“In the world of design, artists' personalities are as diverse as the mediums they use and the finished products.”
Designers may be the true intellectuals of the future. – Paola Antonelli
In the world of design, artists’ personalities are as diverse as the mediums they use and the finished products. Oftentimes, some of the greatest designers are the most interesting people. They walk to the beat of their own drum, and oddly enough, have a crazy sense of style. Perhaps it is that crazy scenes that gives them the adventurous side that allows them to try new things and experiment.
There are at least seven different styles of designers as I have mentioned in one of my articles. I think finding which category one fits into may help designers discover more about themselves and the things they create. Today, shall we re-discovered these different types and discuss them.
1. The Perfectionist
Many people can appreciate perfectionists because they have a keen sense of what is right. They will not stop until the work is, well, perfect. Often referred to as a Pablo Picasso designer, this individual cannot stand for one thing to be out of place. Dealing with this type of person can be a challenge; because they are strong willed. They ignore a customers’ instruction and do things according to their own intuition. The perfectionist may see himself or herself as a little above other designers.
2. The Albert Einstein Designer
These designers are perhaps some of the hardest workers. They will try over and over again until it looks just right. They would not think of just throwing things together capriciously at the last moment. They believe practice makes perfect. It is not uncommon for these designers to redecorate a room several times; because the first one was not good enough. Their work ethic is second to none, and they can be trusted to bring forth a great end product.
3. The David Copperfield Designer
These designers can paint a beautiful story of what a patron’s room will look like. They can illustrate with words a beautiful masterpiece and have the clients ready to sign the contract instantly. David Copperfield designers can be slick and can often hire several people under them to pass off their work as the designers’ own. While the finished product may be beautiful, these clever designers may not even get their hands dirty. They would be nothing without the hardworking team that is behind them.
4. The Captain Hook Designer
These crafty designers cannot to be trusted. They like to take ideas from others and incorporate into their own without due credit. They are by all aspects a cheater. They often find underhanded ways around the system. They can take someone’s design, spice it up a bit with some of their ideas and present it as a trophy style of theirs. Quite often, the only interest Captain Hook designers have is making a quick buck. Money is their main motivation… not the true art of design.
5. The Mahatma Gandhi Designer
“Holier than thou” would be a good term to describe Gandhi designers. They are ready to correct anyone on a moment’s notice. They want to impart wisdom and share stories of life and design with anyone who will listen. These designers take themselves way too seriously and often times, people will avoid them. They are always right and everyone else is wrong. Their ways are a tad superior to everyone else’s and they will talk until everyone sees it that way as well.
6. The Bashful Dwarf Designer
We all probably know people like the Bashful Dwarf designers. They usually avoid the spotlight as much as possible. They are constantly thinking something could have been done better. They will often work behind the scenes and let someone else take the praise for a job well done. Anything to stay out of the spotlight is their motto. While these people might lack the confidence, they certainly do not lack the ability. The lack of self-esteem pushes these designers to the back line when they need to be out front shining.
7. The Ella of Frell Designer
Sure, the customer is always right; but the Ella of Frell pushes it to the extreme. They do not know the word NO. Anything the customer wants the customer should get; whether it is plausible or not. They are often absorbed in making a good impression so the customer will find their work amazing. They bend over backward to ensure that they are loved. Ignoring better judgment can get this designer in a lot of trouble. It is good to make a good impression on customers; but being bullied can be another thing altogether.
Relating Personality Types
When new designers review these seven personality types, they might find themselves to be a combination of several. In reality, there are many famous designers who can fit into these categories.
Take for instance Vern Yip. Vern has appeared on several TV shows including Trading Spaces, Deserving Design and Design Star. His classic, clean lines of decorating make him the “Perfectionist Designer”. He always makes sure his styles are perfect. Viewers rarely see an item out of place or a color that does not blend perfectly. His appearance is just as neat as his designs and he never, ever produces a bad product. One would wonder if his whole world is this perfect.
Vern creates a plan, attacks it head on and makes no changes to the master draft. He is headstrong and has a definitive direction. When Vern has been faced with customer complaints, he rarely listens. While sounding sympathetic, he understands that they do not see the master plan. He is headstrong and knows what he wants to accomplish and does it.
Another designer that made it famous on the TV screen is Hildi Santo-Tomás. Her wild styles have shocked and horrified some. From covering walls with feathers and hay to painting carpet, she will attempt the unthinkable. Her antics made for some of the most talked- about episodes of the TV show Trading Spaces. She falls under the category of “The Mahatma Gandhi Designer”.
Hildi is always right and everyone else better sit back and enjoy the ride. She is often headstrong when met with opposition and does not take lightly to people not wanting to participate in her design schemes. She is always trying to make people see things her way. Her design elements have a style all their own and have been met with occasional opposition. Even though she is not the greatest designer on TV, she has certainly been noted for trying some of the most desperate stylish attempts.
Lisa LaPorta is HGTV’s princess interior designer. She falls under the category of “The Bashful Dwarf Designer”. She has a great sense of style and can take nothing and turn it into a showpiece. Lisa’s timid demeanor is evident as she can simply sit in the background and take no praise for herself. She does have a great team that works with her; but she is responsible for the designs.
Lisa also has a little bit of The Ella of Frell Designer in her, too. She is often changing things to accommodate people’s wishes. She is easy to work with and a pleasure to be around; primarily because of her willingness to please.
Regardless of which category in which a designing artist falls, one thing is bound to be true. Designers have an interesting knack that is not an easy trait to follow. Without them, our lives would be colorless and our walls bare. Learning to decide which category one falls into is a revealing experience into how customers and the world around us view his or her designs.
In which category would you place yourself as a designer? Do you love the work for art’s sake and see it as an extension of yourself? Or, would you rather just comply with a patron’s request and not give it another thought? The answers to these questions will help you define your style and how to integrate your personality into it. It certainly is possible to stay true to style while in the perimeters of the customers’ orders.