I was reading a very brief article on SpeakUp tonight, and it got me thinking about age. The subject of the piece was young designers and their propensity to head for a computer, for photoshop, and to just crank out the work instead of researching and properly designing (and a jab at the “I know photoshop, so I’m a designer” plague). Now I won’t get into all that, because it’s kind of getting late, and I could be here all night bitching about that subject and having jobs/clients/etc stolen from you by someone’s cousin who has all the software, a rock bottom price, and no eye for design. Hallelujah I’ve decided to skip that arguement.

What I will mention in as brief a fashion as I know how is the realisation that I’m slipping past the threshold of “hot, young designer” at an ever increasing rate. I’m by no means an old man (25 is a little under 2 months away), but it seems like more and more, I’m starting to see kids (yes, kids) popping up online with ever increasing portfolios and brand name recognition. They have vigor and enthusiasm and fully expect to become a psuedo-celebrity in the world of design, while I find myself more worried about hitting a deadline, or pleasing the boss, or for that matter, whether or not I’ll be able to pay both my rent payment and my lease payment this month. Maybe it has more to do with living in the real world while these kids are enjoying their senior year of college. Or perhaps cold, bleak winters in Utah are bringing out the narcissist in me.

I guess I just wish I still had that hope for the future like they still do. I also wish I had all that tuition money now…


  1. Good design knows no age.
    I love the comments on SpeakUp, they always put people in their place for making bold statements. But I do agree with you on your almost-rant, knowing the software does not mean you can design. But it takes someone that’s been through formal design training (or equivalent) to know why.

  2. I’m so glad you included “or equivalent” in your comment. I, for one, never finished my degree (I ran out of money and credit about 30 credits from the end), but I’d like to think years of real world experience and an upbringing rich in formal art and design has made the difference in what I may have missed in one more year of school.

    Actually, as far as that goes, a life of design and art is probably more than sufficient…

  3. I know this is off topic, but I’m sorry to hear you’ve got a SPAM-bot infestation. Hopefully you’ll be able to reactive your contact section in the near future.

    Because your contact section is down, I thought I’d drop you a quick line here. I came across your site via a blog-comment I found in MikeIndustries. I’m not even sure how I stumbled across his site, but I keep getting drawn back to it like a moth to the flame. I’ll admit his site is nothing fancy; no animated gif parties or flashy ads. What I love about it is how everything is so smooth. And the comment structure is very well done.
    …which brings me back to your page. You’ve done the same thing with your comments (different design of course) and I’m very impressed.

    I’m curious as to how you put it all together though.
    I’ve got a lot to learn when it comes to web design. Photo restoration is my thing, and, although I will admit I got hooked on Flash a couple years back, I’ve never known where to begin when it comes to dealing with code. I have a Dreamweaver 3 Bible sitting on a bookshelf and it scares me to look at it as the thing is bigger than an actual Bible. lol.

    Do you have any tips for all of this? What to read and what tutorials to look into? Ideally, I’d like to put something together that looks simple like your site or MikeIndustries, but is clean and has the whole nifty blog-comment-design.

    If you could give me a shove in the right direction, it would be much appreciated—-even if it is a shove towards the book sitting on my shelf!

    …oh ya, and don’t be so quick to throw away the “hot, young designer” status! You may be hitting the big 2-5, but I’m sure there’s plenty of babes wanting to throw themselves at you.

  4. Matt: The short answer (I’ll try and get back to you via email if I have some spare time after work) is: learn the very basics. I started writing HTML roughly 8 years ago when I finally got a computer that could “get online.” It was about 2 weeks into that when I decided to “make a webpage.” I got so tired of WYSIWYG editors after (I kid not) one day, that I went to Lycos (yeah, remember those days? Neither do I) and looked up a tutorial on that crazy HTML stuff. I had the basics down (it’s really more similar to english grammar and structure than the “coding” you hear it described as) in about 2 weeks, but it’s taken me this long to get where I am.
    For straight ahead tutorials on HTML and the like (CSS, etc), I like W3 Schools’ tutorials. I’m also planning on writing some HTML/CSS primers in the future, but as of now I’m swamped at work and (believe it or not) I’m in the initial planning stages of a new site design.
    As for this site, the blog section is powered by WordPress, the structure is all hand-coded HTML, with CSS for style, PHP (mostly the WordPress stuff, but I have a few tricks in there as well) and javascript for some tricks. Believe it or not, but it’s a pretty complicated site under the hood… but it also took me like 9 months of spare time work.
    Granted, don’t expect to create a giant, dynamic site on your first go. If you saw my first site back in 97-98, you’d laugh yourself into a coma. Just take it slow, learn as much as possible, and create a little here, a little there.

    If you can do photo restoration you definitely have the patience for it. 😉

  5. What an awesome reply. You seem to be quite the cool guy gb!
    I’m pretty sure I cranked off my last post around 2am last night, so when I awoke a little more refreshed today, I began to wonder if I made any sense last night. The last thing I wanted to see was a quick response from you telling me to shove my Dreamweaver Bible where the sun don’t shine.
    …thankfully, that was not the case.

    I gave the sites you linked a quick once over. WordPress looks interesting and W3Schools leads me to believe I have a lot to learn. It’s a shove in the right direction, which is exactly what I need.
    The most I’ve done lately via web design is play around with div and basic css in my MySpace Page. I’m pretty much sick of dealing with their filters, so I bought up some web space and I’m ready to roll. That all sounds well and good but it feels like I’ve been thrust out onto a busy freeway while riding a tricycle.
    But, I certainly can’t complain as you’ve given me a map.

    Photo restoration is my full time job actually. I work for Extreme Imaging and I’m having fun manipulating pictures. I’m fairly sure I started out in this area about 8 years or so ago…or whatever amount of time would put me in grade 7. I’d come home from school and my dad would let me have a shot at restoring minor scratches on damaged photographs. I suppose because I started out so early, the whole process feels almost natural.
    But, you’re certainly right about patience. I may start off slow in web design, but as long as I keep at it, as I do with the photographs, it’ll pay off.

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