Just like all five fingers of the human hand are not the same, all graphic designers are unalike. The field of graphic design is blessed with immense designers, each endowed with a unique talent. All designers have their own style of working, thought processes, likes and dislikes and, above all, their own distinctive personality. Every graphic designer tackles clients in a different way. Personality is a set of characteristics, attributes or traits of the person distinguishing him from others. Nowadays, designers of various personalities are found.
The following is meant to be a humorous, albeit insightful examination of the different types of graphic designers and how they are different from one another. Several years back actor Tony Shalhoub immortalized the character Adrian Monk from the television series “Monk. ” The personality of Adrian Monk was that of a perfectionist on top of his obvious obsessive compulsions, of course. While most of it was hilarious, his attention to detail and perfection drove him to be the great detective that he was.
Similarly, some graphic designers are analogous to Monk: they want every project to be completed with precision. Extreme obsession with their work makes them behave compulsively. Although being a perfectionist is a good thing, it can also add unnecessary stress for the designer to achieve absolutely flawless work. Sherlock Holmes, penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is regarded as the most astute detective the fictional world has read to date. The creative and ingenious ways in which he used to solve the toughest of mysteries still amazes readers.
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Some designers are akin to Sherlock and his personality; clever, resourceful and ingenious in their work. Designers who share this type of personality have unique problem solving skills. When faced with the toughest design projects, they execute it in a Holmes-like fashion with astuteness and inventiveness, reducing the design to its most elementary level. There are “nerds” in every working profession and graphic designing has its own share of “Dexters and Dorksters. ” It should be easy to recall the famous cartoon character Dexter, the boy genius created by Genndy Tartakovsky.
Graphic designers with this personality are usually an ace in the academia and, as a result, have a vast knowledge of the elements of design. They know concepts that even the most experienced designers might not be familiar with. The downside is that, due to their knowledge, they may be difficult to work with and closed to any form of suggestion. Keeping with the cartoon theme, ghosts are usually known to be frightful spirits. There is, of course, the exception of one who is popularly known as “the friendly ghost:” the one and only Casper. Casper loves to gather friends and be as sociable as possible.
Similarly, designers of this personality type are gregarious and use social media excessively, not just for professional purposes. They love new friends and connections, and simply cannot live without a social circle. This can lead to a great many distractions while trying to work with a Casper. Papa Smurf was one of the oldest and most knowledgeable of the Smurfs. He serves as the Smurfs’ leader whom the Smurfs turn to when they require counsel and guidance. Designers of this type are experienced campaigners who are distinguished in their field as Veterans.
Emerging graphic designers look at them as an icon of inspiration and motivation. Contrary to Papa Smurf, there exists Johnny Bravo: a handsome hunk who always goes out of his way to impress the girls only to end up beaten by them. The one quality that gets Johnny into trouble is his habit of showing off. Some designers, unfortunately, fall into this type. They love to brag about their work and skill, though usually have little to back their words. The fastest cartoon character is, without question, Flash. He is capable of running at a lightning place and can perform any task within the blink of an eye.
Designers of this personality type are very fast and prompt. They meet their deadlines with ease, sometimes completing assignments with ample time to spare. Although speed is a great quality, haste can make waste, as is often the case with The Flash. Garfield, on the other hand, is as lazy as any cat can be and then some. Sure, all cats become lethargic as they grow older, though there is no match to the laziness he has perfected. Graphic designers of this type are gluttonous and ravenous. Moreover, they tend to get sluggish and this delays their projects.
More often than not, deadlines are rarely met a bill for all those extra hours of “work” will surely be sent. Marvel Comics created a character worthy of envy: Iron Man and his exceptional ability for endurance. Yes, his suit was originally designed to act as armor and enhance his own natural abilities, but it is the underlying will of Tony Stark that keeps him going when all seems lost. Similar to the idea behind the Iron Man suit, graphic designers who fall under this category are extremely forbearing and tolerant. They can easily endure countless hours of design work and complete it without experiencing any fatigue.
They can tolerate heaps of pressure and strain to finish off any design job within the deadline. Contrary to the Iron Man, Marvel also created the giant, raging humanoid monster known as The Hulk. He is an emotional and impulsive mirror image of the reserved physicist Dr. Bruce Banner. At the slightest provocation, The Hulk can -- and will-- tear off in a frenzy and wreak havoc. These types of designers are the exact opposite of the “enduring Iron Man. ” Hyper, intolerant and easily provoked, they often create unnecessary stress in an already stressful workplace, though they do get their work done… as they see fit.
There are many types of designers out there beyond those covered here. To make things even more interesting, most designers will fall into multiple categories. While this was meant to be a humorous look at the different types of design personalities out there, the definitions behind them are solid and worth keeping in mind. Where The Flash may be needed for rapid delivery of a design, he may be less suited for working out the complexities of an international ad campaign. Choosing the right type of designer for the job at hand can make or break the project.
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