The Urban Dictionary of Design Slang

Graphic Design, Humor, Interior Design, Life, Photography, Selling Yourself, Typography, Uncategorized

I had a call the other day with a potential client, where I used the words “wordmark” and “logo”. As a designer, we all know that these are 2 different things and we can define each one separately. As a client, not so much. After a short period of time discussing it, he let me know he was currently googling the difference because he didn’t know what I was talking about.

We sometimes assume that others know what we know. Not everything of course because well, we all know how “not smart” some clients are. For example, we all know not to assume that a client knows the difference between an image on their computer screen and an image that can be printed or the difference between a image pulled from facebook verses the original image. See the first and last pictures on “What Not to Say to a Graphic Designer”.

It’s all design speak, right..? And how we see things as designers. Like when you (the client) wants to be trendy *designers across the world shiver*. Trendy is not a good thing; trendy is ‘a dirty word in the design world, referring to a solution that appeals to the short-lasting whims of society. The opposite of timeless.’ We want timeless

And then there are the things that our clients say that they hope is covering up what they really mean. For example, “I showed this to my (insert important person in client’s life) and he/she said…”. Which we all know means “I don’t like the concept, but would rather attribute the criticism to someone else, so you don’t think I’m the one who thinks this is shit.”

We’ve all heard them all… and this person put together a dictionary of them some really funny ones. Its a little lengthy but its definitely a good read if you have some time.

The Urban Dictionary of Design Slang


What not to say to a graphic designer…

Gifts, Graphic Design, Humor, Typography

A personal project by zerouno design.

“In all these years (more than 10 now!) I’ve collected, in a series of post-it on my desk, all phrases that customers are saying and we (frustrated designers) hate to hear.” – ZeroUno

ZeroUno Designs

ZeroUno Designs


ZeroUno Designs

ZeroUno Designs


ZeroUno Designs

ZeroUno Designs


ZeroUno Designs

ZeroUno Designs


ZeroUno Designs

ZeroUno Designs


ZeroUno Designs

ZeroUno Designs

Check out the full project here and buy the t-shirts here. =)

9 Things We [Designers] Do That We’ll Never Admit…

Graphic Design, Humor, Selling Yourself

One thing I remember being taught in school is, its okay to steal. I’m talking art here, people. Of course, my teacher clarified that with steal to inspire your own work not steal to replicated exactly. All designers steal (that’s not an admission of guilt…), its just one thing we just choose not to admit to anyone outside the art community.

I found a list of the top 9 things designers do that they will never admit to..

1. Steal Stuff

As I mentioned above we all steal for inspiration but this talks more about physical objects, and I’ll admit, I’m totally guilty of this. I like to steal pencils/pens cool markers. If someone lets me borrow them, I sometimes just wait until they ask for it back, in which case they never do. The article states I’m not a criminal though, I’m just “good at gathering.”

2. Procrastinate for longer than is healthy

I didn’t realize I did this until I read the descriptions about organizing your Computer Arts by issue number.. Communications Arts..

3. Overpromise

4. Use fashionable design approaches rather than developing a new paradigm

5. Hate their own work

Yup, we all do.

6. Work in our jim-jams (pjs)

Yes, but admit it everyone really does this if they are working from home.

7. Buying a product for its packaging rather than what’s inside

Guilty. Actually, I’m not really ashamed to admit that one. I’m a sucker for packaging.

8. Add comments to signs, or scribble out misplaced apostrophes

9. Know the hexadecimal,RGB, CMYK or Pantone reference for colors

Yes, but only my company colors.

What do you do as a designer that you would never admit..?

Dear Stud Finder, I want to break up.

Graphic Design, Humor

To better help employee empathize with their customers, the senior strategist at Altitude, Mariah Levitt, had them break up with products they used to love. Check out this great marketing exercise here.

breakup letter

Dear Stud Finder,
Relationships are based on trust, and I no longer trust you. Every time I ask you the same question I get different answers. And I’ve caught you red-handed in outright lies. I’m afraid one of these days you’ll trick me into drilling into a high-voltage cable. Are you really any better than living by pure chance? I don’t think so.

Good luck searching,
Dan Ostrower

Discouraged by Rejection?

Graphic Design, Humor, Life, Selling Yourself

People experience rejection all throughout their life. We get rejected from colleges, we get rejected from jobs, we get rejected by people, sometimes we even reject ourselves. Rejection can be discouraging. But just when you think being rejected is the worst thing in the world… think about these people…

Madonna, Tim Burton, Andy Warhol, U2, Kurt Vonnegut, Sylvia Plath, Gertrude Stein, Jim Lee, Steig Larsson, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, JK Rowling.

You might have an idea of where I’m going now by reading the last 3 names because it’s well known that Walt Disney was at one point told he had no imagination- Walt Dosney, the most imaginative person ever?! And that Steve Jobs was forced out of the company he started. Or that JK Rowlings was rejected from dozens of publishing companies before the Harry Potter series was finally picked up- one of the most popular novels and highest grossing movie franchises ever.. those publishers must be kicking themselves.

Rejection only brings down the weak, so let it fuel you. Some of these names above we’re so fueled by rejection that they kept their rejection letters and pushed on to be some of the biggest names today. Check some of them out here.

Rejection Letter


Snow, snow go away and take the potholes with you!

Graphic Design, Humor, Life, Photography

For a person who loves winter, I sound a little depressed by it, don’t I?

This winter needs to end for the sole reason of they need to fix all the damn potholes, everywhere! Sorry, did I say potholes? I meant craters..

Well if there is anyway to make the best of a pothole I guess this would be it…

Claudia Ficca/Davide Luciano

Claudia Ficca/Davide Luciano

This couple (Claudia Ficca and Davide Luciano) take the horror that are potholes and turn them into something fun.