Design is about fun, no need to run!

‘Are you a UK graphic designer? If so, the chances are you’re a white male in your 20s….’

This is the first line from a recent Design Week article based on ‘Graphic Designers Surveyed’, which was carried out by publishing house GraphicDesign.

No, I’m not in my twenties, not even in my thirties…  As a designer in my twenties I had this idea that designers never got past 35. In a kind of ‘Logan’s Run’ scenario, when they reached ‘old age’ they would be shown the door, pushed into a shark tank, vaporised or discover a new career. I’m still designing past um…40 and so far Jenny Agutter hasn’t asked me to run away with her to Sanctuary.

So… how have I remained undiscovered by a Sandman for so long?


When you are alone sat at your computer at 1.00 in the morning. Enthusiasm is your friend. Enthusiasm for your own work and other designers. Enthusiasm for the client and the brief. Look for the positive in every job and situation.

Trust and Deliver

As graphic designers we need to communicate multiple subjects. We need to understand multiple subjects and we have to be trusted to deliver design that is able to communicate in a myriad of ways. Clients are paying us to produce content that is worthy of their trust in us.


Working with designers, clients, account managers, who all comment on your work changes how you design. Previous experiences provide grounding for new designs. Your design offer needs to change for each client. Be a design chameleon.


Designers are full off good ideas. But ‘good designers’ are ones that can visualise and communicate those good ideas to the correct audience.


Layout, typography, design… are some of the pillars of graphic design. Real understanding of the nuances of these pillars can only be gained by time. You’re a better designer than a year ago. Constantly look to grow your understanding of the craft. It will underpin everything you design.


Be open. Technology is a huge driver within our industry. How information is digested has changed massively over the last 10 years and will do again. Embrace it. Digest it, be inspired by it and harness it for new ways you can communicate.

If you can manage all this then you won’t need to start running.

James Chantler is a creative thinker and Creative Director at Happy Creative, a full service marketing and creative agency based in Blackpool, Lancashire. To learn more or contact us please go to

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