Infographic: East coast vs west coast designers

Ever wondered what the difference between east coast designers and west coast designers?

How designers in New York or D.C. differ from their counterparts in LA or Seattle? After all, we know all about the differences between east coast and west coast rap (and the rivalry that runs along with it).

But who knew there was the same kind of divide among designers?

This infographic, prepared exclusively for MightyDeals, compares the two camps side by side. Get insight into differences by interest, style, concentration, education, pay scale, and more.

Which camp do you fall into? Do you fit the profile for the coast you live on? Let us know in the comments!

  • Adul Kokapan

    East Coast Designer really work from 6am!?

    • Evan Jacobs

      No – I’m lucky to be in the office by 9:30-10am :-P Bostonian here!

      • Ekaterina Kabachkova

        Yeh! Until we use MBTA for commute!:-) My hours flexible as well! One more Bostonian here:-) 

    • Roger

      Jesus no. 10-11, and I bike to work in Brooklyn.

  • Web Design Essex

    We love info-graphics…

    I think we are more suited to the West Coast types… Even if we’re from the East Coast of the UK.

  • Anonymous

    Wrong, all wrong!! I must be on the wrong coast, and so must be a good number of my designer friends here in NYC. 

    Talk to any creative in NYC, and they’ll scoff at you for getting to work earlier than 10am. And your style accoutrements are more descriptive of marketing Divas and snobs.

    • Paul

      ^^ This….

    • Evan Jacobs

      So true! I roll into the office around 10 every day (Boston).

    • Ekaterina Kabachkova

      Agree! Lady Gaga? Techno? What are they talking about? The Black Keys! Amy Winehouse! The Thievery Corporation! (Boston)

  • DesignKnock

    i know east and you have interesting stats.

  • Laura Ross

    I live in Atlanta but am definitely fitting the West Coast profile. Even though I have cats to go with my dog.

  • Brooks Hassig

    This is so bad for so many reasons. Broad stokes: terrible visual clarity, muddled levels of information, and the visuals don’t actually add value. I could probably have parsed this information more effectively and efficiently in a list form. Some specifics: learn about smart indenting on those lists, quantify the bubbles on the map, clarify if their volume or radius is the being measured, encourage comparisons by placing related data directly next to each other.

    The aim of infographics are to visually aid in the understanding of information that would otherwise be difficult to parse. When designers make inforgraphics, let alone about ourselves, targeted for each other and fail to accomplish this task, we set a bad example and poor precedent. 

    To the designer who made this: please have some integrity. Read some Edward Tufte. 
    To this blog: Can you at least recognize mediocrity and start a discussion about it? It’s right there, waiting to be talked about. Maybe you feel your audience doesn’t deserve graphical integrity.
    To us: Yeah, I know I’m being harsh. But when designers make things for designers and it sucks and then shows up on LinkedIn and this site, I really get irked. It’s our responsibility to make things that are awesome, that’s why we’re designers. Making things that aren’t awesome is like saying “Hey, you don’t really deserve an excellent thing, so here’s this other thing.” Anyway. Do you agree?

  • Brandon Nielsen

    No mention of the vast number of good/great designers in fly-over country. The map even highlights TX (my market), but yet my choice of labels are the coasts. No thanks.

  • Design team is go

    Ok, East Coast is not like that at all! I’, a designer in NYC, I work from 9-6-630, I enjoy alt rock, wear jeans, skirts, t shirts, I enjoy beer, and most of us designers live in Brooklyn.
    The designers here typically come from Pratt, SVA, or Parsons from a 4 years, where we learn typography (something that would aide this design) and also, NY is more driven design wise by technology, even though you guys (as this is clearly done by a biased west coast designer) have silicon valley. We typically are like minded of the UK here, as far as our piles of aesthetic muses come from typography, streets, cities, technology, and packaging. Where as west coasters aesthetics are typically driven from more organic structures and imagery.

  • Andrea

    I am totally east coast ;D

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for all the comments so far! Please note that some of the points made here won’t apply to everyone. No infographic can address all possibilities and not everyone will fall exactly under the figures outlined here. The proper research was done before producing this graphic and the sources are indicated at the bottom of the infographic.

  • Walter

    Thanks for all the comments so far! Please note that some of the points made here won’t apply to everyone. No infographic can address all possibilities and not everyone will fall exactly under the figures outlined here. The proper research was done before producing this graphic and the sources are indicated at the bottom of the infographic.

    • Evan Jacobs

      I love that one of the sources is wikipedia… ahahahaha.

  • Anonymous

    BAHAHAHA – I guess I’m a West Coast designer on the East Coast. Time to move, maybe?

  • Anonymous

    Ok grouchy – no need to get snippy here. I think any stereotype in the world is intended to be only partially accurate. That’s kinda the point of a stereotype (it’s an AVERAGE, not an absolute).

  • Web Outsourcing Gateway

    I therefore conclude that West Coast Designers are carefree and East Coast Designers are more serious and cultured.

  • Stephanie Golubski

    Whomever made this graphic obviously wasn’t  a graphic designer.  That white writing is the pits to read.

  • Ricky Salsberry

    I guess Chicago doesn’t exist. 

    This coastal nonsense is just that… nonsense. 

  • Becky Wolfe

    Wonder what they would say about us Central US designers? Overalls and bare feet? Living in mobile homes, drinking moonshine? LOL

  • Dawn Yz

    Lol, I am a mix of the two that favors the West slightly more than the East. Cute infograph!

  • Dawn Yz

    Designing is about creation and building, not tearing down others. If you want to change it then build others up and support free open source education for all.

    One thing is clear, the privilege of four years of college obviously didn’t teach you to be open minded or give you a sense of basic human compassion.

    In my case, my dad had a stroke my second year in and I left to take care of my family. So no degree, just about 14 thousand hours of self study using MIT’s opencourceware. I did that working 2 full time jobs, one overnight in a lab making contact lens and during the day as an office manager for a hedge fund consultation firm. 

    Now excuse me while I get back to Microsoft Word, I have a website to finish… jk ;)

    Seriously,  the irony is I mentored some college kids at my studio from VCU and they were shocked by 2 things. 

    #1 – How resourceful me and my little crew are. Our cameras break, computer, whatever, we take it apart and fix it. You say you know your stuff, but my clients love us because we can handle anything. This is our passion. 

    2# – There is a large percent of the population that is facing socioeconomic challenges right now so our life experiences give us a distinct advantage in communicating with them. For instance, I spent several years working with charities. Designers they hired kept using exploitation photos of starving kids. People like us immediately saw how offensive it was and moved to using photos that respected the individual needing help. Now it’s a trend… 6 years later.

    You clearly don’t understand us, but it’s ok, we understand your frustration. It’s scary to think someone can do everything you can and more. My first computer experience was at a donated Bill Gates lab. He left college and his choice to do so put a computer in my hands and hope in my heart. 

    You stayed in college and this is the best you can do. Good luck with that.

  • Anonymous

    lol… I love how it says west coast designers live in their parents basements…. I wonder where the author is from that they are so clueless?  The author of this article clearly has no idea what they’re talking about – for one, THERE ARE ALMOST NO BASEMENTS ANYWHERE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA!  Duh!  So how could anyone live in one?  Haha, And if you’re talking about wearing flip-flips on the daily, you’re clearly talking about so cal!  @Author, you should visit here and do some research before making your info graphics ;)

  • Anonymous

    There’s a couple points that are true, but overall it’s pretty off-base.  I like the characters though!  The image says a lot, though I have to say most the designer girls I know here in San Diego and LA wear designer jeans every day with their flip flops  ;)

  • Vincent Caldwell

     I agree that the white text was WAY to small, but the overall design was fine for what it was; A kitschy east coast vs west coast comparison. The rest of what you have to say.. well prove it. Where is a link to your stuff, where do you work, etc? It’s easy to complain when you are sitting behind a computer screen anonymously. However, I know of FAR more designers (self taught vs school) that should not be in the industry at all. They just are wastes of space that water down the industry, and make it harder for good entry level people just starting out to get in (although this is an issue with all art related jobs/careers). Just because you went to school for 4 years doesn’t mean anything. So you know how to open Photoshop, and a running understanding of color theory, but are you artistic (..and just because your mommy told you so doesn’t make it true), do you have an eye for extreme detail? Do you require perfectionism, self-criticism, professionalism, etc, or do you think that you are god’s gift to design? Your post makes designers look bad. GTFO

    By the by, I prescribe to the western school of designers.. Bravo, I enjoyed this article.

  • Anonymous

    listens to: emo-punk, techno, lady gaga???

    go fuck yourself


  • Vivanica

    Wow… 17 years in the industry–bi-costal as well (east AND west coaster here) and seems to me the conclusions here are a bunch of $#@%&. Sorry to be so honest… but, you don’t even include San Francisco the Bay Area (or Silicon Valley for that matter)… SO perhaps… (i’m trying to turn this into a positive) your conclusions may be somewhat in the vicinity of your label: West Coast living in their parents basement, listening to Indy Music and drinking microbrews… and wearing flip-flops… WTF. Please. You need to travel more!

  • Baybean

    Funny thing about this article is that is all about design and the design is illegeable!!As well I think it is desperate for issues that just aren’t there. Design: FAIL!

  • Guest

    agree to all – the first inforgraphic has zero to do with the industry.  was this created in 1988?

  • Art

    Cute, but a crock.

  • Anonymous

    Having been a designer on both coasts, I can say this is horribly inaccurate.

  • MarcyD

    Lighten up everyone! Why take this infographic so seriously? Is it designed well? Not really. Did it make me laugh and forward to fellow designers? Yes. Take it for what it is, crack a smile and get back to work. 

    BTW, I’m a West Coast(ish) designer who has been up working since 5:30 AM. After I hit post, I’m throwing on my old jeans, flip flops and I’m off to the dog park to throw a Frisbee for my medium sized mutt. Then I’ll be back at my desk with a class of wine (not a micro-brew) and working into the wee hours.

  • orbo

    I don’t think that all designers in the Westcoast are unfashionable and lazy hippies that live with their parents.  Many of the designs now in NY like Freeman’s Barber shop have ben influenced by the style of Portland and Seattle.  Ace hotel is Very Successful in the East coast even if its roots are from the West.  Apple and other products have also been around in the West Coast that we should be thankful for.  I like the East coast but these infographics are one sided and makes me think that East coase designers are full of them selves and I know many of them that are not. 

  • Ian Woodward

    Click on the infographic, the text isn’t so small but the colors are pretty washed out, I could use a little more contrast. Otherwise light hearted and entertaining, no need to over analyze we aren’t talking about world hunger here.