This week is getting busy, with a friend's wedding on Friday and with preparation for my annual work at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds with local non-profit group Teens for Christ. About 10 years ago, TFC bought a booth in the Expo building at the local fairgrounds. With our student volunteers, we raise a bit of money and a bit of awareness for the group in our community, and we teach students the skills of making coffee(a huge industry in our area!) and serving an excellent product. Anyway, with that ministry, my schedule is tight this week, so I was excited to get my first guest post submission idea from my friend and co-worker, Sarah Knepper, a Graphic Designer by profession, an artist by choice, and a snark-monger by necessity. Any fruit-logo'd products promoted below are Sarah's responsibility. Enjoy!

I'm honored to have this opportunity to guest-feature on Jana's terrific blog. We've worked together for about two years now and of all the people I've met across our company, she is definitely the most open to creative suggestion. I've often heard (and repeated) that "Everyone thinks they're a designer" but Jana is one of the few artists humble enough to admit where her experience ends, but good taste begins. On a dreary day, she is instrumental in joining in for a little "design snark" to get the juices flowing. So when I realized there were so many tell-tale signs of a "non-designer", she was only too happy to help comb through the list of somewhat wacky criticisms, and even, on occasion, to take a few to heart. With delight, she told me last week, "I'm a better person because I read your list!" So, to educate the masses and hopefully afford a few laughs at their expense, I present the first of a series of lists aimed at ridding the world of sub-par design. Enjoy!

You know you're not a designer if...

You've ever "designed" a flyer in Powerpoint.
You've ever asked to photoshop "out" or "in" people.
Bleed or cut marks make you think of emo teenagers.
PMS ( is an emotional state.
You use underlines. At all.
Leading rhymes with pleading.
You think that Nissan made the pathfinder.
A histogram is something you get at the hospital.
The only graphic design joke you know is about Comic Sans.
Italic means the same thing as cursive.
The words "retouching" and "stroke weight" make you feel uncomfortable.
"GD" is a cuss word.
You pronounce gif like its a brand of peanut butter.
Royalty-free means democratic.
You center anything.
You'd expect a clipping path to be a shortcut in the park.
You've asked why there are Latin words ("Lorem ispum dolor sit amet") in a design comp.
You think glossy LCD's are the the best kind of screen.
You run up to the printer yelling "Stop the presses!" every time you accidentally print 100 copies instead of 1.
You've ever had a custom-printed mousepad.
You've ever used more than two fonts in the same project.
White balance is a form of affirmative action.
You've never cleaned your keyboard.
You type two spaces after periods.
You staunchly believe anything smaller than 12pt is too small to read.
You think the client is always right.

Oh, and you use a PC.


Jessi said…

and for the record, I've done almost all of those. However, I don't pretend to be what I'm not, and I'm pretty much in awe of everything you design. :)
jana.kaye said…
I'm totally guilty of lots of these, too. sarah, thanks for putting this together! love to put more of your lists up anytime!