To the young designer

The People

For some time before joining Wunderlist I had been alone, freelancing through different projects and working with a variety of people and teams online. I, unsurprisingly, was using and browsing Dribbble heavily, discovering heroes and inspiration every way I looked. When I think back to that time I realise one, among many, large differences — I hadn’t separated the designer from the person. I admired the Wunderlist design team long before I joined, and I still cite them as one of my major inspirations today. I remember seeing Tim’s work, and I remember often trying to emulate everything he was doing. When I joined the company, I admired Tim the designer, and anticipated what he could teach me about Photoshop and gradients and textures (this was a very different time). Now, I love Tim the person as well as Tim the designer. We spend every day together and I’ve learned to work with him. I understand his taste, I know how to communicate with him, we share the same philosophies and my phone holds a variety of different selfies of us outside of our favourite table tennis bar.

The Work

Of course, the work. You want to be the best designer in the world, and that is a valid goal to have. To constantly push yourself and your skills is priceless. When I started I was arrogant and conceited. I loved what I created and thought, believed, that others should too. Fortunately getting to work with the people I do kicked this out of me rapidly. I can promise you that you will never be the best; our work is just too wide and subjective.

Patience

My final note is one of patience. Being young you have a lot of time ahead of you, and such a wonderful opportunity that very, very few others in the world have ever been afforded. Appreciate it. Cherish it. I have been designing Wunderlist for almost two years now, and at nineteen I have had the opportunity to work on and lead a variety of different projects, to travel and to collaborate with the most talented people I have ever met. I am endlessly grateful to Benedikt and the rest of my team for their belief and trust. I have progressed massively alongside them, both as a designer and as a human.

One final thing

If you can, study. One of the big regrets of my career so far is that I didn’t take enough time to appreciate the industry and history of design before jumping in. This doesn’t necessarily mean formal higher education, and the college conversation is a sensitive one that I wouldn’t want to mingle with, but it is one of my goals to study and discover the past of my work, and what it means for us as designers, going forward, and I would hope you can too.

Unlisted

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Designer at Monzo.

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