Things designers love

I must be a horrible designer…I hate almost all of this stuff. I do like black t-shirts though…

I have a cheap bike (I live in a big city). I don’t like coffee. I don’t like facial hair (do sideburns count though?). I never try for awards. I hate street art (why should your definition of art offend me less than advertiser’s vision of publicity?). I hate journals, I prefer loose sheets of paper. I have square glasses, but they aren’t black nor expensive. I hate oversized headphones as a sign of pretentiousness and sociopathy. I’m a prude that thinks people sleeping around is a sign of an inability to create meaningful emotional connections with others.

Am I a horrible designer?

From the front page:

Couldn’t we substitute Hipster Designer for a many of the things that Marketing People apparently love?

Riding Their Overpriced Bike To Work [ahem]

Ventis from Starbucks

Ironic facial hair


Street Art

Moleskin [sic] Journals

Black ungoldy-expensive square framed glasses [see above]

Black T-shirts

Wearing over-sized headphones at their desk

Sleeping with each other

Ventis from Starbucks

I hate this worse than anything in the world. If I’m ever in a situation where the only choice is Starbucks and I have to have coffee, I ALWAYS make sure to say “I’ll take a LARGE dark roast please” And they look at me like my hair is on fire but I don’t care.

I can appreciate the list though because if you were to stereotype a “designer” (you know, its someone you know but never you…) they’d probably fit that list pretty well.

Nah I’d agree that I’m an anti-hipster designer.

I drive a big V8 to work to show that I hate the environment (while my bike sits on the garage).

I hate even ENTERING a Starbucks.

Clipboard + printer paper over Moleskin.

No facial hair, metal rimmed glasses (ok my sun glasses are black rimmed).

Black Tshirts sure, but not at work.

I am guilty of riding an expensive bike to work, but I have been doing that for twenty years so I am pretty sure that it is not a passing “hipster” fad for me.

I don’t fit the rest of the profile though…well, OK, I do have a Moleskine, but someone bought it for me.

Overall, pretty funny list that is very true for many designers that I know.

No no no, see we’re missing the (spin) point. Marketing people pay tons of money to do things they think we do. Sorta like the “cool people” shop at the thrift store, while the lame folks pay far out the nose to look like they shop at the thrift store.

Designers are broke in college paying for markers and art supplies, so we have to get the cheapo black glasses from the welfare drawer at the optometrist, the marketing students see that and think, “woa that’s so cool, I need to spend hundreds of dollars to look like a designer”

I knew one guy who designed a cool bike, and built it out of other bikes, and then painted it in our shop, the marketting people were probably like, that’s so cool, I better go buy one that is already cool, because I don’t know how to make anything cool myself…"

*not all marketing people don’t know how to make cool things, this whole string is a joke.

Maybe I’m not stereotypical enough - none of these fit me.

I have glasses, but they’re metallic copper frames, and I don’t wear black. Do wear a lot of cool gray, though.

Exhibit A:
Take a bike, change it a bit, next thing you know you’ve got a fixed gear messenger bike.

Exhibit B:
Large bicycle corporation notices trend of normal bikes with modifications and comes up with this complete disaster. Actual retail price: $989!!

When common sense and marketing collide.

Mr. 914, from what you wrote I can tell you that you are not a hipster. That’s a good thing because hipsters are lame.

Also, I know design can be anything but as far as complaining about the ‘marketting’ people mass producing people’s custom bikes…well isn’t that what most designers do? They see something that people are doing and try to make money off of it. And come on, I’m not talking about every designer, but a lot of 'em do this.

Also, I know design can be anything but as far as complaining about the ‘marketting’ people mass producing people’s custom bikes…well isn’t that what most designers do? They see something that people are doing and try to make money off of it. And come on, I’m not talking about every designer, but a lot of 'em do this.

Yes they do. And when a large corporation starts mass producing something that used to be unique to a small market, you know it’s time to find a new obsession.

nah your just not the ‘stereotype’ designer

buy hey whats wrong with expenses bikes…if you got one you might as well ride it?

None of those fit me except for the headphones (if working solo in crunch mode) and the black t shirt. But I’ve been doing the tshirt for years and it’s not to be cool. I don’t shop for clothes or spend time worrying about them. So everything has to go with everything else in any combo. And $10 will get you 5 at walgreens so I don’t have to go to some clothing store and have the sales people follow me around, I grab them while buying snacks!


I’d quote you but I haven’t figured out how the quoting works here.

Why do you have to find a new obsession just because a corporation starts cashing in? If you’re doing it for yourself, which is what this thread seems to be about, then keep doing it. It reminds me of when people stop loving a band because they become popular.

Wear black rimmed glasses, wear black with blue, wear black with black, wear black while riding the bike you’ve been working on. Take baths with candles and mr. bubble. Who cares? Just be sure you can come up with some good ideas. And if you don’t come up with good ideas, just come up with ideas and work on being human.

funny thread. the biggest point of contention I have is that for the most part, I wouldn’t say designers fit the hipster/fashion-conscious stereotype, as much as perhaps those in graphics, fashion or even marketing (only a certain kind of marketing, mind you, not the corporate kind).

I’ve actually always found this surprising… most designers i’ve met, fit more into the nerd/engineer fashion category. Not much beyond a T, some jeans and maybe flip flops…For a profession founded on design, aesthetics and fitting with the social market of the consumer, it’s pretty surprising that more designers don’t follow fashion trends. maybe it’s the “usability” aspect of the profession that fights the following fashion trends…(?)

I dunno. Maybe I’m completely out there, and for sure have a skewed perspective being somewhat in the fashion industry in footwear, but personally I do follow fashion trends, though dress for myself, not to “fit in” to any particular group.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m totally not saying any type of “uniform” (be it hipster, or otherwise) is the thing everyone should follow. But I’d also say “anti” fashion is also fitting into a group and set model of “trend” just as much.

Being anti fashion (if it’s goth, punk, or emo or nerd) is just as much following a culture of others…


PS> I’ve read this post over and over, and not sure if it still communicates my intent. Perhaps you need to know me to get my perspective, and hope this doesn’t offend (though provoke is OK) anyone… hipsters and design nerds included. :slight_smile:

I understand what you mean r, at least I think I do.

There were very few people in my class at school who cared about fashion beyond wearing your average frat guy outfit. I was guilty of that to, I didn’t start caring about how I looked until I realized in the working world you have to make impressions on new people all of the time. Starting to care about fashion was like an epiphany, now I’m reading about it all the time. Its a great way to get a taste of color trends as well… I remember when Volvo released the C30 concept one of the designers said the silver/copper color combo was picked from a particular outfit on a fashion runway. Interesting.

At work now people dress up enough that you don’t look unpresentable, but down enough that you could work in the shop without fussing over your chinos. Sometimes people bring changes of clothes when we have meetings, etc.

That said… who DOESN’T like plain t-shirts? If you actually have a strong aversion to wearing something that isn’t plastered with logos I think you may have an identity problem.

I wear whats cheap and comfortable and hopefully has some aesthetic appeal. I won’t spend $80 on a designer button up shirt when I know I can get one that looks 95% the same at Old Navy for $15 - especially when I know I’ll probably spill something on it or ruin it in the wash within 3 months.

I don’t want to look like a bum - but a lot of “high fashion”, especially for men winds up just being overpriced IMO.

Besides, I’d rather spend my money on gadgets. :laughing:

I dunno why, but this kind of thinking makes me either a)sad, b)angry c)disappointed or d)surprised…

Not to put too much a point on it, but I think this is what is wrong with many designers, they objects we create and says a lot about our profession and society on the whole.

Look at it this way - we (designers) are always going on about how design should have good value, create objects we want to love, avoid disposability, and focus on quality while pushing the envelope further in styling, innovation and an object’s interaction with society. right?

Then why is it we ourselves don’t subscribe to that ethos? If we as designers put no more thought into buying good quality, well designed clothing, how can we expect our consumers to care about our new widget that looks awesome, is well designed and last longer than the walmart special?

How can we blame the consumer for buying the cheap, non-designed things we we don’t do it ourself in clothing?

How can we complain about having to dumb down our designs to the point of banality when that is what we search for in our clothing?

How can we continue to design things that in no way fit into our social and aesthetic culture when we are so separated from it in terms of fashion, trends and direction?

I’m not saying we all need to dress 24/7 in white suits and pink glasses, but really?..maybe only for special occasions :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


I agree. If you buy $5 headphones then you’ll only get $5 worth of listening. A nice shirt will last years, not months.

I bought a pair of Oakley glasses over 8 years ago, they still have a perfect coating on the lenses and have hardly any wear.

Avoid brands that plaster their identity all over their products, like A|X, and look for high quality materials, fabrics, and stitching, and you know you’re paying for a nice product and not for the label.

You get what you pay for, usually.

Nice point Richard.

While I would love to subscribe to that ethos, and I do to some extent, I simply cannot afford to do it.

Being the sole bread winner with a mortgage, wife and child to support. Spending a little extra right now on a nicer (looking and quality) shirt drops a bit further down my list of priorities.

I’m all for supporting exactly what you described, better design with better value, etc. But when it comes down to practicing what I preach, many times I have to cut corners here and there. I’m not saying I enjoy it, I’d love every new Apple gadget or Johnson & Murphy shoe.

We can all hope, however, that there are people out there who have the means to afford what we design and see the value of it. They’ve got to be out there somewhere, right?

Understandable…but at the same time I’ll disagree for my own reasons.

Customers (just like when they look for product) want something that not only resonates with them, but provides a value to them that is worth the price. In fashion, how many times are you paying for the branding on the tag over the quality of the materials and craftsmanship - especially when a lot of the garnments are still being made in overseas sweatshops, just with a different run of fabric.

For example in furnitire - you could buy a plastic Home Depot lawn set for $20, or an Eames fiberglass chair for $200. While most of the public will probably opt for the cheaper - many people will recognize the fact that the more expensive chair besides looking better, is going to last a lifetime, whereas the plastic chair will break after 1 fat friend sits on it.

That IMO is why fashion and industrial design aren’t the same.

I don’t buy that a majority of “designer” clothes provide a value over cheaper clothes. I still own plenty of more expensive outfits but they’ve been ruined just as quickly as my regular clothes, not to mention most of the time they require much more stringent care (whether its dry cleaning, special handling, can’t be washed with other things) to keep them that way. At the end of the day that beautiful shirt isn’t going to be any more stain resistant to that red wine or grease stain than a cheap one would be. I can’t even begin to think of how many of my nice clothes wound up going to Salvation Army because they wore out faster. Maybe I’m just shopping in the wrong place though.

Frankly I think the worst case example is Women’s shoes. It’s not about comfort, and frankly I don’t believe it’s about styling. I’m willing to bet you could slap a Manolo Blahnik label on a pair of shoes that costs 1/10th the price, and still sell them to people for hundreds of dollars because they just HAVE to have them.

Just imagine if you were buying designer clothes in 80’s…can you imagine trying to wear that same outfit today?

Sorry, but this kind of “commodity” thinking/justification doesn’t work for me. I think it’s pretty hypocritical.

While for sure some fashion brands are priced at a premium for the logo/brand, I do believe in the “you get what you pay for” theory. I can certainly guarantee you that anyone who has actually worn Manholo Blanik shoes will tell you they are far more comfortable and better than any cheapo Aldo pair that looks a bit similar.

Same goes even on a totally different scale, the difference between a good quality American Apparel T and a made in China 5 for $10 T at Old Navy or Walmart.

This has nothing to do with price, purely. But the excuse that “hey it’s just going to wear out, fall apart, etc.” is pretty funny coming from a designer. Perhaps we should all quit our jobs and just have everyone buy everything from the dollar store, as eventually it might break and design isn’t so important?

Also note, my original post was not about buying design clothes vs. non-designer clothes, but rather having an appreciation and interest in fashion/style. THIS is what I don’t get from designers so seem so adverse to being fashionable…