Yeah, I’m 46. So what? That doesn’t mean I’m extinct. That doesn’t mean I’m a Designosaur.
I’ve heard a lot jibber jabber lately about the aging out of designers my “vintage — especially in tech-heavy markets like the San Francisco Bay Area. I think that’s just crazy talk. Did you hear that 30-something-year-old guys are dying their hair to get tech jobs?Did you hear that forth-something-year-olds are getting Botox? Seriously?!?!?
Okay, so I dye my hair…but I don’t get Botox!
The point is, there’s no reason designers over 40 can’t keep current and create ever more fresh, relevant, and thoughtful work. What do you mean experienced print designers can’t apply their well-honed skills in making the transition to interactive design? A designer worth their salt is used to creating for different media, different clients, and different products and use cases. Parameters are good. Change is good.
Honestly, I find the topic of experienced designers becoming “irrelevant” quite tiresome. I, for one, keep current, and am curious about new trends and new technologies. I actively work these things into my current projects. I take coding classes, I design websites and apps — and I LIKE IT! Furthermore, I’m mobile. I’m a power user. I’m digitally native. Blah, blah, blah. That said, I also read actual books, and listen to vinyl records, and crochet with yarn. It’s called balance and being tactile, and it’s a good thing.
Anyone in any career has to continually evolve to stay relevant. For designers, that’s especially important. Trends, tastes, and techniques are always changing. What’s “in” today probably won’t be tomorrow. Good designers are experienced professionals that are always learning and growing to better serve their clients, and their own careers.
Yeah, I know the species of Designosaurs “they” are talking about. There were paste-up artists that didn’t make the transition to the computer, and there are print designers who aren’t making the transition to digital; but I think it has less to do with age, and more to do with personality, interest level, or (perhaps) laziness. There are those designers who rest on their laurels, or whose portfolios reflect what decade they peaked in their careers. There’s nothing like a 1980s look, when that’s not really what the client was going for — neon colors, geometric shapes, Cooper Black typeface — wait, scratch that…the 80s are back!!!
So, I’ve got news for the young-uns out there. You’ll all turn 40. You’ll all turn 50. You’ll all turn 60, 70, 80, 90…if you live long enough. So, the next time you make the assumption that because a designer has a little snow on the roof that they’re a Designosaur. Think again. They might just be the fittest.