I liked the overall concept of this article, but I gotta say, I found the comment about choosing the "young" designer as the right hire a bit disparaging.
I don't think thats a fair juxtaposition, and while I completely admire maintaining a certain degree of idealism and keeping a forward momentum, design happens with real-world constraints and limitations, and discounting that is somewhat insulting.
Articles with this kind of tone make me worry about advancing my career in design. While there definitely needs to be flexibility and open-mindedness with tech and digital, these don't discount design thinking and principles. It was hard not to feel like this article was a little ageist and all the points he made in the beginning of the article about maintaining flexibility and generalism were almost negated by his comments about digital natives being better.
Just my two cents as a young designer.
My 2ct on your comment.
The agency where I work has 15 people on board, 90% of them only know Indesign and some basics of photoshop/illustrator yet we design outposts for Bvlgari and other things for big brands.
Those doing the job are like myself, they're the young 10% who know how to use many tools and experiment.
I'm 23, never learned 3D in school, nobody here (30 and older) would be able to learn new tools because they're so into routine.
So yes hiring young people IS the good choice. Specially if you do digital stuff (and not only print design)
Age in this case is more of a coincidence. It's a bit limiting to say that only young people are able to do digital or having the flexibility of knowing many tools.
Working in digital has made it nearly impossible not to learn and experiment with new tools weekly. It's a challenge of the medium in which more young professionals have been able to adapt to since it's the only thing they've experienced. I doubt that as the generation ages, they'll stop learning and experimenting.
Agree, but in my case the people in the agency I'm working are not interested in learning new tools and they don't have time inside the agency to experiment... so they stick with what they know.
About the age you're right, even my dad who's now nearly 50 years old is doing 3D works and 3D printing them.
The problem with agencies is that they don't usually offer the possibilities to explore new things.
As a generalist by nature (and by circumstance in my career) lots of this article resonated, although I think the delivery hampers. It reminds me of this article: http://irondavy.quora.com/The-Myth-of-the-Myth-of-the-Unicorn-Designer (again, I didn't agree with it whole heartedly, but could appreciate it)
One thing, that the author seems to gloss over is that most great generalists started off as specialists and grow their skills outward. And while I don't think it was the author's intent to imply this: if you start your career wanting to be a generalist, I think it's much harder to progress.
This article is very interesting.
His description of the "ridiculously young designer without experience" is exactly me. I got my first job as a designer yesterday for an ad agency.
I'll do my best to prove the author is right ;)
Same here! Hooray for getting shots at things. (and yeah, now to prove the hiring person was a genius...)