must have 10 years experience in all things retail related. Those without experience do not apply".

Re: Employment ads that want it all..

Postby iab » May 21st, 2018, 7:15 am


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idainc wrote:I've noticed quite a few ads - seemingly from smaller companies - that are looking for an industrial designer (ProE / Solidworks / Keyshot) plus a mchanical designer down to and including bills of material and a graphic designer (Illustrator / Photoshop / In Design) and expert physical modelmaking skills.

Truly a jack of all trades and a master of none.

How is this even remotely possible ? What has ID become ? Seems like a catch all for all things creative and all things people dont understand.



You can't write a BOM? You can't communicate an idea in a tangible 3D form?

Maybe this particular job doesn't want an "ID expert" do continuously spec unobtanium and "design" parts that cannot be made. Maybe they want actual customer feedback instead of a gladhand that you get from a hot sketch. And the oh-so-crazy thought that they need a package to protect/contain/market /distribute is actually pretty sane.

After your 18 years of doing ID, I would suggest expanding your horizons and not become a dinosaur.

Re: Employment ads that want it all..

Postby KenoLeon » May 21st, 2018, 10:09 am

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My experience with startups and (small companies to a lesser degree) is that is all hands on deck, all the time, doing everything...haphazardly; corporate might have more defined narrower roles and the luxury of organization, HR is a mess in large companies, it is a bigger mess or non existent in smaller ones, so you do find nonsense and impossible requirements very often.

I personally like it since I like doing odd design jobs and the loose feel (I've painted murals, done floorplans, presentations, photography, etc,etc) if you have issues just charge by the hour/project or you know talk about it, it's not a shotgun wedding.

Also, as a startup founder I can see the other side, especially with partners it's not so much about you,your ego and that thing you are an expert or like doing all the time, but rather the project, so if the project needs marketing for tomorrow and we have no budget or time we all try our best to put on a marketing hat, you don't expect folks you hire for specific work to step up, but those who do you keep in mind...
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idainc wrote:I've noticed quite a few ads - seemingly from smaller companies - that are looking for an industrial designer (ProE / Solidworks / Keyshot) plus a mchanical designer down to and including bills of material and a graphic designer (Illustrator / Photoshop / In Design) and expert physical modelmaking skills.

Truly a jack of all trades and a master of none.

How is this even remotely possible ? What has ID become ? Seems like a catch all for all things creative and all things people dont understand.


I'm in full agreement with you - all this approach does is to create bottlenecks by relying on the finite hours available by a single resource - and to your point, more often than not it breeds marginal quality in each of those disciplines.

But the larger picture seems to be this; our capitalistic approach to everything has minimized the value of our human resources to nothing more than an item on that BOM, and the profit machine can live with marginal talent as long as the product satisfies the masses, because the profit machine can't feel, touch or discern the details. :(
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Re: Employment ads that want it all..

Postby idainc » May 21st, 2018, 8:03 pm


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[/quote]

I'm in full agreement with you - all this approach does is to create bottlenecks by relying on the finite hours available by a single resource - and to your point, more often than not it breeds marginal quality in each of those disciplines.

But the larger picture seems to be this; our capitalistic approach to everything has minimized the value of our human resources to nothing more than an item on that BOM, and the profit machine can live with marginal talent as long as the product satisfies the masses, because the profit machine can't feel, touch or discern the details. ([/quote]


Thank You Scott.

I really had to laugh when I saw that about becoming a dinosaur at 18 years’ experience because I don’t do anything but design products. At that rate I have more than earned the distinction of being called a dinosaur. Never done graphics.

If you look at the history of ID education in the US over the last 50 years we’ve gone from maybe 12 schools granting Bachelor degrees in ID to about 500 at all levels. That’s a lot more ID’ers out there competing for the same jobs from people who usually have little to no knowledge of the field or what they need. So naturally they’ll ask for the sky and see what they’ll get. And that is the degradation of ID. From schools that were hard to get into and harder to graduate from to, well maybe, schools.

Talk a lesson from the trades – you’d be hard pressed to get a plumber to rewire your house and vice versa for a whole host of reasons
Last edited by idainc on May 22nd, 2018, 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Employment ads that want it all..

Postby iab » May 22nd, 2018, 7:42 am


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Wouldn't it be nice to live in such an ideal world. Build it and it they will come.

While you would like to hold your nose, in the last 30 years of only designing products, I have faced reality to know that ID is a only small part of bringing a product to market and all of them, good and bad, have been designed. I am, on my best day, a mediocre graphic designer. But in a fast, iterative process, perfect is the enemy of good enough to get customer feedback. I also understand determining market potential, pricing, distribution, manufacturing, regulatory landscape, selling cycles, line expansion, capacity planning, capital, amortization, billing, life cycle, sourcing, purchasing, research, positioning, financing, cash flow, competition, specifications, features, benefits, BOMs, PHRs, work instructions, packaging, promotion and everything else that isn't on the top of my head to bring a product to market so I can get paid. Yup, the evils of capitalism.

And while you think doing the same thing for 18 years is laughable, I find it a bit sad.

Re: Employment ads that want it all..

Postby iab » May 22nd, 2018, 7:47 am


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Generatewhatsnext wrote: our capitalistic approach to everything has minimized the value of our human resources(


Incorrect.

Our capitalistic approach to everything has minimized the value of objects. And while there are consequences in living in a disposable world, I think they are far better than living in a world where objects are idolized.

Re: Employment ads that want it all..

Postby AVClub » May 22nd, 2018, 3:02 pm


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Where did you get the 500 programs number? Just Curious.

In my opinion, as generic as this sounds I believe some of the best employees are "t-shaped." I would be surprised to find an ID'er who didn't have at least a baseline knowledge of those things as they seem very necessary. Some of the best designers in history were extremely multi-disciplinary, that doesn't mean they were any less of ID'ers. Charles and Ray Eames, Massimo Vignelli, Karim Rashid, Marc Newson, Jasper Morrison, Philippe Starck, The Bouroullec Brothers, the list goes on. Plus, why wouldn't you want to continue to learn?

"If you can design one thing, you can design everything" - Massimo Vignelli

And if an ID'er can't make a model, how do they test their ideas?

T-Shaped People:

"The concept of T-shaped skills, or T-shaped persons is a metaphor used in job recruitment to describe the abilities of persons in the workforce. The vertical bar on the T represents the depth of related skills and expertise in a single field, whereas the horizontal bar is the ability to collaborate across disciplines with experts in other areas and to apply knowledge in areas of expertise other than one's own." -The Wikipedia

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What has ID become ? Seems like a catch all for all things creative and all things people dont understand.


It is often that way for startups whereas settled companies often ask for very specific roles.

Besides, to think that ID is just the physical product design is far too limited.

Industrial Designers are excellent candidates for the people who can integrate multiple disciplines to bring about transformative innovations.
They are the one to take a vision from someone with a knack for business, and develop the idea so it will successfully integrate with manufacturing possibilities, overall engineering challenges, user requirements, new markets and aesthetic developments. With digitally driven design, the Industrial Designer also knows about UI specifications in a language suited to interaction designers (flow charts, UML, arduino prototyping).

Therefore we need to have a very broad awareness and many basic skills, a team-driven spirit and a few specialties as well.
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