Once shunned by ambitious creatives for being mundane and faceless, in-house design roles are becoming much more popular in comparison to agency gigs. Research by Working not Working shows that creative talent is getting a taste for in-house roles and the most lusted after positions are at Nike, Google and Apple.
There’s no doubt that those brands that ooze humanity and live and breathe their values have the greatest gravitational pull for talent. But I won’t be applying for an in-house role at an industry behemoth anytime soon.
Why? Ambitious designers should use their powers to help organisations that need fixing, not super brands that are already ‘crushing it’.
Our job as brand designers is to support companies that face complex and wide-reaching challenges. Whether that be a need to re-engage with a confused or frustrated audience, managing organisational change, or coming up with inventive ways to reorganise a brand’s architecture into something engaging and meaningful.
It would be wrong to say big brands don’t have their challenges – every brand has been built from scratch and struggled to get to where it is today – but working with a brand that’s fully formed doesn’t give us the chance to make a fundamental impact on the business.
When working at an agency, clients come to us in all shapes and sizes, and just like a doctor’s waiting room, some of them arrive in pretty poor shape. It’s our job to treat those patients and nurture them back to health.
Designers, like the best physicians, should be aiming for the patients in need, rather than those that require a shot of collagen every now and then.