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


Fun with Brand Standards

Graphic Design, Humor

As a graphic designer, we try our hardest to make sure everything we do is prefect and up to our highest standards. As a graphic designer working in a marketing department, we do the same. Except we also have to make sure everyone else in our company is trying their hardest to make sure everything is prefect and meets OUR highest standards. And well, that’s just not easy.

To us graphic designers, every little things matters; where that word is placed, where that graphic is place, how much white space a design has, how big that font is, what color that bullet is. Everything matters.. because we know, that subconsciously, everything matters to the viewer as well. The smallest thing can make the difference between grabbing someone’s attention and losing someone’s attention. Why can’t anyone else see the importance of that?!

When I was in school I took an entire class that focused solely on how to develop brand standards. So when I started my job and was ask to further develop our brand and expand upon the existing brand guidelines (which were less than 10 pages, I might add..), I was more than up for the job. I took our 10-page brand guidelines and blew it up to a 40-page document. Now this might actually seem extreme, but I included everything; missions statement, language, fonts, logos, collateral, documentation, templates, etc. Plus the document is fully interactive and you can access any of those files directly from the document. It’s a great resource. The problem is nobody, except myself and the marketing team actually utilizes it.

It’s so difficult to get anyone outside of a marketing team to follow brand standards and to care about the little details that we care about. We’ve tried many different approaches to enforce brand standardization and none seem to get the ball rolling. Each day we report on misuses of brand language, we’ve tried calling people out, we’ve tried creative trivia.

But we can’t be the only company with these issues, and well we’re not. Every company has this issue, so we took to Google for some advice and one of my co-workers came across this great video.

Which I want to reshoot and distribute to my co-workers to see if maybe they will save a duck’s life. Too bad we don’t have a mascot here, we’ll have to improvise.

If anyone has any great brand enforcement ideas, let me know! We’re desperate here.