If you had the choice, would you rather work on or with an in-house design team or work on your own and manage all aspects of the project(s) yourself (not freelance work for either situation).

State your experience level as well.


MUCH MUCH better with a team. 21 years experience

…as long as the team is around 5-7 involved individuals it’s better than working alone…i have worked with teams of 25+ and it becomes impossible to do good design. 33 years.

Just like in athletics - a team. And keep your people happy - Cronyism works wonders! :smiley:

7 year experience here…

much much better/more fun with a team (motivated team)


if your in a situation with unmotivated designers…its easier to do it yourself. Working with no talent design snobs (y’all know the type…the ones who rip on Stark/Rashid but have never designed anything aesthetically pleasing) is extremely frustrating. At least for myself.

6 yrs with 2 working in a team enviroment. Working alone sucks.

I have gathered from all your responses that a team environment would be best.

The reason I asked the question is I have an oppurtunity to take a position were I will be the only “in-house” designer and will have contacts with outside designers if my work load becomes to heavy. I would be taking on a pretty heavy work load, that I know for sure. There would be a great deal of travel involved as well, International + Domestic.

From reviewing some of your responses I saw that a most of you have over 6 years experience. Would you recommend a “mid-level” designer take on this role? I really need to think this through!

Thanks again!

…now that you put it that way…i did what you are considering with 9 years of experience…after 2 years of working my tail off with the company i got to hire another id, a graphics designer, a draftsperson and a modelmaker…i was alone no longer.

I always like the competition you get in a team - except when the other guy can’t concede defeat and let his idea die - there’s nothing better than outdoing the next guy, and of course, occasionally being skooled yourself.


The company I am talking with stated that in the future they might bring on another designer that I would direct. So, I don’t think it would be bad if I worked alone for a year or so. I appreciate your advice!

I’d be weary of a company telling me that I’d get a designer “next year.” It’s been 2.5 years and I’m still waiting for my hire. I’ve really busted my butt to keep up with the workload, and had some pretty substantial wins and exposure, but I can’t substantiate another person while I’m getting it done and getting results. I think ID’ers will always rise to the occasion, work OT with no pay, etc…You need to keep on them about needing that extra head and hand. Teams are much better. Tell them that you’ll work alone, but will need a budget for freelancers, just to even out the work load when things get hairy.

I started out of school with a company that didn’t have a team of designers but designers separated by business groups. Generally speaking, I was the lone designer.

Its a tough spot for someone right out of school because:

  1. No one to push you.
    You work with business people and engineers who have no design background to critique your work. (Don’t worry, they will still critique it.) Also, four years of school teaches you a lot, but you learn just as much in the first year of work. It helps a ton to be able to sit next to more experienced designers to ask questions and bounce ideas around. It’s important to think about what you’re going to want to learn in order to land your next job.

  2. It’s hard to defend yourself.
    If you are the lone designer in a company you have to be able to explain to marketing and engineering your every choice. In the end you will spend much more of your time in meetings fighting for your projects than you will designing. Added to this pressure is the fact that most design schools don’t explain what those professions do and what their motivations are. Little experience dealing with other disciplines and being younger results in people not taking your opinions seriously.

In the end I had a “challenging” experience. I learned a lot, but didn’t progress in other ways.