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20 Signs You Might Be a Designer

Creative Market March 31, 2021 · 4 min read

Ever lingered too long in a supermarket aisle, silently wondering who could go cuckoo for the Cocoa Puffs typography or marveling over the packaging of some exotic tea blend? Follow the latest design trends more closely than the daily news? Make intentional design choices when creating simple documents and presentations? It’s quite possible that you are a graphic designer.

Like most creative people, designers are known for being quirky and, well…creative. They also possess curiosity, instinct, an eye for detail and great problem-solving abilities. Designers are not merely critical of design, but they often have great ideas on how to improve existing works.

See how many of these 20 designer traits and habits you identify with to determine whether a career in design is your destiny. A designer will:

1. Watch movies just for the opening titles

When movie night comes around, designers will sit through comedy, horror, action, romance or science fiction — as long as there’s a great opening sequence and stunning art direction.

2. Create redesigns of movie posters

Whether it’s a minimalist take on an epic film or a loving recreation of a beloved movie, poster design is a great warm-up project to get creative juices flowing.

3. Buy products based solely on packaging

Is it toothpaste? Is it soup? Who knows, but the label is exquisite!

4. Stare at billboards excessively

Frequently stop to look at billboards, signs and shop windows to admire — or critique — the design. The need to stare may have put your life in danger more than once.

5. Become agitated in the presence of bad design

6. Get disappointed when a fine dining establishment uses Zapf Chancery as the sole typeface in its menu

System fonts shouldn’t be used to sell surf ‘n’ turf.

7. Know that every typeface has a distinct personality

Helvetica is Type A, Gotham is an extrovert, and Comic Sans is an 8-year old girl writing a poem about unicorns.

8. Invest money in quality design materials

A great font family will outlast the best pair of shoes — and probably cost less, too.

9. Know that a brand can literally own a color

You’re familiar with the existence of “Coke Red”, also known as Pantone 484.

10. Never leave the house without a Moleskine sketchbook

Who knows when the muse will strike?

11. Compile folders and scrapbooks with design inspiration

From magazine spreads to vintage ticket stubs, from large concert posters to the smallest clothing label, everything has a design and serves as a potential reference for future projects.

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12. Keep a wish list with several items from the Pantone Universe collection

Designers not only have a favorite color, but they also know how to achieve it in RGB, CMYK, hexadecimal HTML color codes and Pantone Process (coated and uncoated).

13. Save a collection of design templates, fonts and tutorial files on a dedicated hard drive

And possibly also pay for cloud storage. You just can’t risk losing your collection. Not that.

14. Take delight in blowing people’s minds by pointing out hidden design elements in corporate logos

Many brands have clever imagery incorporated into their logos— from FedEx with the white-space arrow to Baskin Robbins’s nod to their original 31 flavors.

15. Think that a brand redesign is juicier news than a celebrity scandal

16. Love vibrant colors and patterns but prefer to keep living/work spaces in a neutral color palette.

17. See form over content

Before delving into a book or a magazine article, a designer will first analyze content flow, type choice and accompanying graphics.

18. Possess the ability to view the world differently from everyone else

Designers are sensitive to details that elude most people.

19. Develop a strong design identity

After building a substantial library of fonts, stock images and grid templates, designers eventually settle into their own styles that rely on a smaller stable of preferred typefaces and color palettes.

20. Spend hours browsing content by talented creators on Creative Market

Now that you’ve identified yourself as an emerging designer, start getting involved in the design community, both online and locally. Want to branch out beyond business cards and invitations for family and friends? Build your design resume through volunteering. Charitable organizations are always engaged in fundraising events that need great poster designs. Create new digital wallpaper for smartphones and computers, and offer them as freebies online. Someday, someone will linger over your designs in the supermarket.

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