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An Open Letter to Future Young Designers

Updated: Aug 25, 2020

Photo by Suzanne Lim on Instagram

Dream jobs. Everyone has them. But do they ever live up to the reality?

Every student has built grand imaginations of their future careers. Unfortunately, this illusion will be shattered inevitably.

Suzanne Lim began her first foray into graphic design at the age of 18.

Initially wanting to pursue interior design, she was struck by the instinct to study graphic design instead. This turned out to be a well-made decision as she spent most of her time toying around with Adobe programs.

A resolute person with a good eye for typography, Suzanne went on to design collaterals for several companies during her internship.

After graduating, she finally set out on her determined path.

That being said, the design industry was not all ‘sunshine and roses’ for Suzanne.

Since college, she was already aware of the notion that art was a non-promising career due to its limitations financially. It would be easier for her to venture into the design industry with a jaded attitude.

Instead, Suzanne took it all in stride.

In the beginning, she had found her seniors’ way of thinking ‘old-fashioned’ and ‘no-nonsense’. This clashed with the young woman’s more contemporary views.

“Sometimes, you get stuck and start questioning yourself like, “Am I being too idealistic?” or “Are my seniors being too realistic?””

She concluded that although students would feel like ‘tools’ to their seniors in order to get the job done, they will eventually come to understand their seniors’ point of view.

NOTE: The photos of the collaterals below are all entirely fictional and do not belong under said “companies.”

Photo by Suzanne Lim on Behance

At the same time, Suzanne believes that young designers should speak their minds in the presence of older audiences. This, in turn, would help to produce progressive and thought-provoking work.

“Understand that everything is a matter of perspective”, were her thoughts on the matter.

“You can’t be good at designing if you choose to be ignorant of what’s going on in the world.”

Nowadays, urban life has gotten increasingly busy. This has led to Suzanne nearly losing her identity for the sake of work.

“It is best to be honest about who you are through your art.”

She admitted, “Although most real jobs may not allow us to channel our own tastes and aesthetics, it’s always a good idea to create a self-initiative project that fits you.”

Photo by Suzanne Lim on Behance

However, maintaining her identity came at a price. According to Suzanne, it was necessary to reflect on the objectives of a project to achieve its goal.

“So, it’s not about what we want, or what the client wants. It’s about what the project needs.”

By limiting personal preferences, a project can bring out the undiscovered creativity and skills of the designer.

She quoted the influential designer, Paula Scher, “It’s through mistakes that you actually can grow, you have to get bad in order to get good.”

By taking interest in life and experiencing it, aspiring designers will be given a push in the right direction.

If you are interested in learning more about Suzanne’s work, check out her portfolio at

By: Shereen Lim


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