Alix Land
What difficulties did you face at the beginning of your career?
I had a lack of confidence in my abilities so didn’t apply to agencies I admired. I also had a lack of funds to do an internship, as at the time most internships were unpaid, and in London. I solved this by doing pro bono work for local charities. I didn’t ask for help when I needed it. Saying this, I still feel that I am at the beginning of my career.
What should a young designer do in order not to get hired by anybody?
Don’t apply for jobs. It may seem impossible and overwhelming at the start of your career but if you don’t apply for any jobs you won’t get a job. Don’t have a portfolio and website. Don’t make any contacts.
Are there any things you wish you knew at the beginning of your career?
At the very beginning, I didn’t realise that the design industry really is very small. I should have always taken 50% payment upfront from a client from the start. Charging on a project basis is better than charging by the hour. If you’re a typical introverted designer, you’re probably better than you think you are.
Are there any rules or habits that help you do your job more efficiently?
I plan out each project before I start. I factor in extra time it will take, as things always overrun. As part of my work is typesetting, I have a list of things I check are correct throughout the document (typographer’s quotes, small caps, etc). Time management apps are extremely useful, 30/30 has helped me enormously with structuring my day. Lists, lists, lists!
Would you recommend some books that young designers might find useful?
I often refer to The Elements of Typographic Style  and it is a beautiful book in its own right. Universal Principles of Design  too. I have a list of design books people have recommended that I’m working my way through here:
Alix answered the questions on July 17, 2014.
The answers were published on July 24, 2014.