If you want to fit in with the designers, you need to be able to talk like one. If you want to know how to talk like a graphic designer you need to complain a lot about clients, argue over colours, and make inaudible sounds of disgust at the sight of bad kerning. Although, we also complain a lot about cold coffee, bad clients, and unrealistic deadlines. I guess those last three could fit most jobs though. Here is a bunch of stuff that designers, specifically, say on a daily basis. Seriously, we do say this stuff.

Talking About Fonts

Designers are serious about their fonts; both the typefaces themselves and the spacing around each character. The best designers are masters of typography, so it’s no wonder we’re so obsessed with fonts. Here’s some of the stuff we say about fonts.

  • “I’m getting a tattoo. A beautiful tattoo. Of an ampersand. In a Blackletter font. I’m thinking Portcullion.”
  • “Ugh, the kerning on the heading is giving me a headache. Make it stop.”
  • “So the client just said to use Times New Roman on their business cards. I’m going to use Garamond instead because they won’t know the difference.”
  • “Helvetica is an overrated, overused, boring font.”
  • “Helvetica is the greatest typeface know to mankind. Didn’t you watch the movie?”
  • “I think I can make Papyrus work. Give me an hour. Maybe three.”

Talking About Clients

Design clients are notorious for their unrealistic expectations. That’s not to say we don’t have some amazing clients, but often, bad clients are the biggest stressors in our day. Here are some of the things we say to our peers about our dealings with clients.

  • “They sent over the logo in a few different file formats. A gif, a really pixelated png, and a jpg embedded in a Word doc. So that’s fun.”
  • “They liked how the photos looked on their monitor and in print, but not how they looked on their laptop. They wanted us to fix that. I told them we made the adjustments and now they’re happy. I didn’t actually change a thing, just renamed the old files.”
  • “The client wants a logo that looks like the Google logo because then Google will want to buy his company. That’s pretty sound logic right?”
  • “They didn’t want to pay for stock photos so they just grabbed some images off Google… and I guess that’s what I get to deal with for the rest of the day.”
  • “The client just doesn’t understand their own brand. Why are they trying to sell mattresses and sports equipment?”
  • “She asked for the logo to be bigger. I said I want my cheque to be bigger. No, just kidding. I made the logo bigger.”

Talking To Younger Designers

Experienced designers often mentor new designers; both because we enjoy it and because we have to. Here is how some of those conversations go.

  • “You can’t use Photoshop to make a business card, that’s not what it’s for.”
  • “Why is this entire presentation done using art boards in Illustrator? 46 slides? You know, InDesign is a thing, and it hates you right now.”
  • “Photoshop crashed? Yeah, it does that. Hope you saved before”
  • “Which file is the final version? BusCard4C_Final, BusCard4C-finalfinal, or BusCard4C-Final-Last-Final?”
  • “You can’t trust fonts. Some of them are just born with bad kerning.”
  • “White space is your friend. Do not fear the white space. Embrace the white space.”
  • “Don’t use a trendy font for the logo. Use a good font.”
  • “Okay, you can’t just share your in-progress client design work on social media. That’s how we get sued.”
  • “This website is targeted to senior citizens. Maybe the font sizes should be bigger than 10 pixels.”
  • “You doodled all over the first four pages of the company manual? I mean, your doodles are very good… but is this why your projects are always late?”
  • “Designers! Assemble.” (This is how I used to call my team to meetings)

Talking About Design Magazines

Okay, full disclosure, this one is all me. I love design magazines and my local Chapters has stopped carrying my favorites. What can I do?

  • “They stopped selling IDN magazine at the bookstore so now I’m stuck reading the digital version. But what’s the point? How am I supposed to absorb the beauty of the embossing and foil effects on each page in a digital version! I cannot. My eyes are not enough!”

How To Talk Like A Graphic Designer: In Conclusion

Now that you’ve been shown how to talk like a graphic designer, do you feel confused or seen? Designers can be a very nit-picky bunch of people who use jargon other people can’t understand, but that’s okay, because that’s how we like it. We complain a lot, swap client horror stories often, and make fun of ourselves all the time. That’s just part of being a designer.

Do you talk like a graphic designer? Do you have any coworkers who talk like a graphic designer? What do you think graphic designers say most of all? Let me know in the comments!