I have been a member of the Indesign Listserv for a while now. It’s a great tool for asking a lot of fellow designers for help with day to day problems. Well today someone decided to post a little humor on the listserv instead of troubleshooting questions. I usually hate “forwarded” type messages but these were enjoyable.

The first post was about traits that Graphic designers have and the second was about the unspoken rules of design. I thought some of them were extremely funny and wanted to share them with you. These are not the complete lists, they are just the ones that hit home for me.

You are a Graphic Designer if…

1. You’ve almost rear-ended the car in front of you because you were analyzing a font on a billboard. (This happens to me a lot)

2. You’d rather study the paisley pattern on your boyfriend/girlfriend’s shirt than listen to what he/she has to say.

3. You consider meals interruptions. (If a meal contains bacon, I consider it a reward.)

4. You’ve learned your lesson and stopped using the word “final” in any file name when saving.

5. You clean your keyboard more often than you wash your car. (I have not washed my car in two years.)

6. You’ve intentionally given up trying to explain your projects to non-designers.

7. When you heard that Adobe was acquiring Macromedia, you actually shivered. (I was afraid adobe would ruin Flash)

8. You’ve actually paid for a font. (I bought two more this week.)

9. You’ve totally slaughtered a great design concept because the client thinks he/she knows best. (Everyone thinks they are a designer)

10. You can’t go to a restaurant without secretly critiquing the menu design.

Bonus: You have an amazingly huge font collection, and an amazingly short temper.

The Unspoken Rules of Graphic Design

1. Your fonts will default to the worst possible font available on the machine you are showing your work on. (This just happened this week.)

2. If you have two versions of a photo, the wrong one will make its way to the printer.

3. The less time you have the more useless your computer will become.

4. If the text consists of two words, one will be misspelled.

5. Speed. Quality. Affordability. Pick any two.

6. If three designs are shown to a client, your least favorite will be chosen or any combination of worst components of each.

7. If two designs are shown, a third will be requested. If provided, then one of the first two will be chosen.

8. If you ask for more copy it will be sent as a .jpg. If you ask for images they will send powerpoint presentations.

9. Clients don’t have their company logo in a usable print ready format so don’t bother asking.

10. Blue line proofs reveal previously invisible errors.

11. The best designs never survive contact with the client.

12. Doctors, astronauts, and plumbers need training to do their jobs, but anyone with a computer is a graphic designer.

13. Your client will often not like your design but not quite know why.

14. Computer crashes always happen exactly 30 seconds before saving.

15. A client who knows exactly what he wants is worse than one that has no idea.

I know a lot of these are old but they still made me laugh. Some jokes never seem to get old. My favorite is “…anyone with a computer is a graphic designer”. Let me know what your favorite one is and/or if you know any more you would like to share.

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13 Responses to Graphic Design Humor on the Listserv

  1. Dustin W says:

    I can relate… I picked up a pack of Marlboros yesterday and the design was crap! I was like wtf I can do waaay better!

  2. Mosley says:

    I feel the same way about bacon packaging.

  3. Adrian says:

    Man that first list hits the nail on the head. It’s good to know I’m not alone.

  4. Mosley says:


    You are not alone… you are never alone…(creepy…)

  5. Kari says:

    “The Unspoken Rules of Graphic Design” are so accurate that it’s almost painful to read. I felt like I just participated in an online emotional support group.

  6. […] a lot of projects all at once with the same deadline. If you got the humor in my post called, “Graphic Design Humor on the Listserv” you probably feel my pain. But don’t worry. Everything will be back to normal next week, since […]

  7. Don says:

    Number six hits home all the time, we often have bets on the clients choice, you never know what they’re going to choose!

  8. Dan says:

    Oh yeah? Well for #4…..spellchecker! I copied the list to notepad and printed it out though – INSPIRATION!

  9. hey! this was a very entertaining read. I enjoyed it very much. Keep up the good work and Happy Holidays and Happy 2009!

  10. Greg says:

    The list made me feel like I am so not alone!

  11. it totally comforts me to know im not alone! :)

  12. Niels Van Damme says:

    “Clients don’t have their company logo in a usable print ready format so don’t bother asking.” I hate this so much

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