7 Personality Types of Designers Today

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May 19, 2010
Design is a universal language. It transcends all cultural and national boundaries. It is diverse and ever-changing. Despite the fact that designs can be universally appreciated, the artists behind them are all unique and talented individuals. What kind of designer are you? What is your philosophy? How do you contribute to the design community? Designers from different walks of life might have similar answers to these questions, and yet we are all different. Some designers take it upon themselves to educate those who have not yet developed an appreciation for Web design and art. Some designers aim to improve the overall quality of design on the Internet. And of course, some designers strive primarily to make a good living from their talents so that they can live a comfortable life. Whatever your reason for being a designer, you are unique.
  • If you want to be a well-paid designer, please the client.
  • If you want to be an award-winning designer, please yourself.
  • If you want to be a great designer, please the audience.

Spotting the 7 Different Designers

Human beings constantly wear masks to hide their true feelings, thoughts and personality quirks. Designers wear masks of their own: one to attend to clients, another to handle a project's details, another to collaborate with colleagues and yet another to communicate with family and friends. Human nature is to wear a different mask according to the role one is playing. Despite these masks, our true personality still shines through. There are seven different personality types of designers. Which one best describes you?

1. The Pablo Picasso Designer

A perfectionist, the Pablo Picasso designer does not stand for any pixel to be out of place or unsightly. Egotistical, he does not care about other people's opinions, and he belittles them for their ignorance and lack of appreciation of design and the arts. Principled, the Pablo Picasso designer has a strong mind and set beliefs that cannot be swayed by any amount of money. His only concern is for the ingenuity of ideas. A man out to change the world of design, he does not succumb to the whims of clients, and he believes it is their loss if they do not heed his advice. Believing he is a cut above the rest, he admits to only a few other designers in the world being his peers. The Pablo Picasso designer sees himself, above all else, as an artist.

2. The Albert Einstein Designer

A smart man with an excellent work ethic, the Albert Einstein designer has the motto "No pain, no gain." Unafraid of ridicule, he dares to be different. If at first you don't succeed, try, try and try again. Failure is the mother of all success, and the Albert Einstein designer has a never-give-up attitude that pushes him to continually reach his goals despite countless failures. The Albert Einstein designer continues to create his own designs, putting them to the test in various design competitions. He may not get it right each time or win every competition, but he believes his hard work will eventually pay off and that he will be recognized for his talents and effort. His strong faith and his belief in himself enable him to patiently wait for the day when he is praised for his contributions. To him, the question is not if he will be successful, but rather when will he attain his goals and be successful.

3. The David Copperfield Designer

The David Copperfield designer is a great storyteller and illusionist. Capable of anything, regardless of how seemingly impossible it is, he conjures the best designs for his clients. Convincing his clients to hire him and only him to do everything is a simple task. Given everything he delivers to clients, he does not come cheap. After all, he gives them everything they want, which amounts to a cleverly constructed illusion. Using his great storytelling skills, he leads clients to believe that he is the only person they need to achieve their goals. Behind the scenes, the David Copperfield designer orchestrates his illusions down to the second. Appearances can be misleading; outsourcing his tasks, he packages the result as his own work. The client doesn't realize who are the hard-working talents who support him. He manages the project and delegates work to others but claims credit in the end.

4. The Captain Hook Designer

Image credit: South Florida Pirate Why create when you can steal? The Captain Hook designer is cunning and sly. He scouts for the most innovative and successful designs and makes them his own—not by blatantly duplicating, mind you, but by cleverly working in his own ideas and inspiration. Craftily avoiding outright plagiarism, the Captain Hook designer mashes up several successful ideas to create a fresh "new" concept. Money being his sole interest, the Captain Hook designer tries to squeeze as much as he can out of his designs. By making small, simple changes to the color, font and layout, he passes off designs as new creations. Unfazed by whether he loses some clients, he simply finds new ones who are unaware of his tricks. His lives by the pirate code that dictates, "A good designer copies, but a great designer steals."

5. The Mahatma Gandhi Designer

Believing he is obliged to right wrongs, the Mahatma Gandhi designer takes it upon himself to effect change through peaceful means. He feels an obligation to improve Web design standards, regardless of any difficulties or opposition he might face. If he has to achieve his goal one client at a time, he will gladly do so. Sharing his design philosophy with whomever will listen, the Mahatma Gandhi designer tries to persuade others—designers, clients and the general public alike—to help him make the design industry a better place. A forward-thinking man who sets trends, he advocates for what he believes is necessary to improve and sustain the design industry. Willing to sacrifice himself for the benefit of other designers, the Mahatma Gandhi designer does whatever he can to improve the world of design through peaceful and lasting change.

6. The Bashful Dwarf Designer

Shunning the spotlight, the Bashful Dwarf designer always feels like he could have done a better job. When praised, he is quick to share the credit with colleagues. Insecure about his talents, he is content to work behind the scenes and let others take the honor. The Bashful Dwarf designer doesn't think much of fame or fortune, and he prefers not to show his name or face. Lack of confidence is the cause: he believes many other designers out there deserve more recognition. As long as he makes enough money to put a roof over his head and not go hungry, he remains content with his lot in life.

7. The Ella of Frell Designer

The real Ella of Frell fell under a spell and couldn't say no to anyone. Slightly different, the Ella of Frell designer actually has a choice and does not have to do everything she is told. Instead, she chooses not to decline her clients' every wish. Believing the customer is always right, she goes out of her way to please clients. Clients never find fault with her because she is ever willing to make whatever changes they ask for. "No" is not in her vocabulary. Often ignoring her better judgment, the Ella of Frell designer subjugates her design sense to the clients' will in order to avoid displeasing them. She is at the client's beck and call, night and day.

We Are All Different

Each designer has their own personality type. Whatever yours is, the important thing is to be true to yourself and honorable. Any one of the seven types covered here could be an extreme version of you. or you may see a little of yourself in each. The only constant is change, and perhaps we have all been more than one of these seven at different times in our lives. We are, after all, always growing and hopefully wiser. Written exclusively for Webdesigner Depot by Aidan Huang, a freelance developer, designer and ingenious blogger. He is one of the editors-in-chief at Onextrapixel. Follow him on Twitter @AidanOXP Do you see yourself in any one of these personality types? Which best describes you? Share your thoughts on any Picassos, Einsteins, Hooks, Bashfuls, Copperfields, Gandhis and Ellas you may have encountered in this competitive industry.

WDD Staff

WDD staff are proud to be able to bring you this daily blog about web design and development. If there's something you think we should be talking about let us know @DesignerDepot.

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