I have been very fortunate over my 20+ years of printing to have hired well. Yes I have had mistakes, however the successes outweigh them all. When i closed my store I had employees that had been with me for 17 years, 8 years, 5 years, 5 years and 4 years. Several of the ones that had left remain friends with me and have moved on to bigger and better things. My last designer I had hired was a young woman with no formal education but from her resume I could tell she would be great for this job. I kept her resume since she turned me down the first time and ended up hiring her a few months later. Having to endure my ranting on a daily basis must have rubbed off on her, as I am sharing a Facebook post of hers (names changed). Ah, they grow up so fast! Her guest rant is below.
We are currently hiring for an outside sales position at my job, so a lot of people have been stopping by to pick up applications.
Today, a pleasant lady came in asking if we were hiring a graphic designer. I told her we weren’t at this time, but that we were looking for someone to do outside sales. She apologized for her appearance (she’d just been driving by, which is what most of the people who have picked up applications were doing, so no big), and mentioned that she’d applied here a couple of times before, that my boss has her resume, and that she graduated from the Art Institute and is just trying to get her foot in the door.
She is very nice. I do remember her calling at least once before, probably a year or two ago. I don’t know if she knows we already have a graphic designer, or that the graphic designer in question in me; but it puts my brain in the hilariously divisive position of feeling sympathy for someone who is essentially gunning for my job.
This nice lady is looking for work experience as a graphic designer to add to her resume, so that she can get a job as a graphic designer. I do not know what her skill level is, but I have seen graphic design graduates (many; they come in to print their portfolio finals) with no eye for composition, no idea about print setup (bleeds, crops, spot colors*, etc), and very little creativity. I’ve seen a lot of crummy work. I don’t have a great opinion about what they are (and clearly aren’t) teaching these kids at school these days.
I am not saying she is, by default, a poor designer. But she is trying to get a job in a field that emphasizes a quality portfolio and work experience, and from what I have seen of the world, the schools around here have not adequately been supplying students with either.
I am not saying I did things the “right” way by not having a degree, but I was hired because of my printshop experience, and because I demonstrated adequate graphic design skill.
Anyway, all I’m trying to say is, she maybe should not have paid for a graphic design degree.
I do hope she finds a job, but she cannot have mine.
*Spot colors (aka PMS colors, aka Pantone colors), are used for consistent color accuracy, and have to be run from a press. If you are printing a high volume of things with one or two colors, this can be cost-effective. If you are printing 250 business cards with five for six spot colors, it is going to cost you like a thousand dollars.
She learned well! Vent, get it all out!