If become a shoe designer (atheletic) will I be pigeon-holing myself? Will it be hard to get back into product/mainstream ID?

I am a student, and designer, and I look at it like experience. and a Job like shoe designing, I cant see how that could hurt you in getting a job anywhere else. what do you consider mainstream product design?

By mainstream I mean consumer electronics, housewares, handhelds, sporting goods, tools/hardware, etc.

If you’re a shoe designer, you only design shoes; if you’re mainstream product designer, you can design just about anything- including shoes. So that’s what I’m worried about.

I’m about to take this job in Beaverton. Its for a good company, in a nice city, but all I do is shoes… and nothing else.

I know that toy design, car design, and shoe design are too specialized. You end up getting pigeoned holed if you stay for 4+ yrs.

Be VERY careful. Make sure you keep up with your own projects on the side to retain your knowledge. I was in a similar situation and got pigeonholed. Do you already have other experience with more “typical” product design? If so, I’d say go for it. If not, and you don’t keep up with the typical stuff on the side, you might be in for a little trouble further down the road (ie: a dentist’s equip design center may not see any of that experience as relevant and you’ll be back to square 1 1/2). Think this through carefully, it’s a very important strategic decision to make. Try to formulate scenarios for 5-7 yrs in the future. Good luck.

That’s exactly my point Skinny. I do have ‘typical stuff’ experience from before. But I think I might be better off nursing my skills with ‘typical stuff’ for the next 2-3yrs than spending it doing shoe design.

On the flipside, a large % of things we do can pigeon-hole us. Namely, auto design, toy design, softgoods, POP, exhibition, golf clubs, etc.