A nail design career is a dream job for many graphic designers, and the industry is booming.
But what’s not as well known is that a large portion of the work is done by people who have never set foot in the business.
And as many jobs as you may think of, the work of a nail designer is far from glamorous.
“It’s not a glamorous job,” says John Bowerman, the former president of design agency The Drapers, whose clients include Apple, Microsoft and other major tech companies.
Bowermans firm was the first to bring graphic design into the modern age with its seminal designs for the Apple II computer in 1979.
“We were very innovative, we were very disruptive,” says Bowermen.
The problem is, that’s a skill that most graphic designers have never acquired. “
So you need people who can see how the world works and can be flexible.”
The problem is, that’s a skill that most graphic designers have never acquired.
As Bowermann explains it, “You need to be able to look at a picture and see it as a whole.”
It’s a hard job for people with no prior design experience.
Bowersman started out designing graphics for the home computer company Apple II and later worked for other companies such as Commodore and Hewlett Packard.
“My first job was in the Apple Store,” he says.
“I would sit behind the counter and do design for all the Apple products.”
The jobs were often very low-paying, Bowermays first job at Apple was for a display stand, but he quickly grew dissatisfied.
“The sales person would tell me that we weren’t doing enough of a good job of selling the product, so they wouldn’t even let me buy it.”
Bower’s frustration grew when he was asked to design an iPad for the store.
He thought it would be too much of a challenge, so he quit.
“Bower says the pay wasn’t the issue. “
“But they were all really good and they wanted to know how I did it. “
“They would ask me, ‘How did you do that?’ and I would say, ‘Just make it look like a computer.’ “
“The other thing that bothered me was that I wasn’t really getting paid a salary,” Bower says. “
But when Bower was offered the job with the Apple store, he took it. “
The other thing that bothered me was that I wasn’t really getting paid a salary,” Bower says.
But when Bower was offered the job with the Apple store, he took it.
In his early 20s, Bowers first job in graphic design was as a senior graphics designer for the design of the Apple logo on the cover of the book Designing the Macintosh.
He remembers thinking the job was “a lot of fun, because the pay was so good.”
“You work in a small office and you get to design things that have never been done before,” he remembers.
“You design a whole book and you can go home and work on the book and it’s always in your mind.”
In a way, he says, the job wasn’t so much a job as a learning experience.
But while he had a lot to learn, Bowing said he did learn something valuable.
“When I worked for Apple, we would do the work on paper, but we’d take the graphics out of the graphics software and we would edit them on our own,” he recalls.
“For example, we had a piece called ‘The Computer and the World,’ which was about how computers have changed over time, so we had to go back and change it, and I think that helped a lot.”
After a few years at Apple, Bows job with The Dampers changed from graphic design to designing a “small wall” design for the company.
He says he was able to “learn about how to make something that looked like a wall.”
He describes the design as “a huge part of the whole product design.”
Bowers design has gone on to influence more than a few companies.
In 2007, Benders company, The Dapers, designed the Apple TV.
The product was a huge hit.
“What I love about the Apple TVs, as you see in this piece, is that they’re really big,” says Steve Ragan, a senior vice president at The Daps.
“Each screen is about the size of an iPhone or a PlayStation, and it has everything that you would ever need for a TV.”
The Dopers designs have been used by brands such as Apple, Nintendo and more.
The designs are now used as wallpaper on homes across the United States.
The Dapper, however, isn’t interested in being a wallpaper designer.
“This is the work I love, but the wall isn’t really what I’m going to do,” he explains.