Andy Luce
What difficulties did you face at the beginning of your career?
Professionally, I entered the job world in the midst of the recession in 2008, with studios and agencies folding left and right. It was a challenging time.
I believe whole heartedly working through this time period taught me invaluable foundational lessons — stay humble, be open to others, embrace change and hustle hard.
What should a young designer do in order not to get hired by anybody?
When it’s all said and done, we spend much of our lives with our colleagues. Often times our colleagues and coworkers become respected peers, dear friends, and to some — extended family. I think we can all agree that we’d prefer to spend time with people we can care about, relate to, and feel heard by.
So, to answer the question — not being hired? To me, it’s all about character. Forget that we all need each other, on human levels. Treat others as stepping-stones versus people or peers. Be difficult to work with, show no enthusiasm, maintaining a poor attitude or carrying a chip on your shoulder into the office or studio. Speaking first and listening second. Interrupting others. Be quick to anger and frustration, slow to grace and understanding. Dishonesty, lack integrity. Appropriate others’ creative work or intellectual property, claiming it as your own.
Are there any things you wish you knew at the beginning of your career?
Looking back, there are a few things. First and foremost, that working ridiculous hours isn’t cool, a badge of honor or at all a good thing. We’re conditioned to expect poor hours in our industry, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Life is simply too short to miss time with family, friends and the people we care about over a new business deck.
Secondly, there is no such thing as a design emergency. Certainly, we live and work in a deadline-focused profession; pressure is unavoidable. But I wish someone had told me this sooner. Nine times out of ten, the heart-racing moments of panic or unnecessary pressure could have been resolved with an email asking for a few minutes of grace and patience to put the last round of edits into the presentation. Just be honest and transparent — good clients understand that life happens and good businesses communicate and stay ahead of this.
Are there any rules or habits that help you do your job more efficiently?
Honestly, I’m most efficient when I have a balance between work and life. I need to take time away from the computer. Whether that be quality time with my wife, traveling, running, hiking or adventuring outdoors, engaging in an authentic conversation over a pint, getting my hands dirty or savoring a slow morning with a simple breakfast — I need time away from the screen to approach my work with clarity.
Would you recommend some books that young designers might find useful?
As a designer, I’ve found that we work as storytellers. Certainly the end result is predominantly visual, but there’s a profound amount of information lying beneath the aesthetic.
In addition to literature specific to the design industry or a project at hand, I encourage young designers to read and immerse themselves in narratives and literature of all genres. Not only will this establish an understanding of true storytelling, but it will also contribute a broadly informed perspective and hopefully a deeper meaning to each design project.
In terms of practical, foundational design-centered books for a young designer, I’d encourage How To Be A Graphic Designer Without Losing Your Soul, Kern & Burn, The Elements of Typographic Style  and The Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing and Ethical Guidelines.
I’d also suggest immersing yourself in the classics: Paul Rand, Doyald Young, Milton Glaser and Herb Lubalin.
Andy answered the questions on October 7, 2015.
The answers were published on October 9, 2015.