a little anecdote for my fellow single designers

Since I have been identifying myself as an Industrial Designer I have run into the same problem on numerous different occasions: How to describe to people what an industrial designer is without loosing peoples attention. To put this story into context, I am talking about picking up girls… Recently I have had an epiphany! I currently am working as a designer at a lighting design firm, however lately when at a club or bar describing to girls my profession the title becomes “lighting design engineer”. It is amazing the difference in reactions people have towards a designer and engineer. The term designer, is very broad and most girls think I am gay when I say it, so throwing engineering into the mix completely clears up the situation, and grabs their attention.(it also sounds smart) I actually do handle a great deal of engineering with the lighting products I design and work on so I am not being totally facetious :slight_smile:

I guess this kind of hints at the type of people I have been associating myself with, but at the same time I live in Jacksonville Florida, and am still young. :wink:

Funny enough, this thread kind of alludes to the cliche Engineering or Design? But in a more psychological human level.

I just think this is funny, and i suggest you give it a shot sometime, and see where the conversation goes. Cheers!


Yeah, Ive experienced trying to explain to the lady’s exactly what my job as an I.D. guy entails… You get a wide range of reactions however, I like making up or adding different titles to see which one evokes the best or most interesting response. I think the connection with being gay and design probably stems from all the damn reality design shows on the tube these days.

I’ve found if you just say “I’m a designer” people get pretty interested. Good way to start a conversation, in my opinion.

good point!

I say industrial designer (well, student, really), and no one knows what it is. What’s the quickest most attractive way to sum it up for you guys and girls? Maybe i should be more vague, then when I get to know someone a bit, actually explain what it is…

I’ve found that people tend to understand better when I say that “I work in product development but specialise in design”. They can grasp that product development has many different facets that need to be resolved together to get to the end product and that it isn’t limited to just one type of product.

I verrrrrrry rarely tell people i meet like that (girls, non-girls etc) what i actually do because to be honest the last thing i want to talk about outside of work or at a party is my jobbbbb… “oh really you design shoes how cool blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah” you get the idea. I always found it best to make up preposterous lies when trying to pick up girls that a) make them laugh - the single most important thing you can do - and b) let them know you dont want to talk about your stupid job at a party / bar… Sounds weird maybe but we have rules like:
Never Talk About Your Job
Never Talk About The Internet (facebook, youtube anything) bcos its conversation cancer…

and im not actually single anymore, just fyi to myself and anyone who may or may not stumble across this post now or at any time in the future.
i was just reminiscing. :sunglasses:

I am no longer single either (been married for about 3 years) but I too do not like talking about work outside of work. As soon as I say I work for Mars the first question is “Do you eat candy all day?” I answer “Yes that is why I am 400lbs…No dumbass!!” The next topic that comes up in the conversation is when I can get them product for free.

It is better just to say that I work in product development. This normally ends the conversation.

is it that hard to say you are a “product Designer”? Or if you have a specialty say “Footwear Designer”, “Lighting Designer”, “Packaging Designer”, etc.

If they still don’t get it I used to say something along the lines of:
“Architects design buildings. Industrial (or Product) Designers design everything else. Anything from sneakers to cars to furniture to cell phones and drills.”

If they still don’t get it, they are dense and not worth talking to :wink:

Lighting Design Engineer not only sounds more confusing (not sure if I would even know what that was supposed to mean), but I think anything with “engineering” in it is much less cool.

As an aside, being a Footwear Designer does seem to work great with the ladies :wink: (what girl doesn’t like shoes, though I mostly do do athletic). But ya, it’s gets lots of follow-up questions (and people immediately looking to see what shoes I have on and asking if I designed them).


Hehehe…you said do do.

I have always questioned how an industry that is supposed to be so good at brand identity that we can’t figure out how to brand ourselves.