Career Q+A Series: Linda Jukic

Published:  September 28, 2011
Career Q+A Series: Linda Jukic

Whether you’re just starting out in the design industry or have recently graduated, there are always going to be a few questions about the best path to take to land your dream job.

In this six-part series, we asked six leading creatives for their advice, concerns, tips and opinions on getting a head start.

Today’s advice from Linda Jukic.


Creative director, Moon Communications Group
Studied: Bachelor of Design (Visual Communication), University of Technology, Sydney
Graduation year: 2000

1. What is the greatest piece of advice that you were given during your design education?
You’re only as good as your last piece of work.

2. Should design graduates concentrate on one area and be really good at it (print, web, type etc) or be an all-rounder?
Some people are naturally specialists and others naturally all-rounders. It is more important that graduates find what they love and what they’re good at and create an identity and ability around this, rather than try to fit themselves into a set of expectations. Being yourself and being the best at what you are interested in and passionate about will always be desirable and taken notice of.

3. What is your opinion of the current state of design education and, if anything, what can be improved?
My opinion very much revolves around relevance and keeping up-to-date. Our industry is continually evolving and at an incredible speed, so it’s about ensuring design education keeps up-to-date with what’s going on and adapts appropriately and in a timely manner. More and deeper engagement between industry and education would benefit both the students and us the industry.

4. What qualities impress you most about current graduates, and which skill-sets are lacking?
I am continually impressed by today’s graduates’ knowledge of levels of technology and design programs. Their ability to negotiate Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign is sensational. I also find today’s current graduates well-versed in design style. From the image they have created for themselves, to their understanding of what’s happening in the general design world, to their ability to design work in a polished design aesthetic, they are on the pulse. I think both attributes are a reflection of the presence and access of technology within their lives growing up. What is assumed knowledge for them today were subject courses in my day. The one thing I have noticed as a weakness, which could be a result of the access and proliferation of information and inspiration, is that sometimes young designers struggle to think conceptually and generate genuine ideas. They get caught up with references and stylistic directions and jump immediately to the execution rather than cracking the big idea.

5. How important are a designer’s educational qualifications? Does it matter if they hold a degree or masters? Does it matter what institution they went through, or what kind of education they received?
The number one thing we look for is great talent and drive, and great talent and drive can truly come from anywhere. We do, however, tend to find those who have studied at a tertiary level better equipped for the world we operate within: their skill-set, their discipline and their understanding of process.

6. When hiring, do you prefer to see a physical portfolio or does an online
presentation of work suffice these days?
I am not fussed about the medium that a designer chooses to present their folio of work. I am more interested in how they have curated their work, the quality of the work itself and how they talk about their work. I strongly believe that designers should find what works best for them and what showcases their work in the best light. There’s nothing more disappointing, for example, than a polished screen presentation and a designer talking about a gorgeous piece of work, but not having a physical piece to show off its scale, special format and finishes.

7. What is the biggest challenge about being a designer that you did not think/knowabout when you were a student?
As your career progresses and you become more senior within a business, the responsibility and challenges associated with managing people and teams, as well as managing general business issues.

8. If you could start your design education again, would you do anything differently?
I would have taken up more writing courses, and put my hand up for the Central St Martins exchange program.

9. What are some changing considerations for the designer of tomorrow?
Within the space of digital we’re talking about the role of designers in creating content. Within the greater space of what we do, we’re talking designers as creative problem solvers. Creating and tapping into products, services, events, experiences, anything or everything to truly solve our clients’ problems in the most effective way possible.

10. What would be the biggest piece of advice you would give to a student who is currentlystudying design today?
Listen, learn, love, live.

From desktop magazine.

Frame illustration: Heath Killen.

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