I can`t make sense out of this at all

In my room alone there is about a hundred products laying around made by a designer. From binoculars, perfume bottles, speakers, laundry baskets, drawers, printer and the list goes on and on. Now in my whole house there are much MUCH more.
Everywhere I go from one destination to another if I`m going from room to room or from school to home I pass by a great variety of products I cant keep track of. Everything out there that’s not a building is made by a designer, even things that are inside the buildings. The varieties of products are endless and there is just a galaxy of them made.

So what I don’t understand is that if there is that much all around us, if us humans are such consumers and we buy everything and we “need” so much, then how come getting into the field of design isn’t easy? I mean don’t they need people to design the next line of products that’s going to come out? EVERYTHING out there needs to be designed so it would make more sense for it to be a breeze to get into. Id love an explanation for this.

Getting into design is easy, if you are a good designer.

The reality is 1/3rd to 2/3rds of college grads are not fit to be professional designers. Those that are skilled will get jobs just fine. Those that aren’t ,won’t.

The slow economy hasn’t helped the job market in any field either.

Everything is not only designed. It is made, sold, shipped, financed, stored, insured, used, rented, recycled, resold, traded, modified, maintained, etc, etc.

All of those are jobs, all of them are part of the consumer economy. All of them employ vast amounts of people already. Jumping into any one of the above sectors takes some work, they are already full of people doing the work. No work in any of the above sectors is a breeze to get into.

You are going to school to get better at what you want to do for a living. The good news is that there will be a consumer economy in four years, with new products and requiring new people to do them. Get good at it and make the most of the time in university to experiment and learn.


It is not as difficult as it looks. Most professional circles look like
closed clubs as long as you are outside. This is true for MDs, Wall Street,
“Design”, whatever.

All those fields are competitive, but you are right, there is always a strong
demand for people, also.

However, You need to work on your mindset first. Young initiate, you are full
off doubt and fear. Those feelings distract you and lead you astray.
Work on your mind first or you will get nowhere, not in design, not in any
field of business.

(Yoda mode off)


Nice Yoda… Nice

burnsie :open_mouth:

If I can get a design job, anyone can.

Good observation, but keep in mind it doesn’t take 1 designer for each product you see…AND, not all those products you see were designed by designers. :wink:

My experience:

  1. You need more persistence than anything else. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to teach this in Uni.

  2. There are as many flavors of designer as there are jobs. I’ve worked in five companies and freelanced with another three. The balance of sketching/CAD monkey/QC engineer/Mechanical engineer/other was different in each one, even though the job descriptions were nearly identical. In fact, I think people advertise positions for ID when they don’t know what they really need.

  3. Not everything is designed. I wish it were. Lots of knock-offs and designed by marketing out there.

  4. The only positive thing is to use this time to improve yourself. Keep working at your crappy job (I hope you have one of those at least) and do projects for yourself on the weekend. Just make sure to set unrealistic goals and then achieve them. This is what real life is like.

One of my teachers (a very good one) noted that most problems with a product usually aren’t caused by bad designers, but rather by marketing people and superiors pushing the schedule and inadequate budget. Something I hadn’t thought about before, but it totally makes sense.

My experience is that your part time job is as important as your design degree. I worked in manufacturing for years, especially in the woodwork/upholstery area (building seating systems and gymnastics equipment). I also worked in an electronics assembly plant and as a trade sales person in a hardware store.

Now after working 3 years in my first out of uni job in a foundry, one hours drive from home, I am designing furniture. It was my manufacturing experience that got me here, along with my 3 years of professional design of taps, valves and tooling in a foundry.

It all counts in the end, so if you want to design shoes, make shoes. If you want to design electronics, get a job in that industry. Just try to keep working in manufacturing as this is where your work as a designer is realised.

I love that. One to really live by!

I work for a company that does very high end large scale custom design.

For this particular project I’m working on, we have hundreds upon hundreds of engineers, hundreds of shop guys/mechanics and dozens of finance people/QC people/managers. Number of industrial designers: 2. Number of interior designers: 1.

If our product doesn’t work and can’t be made within budget (or, made at all) it’s worthless. Once the visual design is finalized within the first few months of the project, the rest of our time is spent wrangling engineers and the shop guys to make sure it doesn’t just turn into a series of rectangles and tweaking it where necessary to make it work.

Someone looking at our work from the outside would probably be like “oh man I bet they hire so many designers!” but reality is much different. We can never have enough engineers and mechanics (we actually have a bounty system out for anyone who brings in new mechanics), not designers.