10 reasons not to date a designer

It's the time when love is all around. Maybe you're thinking about asking out a designer you've had your eye on for a while now? Because everybody loves designers, right? How could they not?

Well, if you really believe that, then it's time for a dose of unpalatable truth. From obsessing about the worst and best fonts, to caring more about our awesome tattoos than anything else; let's face it, designers can be 'difficult'.

Here, with tongue planted firmly in cheek, we present some common designer bad habits that are bound to get you in trouble with your other half if you don't keep them in check. Be honest: does any of this sound like it might be you?

01. You analyse everything

10 reasons not to date a designer

Why can't every menu be as elegant as this creation by Nuria Vila, paying homage to the Japanese folding fan?

You're on romantic night out in a posh restaurant, away from the hustle and bustle and of everyday life. Your partner toasts to the day you met over a glass of your favourite wine. The waiter hands you the menu but while your other half decides what they're having quickly and efficiently, a mini-ice age passes while you study the choices.

But it's not the comparative merits of the steak tartare and the confit duck that's bothering you – it's the kerning! And look at the choice of typeface! This menu design just isn't right, dammit!

You wonder how your agency could do it better. Maybe we could make it smaller for a start? The colours need adjusting, too. And what about this awful stock? Appalling.

Meanwhile your partner is lightly drumming their fingers, eyes raised, fully aware of what's going on. It's always the same. Can't you just go out for ONE night without over-analysing everything?

Of course you can't. You're a designer.

02. You know who did everything

Design is everywhere – and you're sure to point it out every time. Every billboard, every poster, every theatre programme... you know who designed it, and you can't stop yourself from gleefully sharing the information, often with a side order of admiration or jealousy.

Most people just want to enjoy what they're looking at without thinking about who made it or how. But can you help yourself? Of course not. You're a designer.

03. Nothing can be normal

10 reasons not to date a designer

Why on earth would anyone want a normal lightbulb?

"Why can't we just have a normal evening?" your partner cries, when instead of quickly knocking up supper, you start experimenting with the latest flavours and ingredients in a Heston-esque way.

And what about the furniture? Why does that chair have no back? And why can't you just have a normal lightbulb rather than those weird Plumens? And what about buying all that food just because the packaging looks ace?

All of this is normal, right? Normal to you maybe. But then, you're a designer.

04. You're never actually there

You don't really have much time to spend with your partner. You have deadlines to meet, projects to discuss and pubs meetings to go to. If the big project hits, you may not even make it home some nights.

What's more, you don't even complain to our boss, or consider getting another job, but take it all in your stride. The long hours are just part of the job – part of the lifestyle.

That said, when you next arrive home at midnight to find your partner has packed their bags, will you still be thinking of your cool designer lifestyle? Probably not.

05. You constantly talk about other designers

10 reasons not to date a designer

What do you mean, you've never heard of Neville Brody?

Gushing over the time you passively inhaled Peter Saville's cigarette smoke at that ever-so-cool independent design festival in Prague is not going to win many hearts. And talking as though you're best buddies with Neville Brody is only going to elicit a shrug from most.

In the real world, less than one person in 187* will have actually heard of these designers. But you can't help yourself. You're a designer. These are your heroes and you have to let everyone know just how cool they (and by osmosis, you) are.

*This is a guess. Not a fact.

06. You can't stop tinkering

When you're at home, you just can't help yourself. You and your partner are both watching a movie, but your mind wanders. You start thinking. Which is always a dangerous thing.

Before long the MacBook is on your lap and you're experimenting with Muse and Typekit. You don't need to be, you just want to be. As your partner laughs at the endearing comedy you're both watching, you smile politely as you've just added the Typekit JavaScript into your Muse site prototype. Now that's a blockbuster evening!

07. You can't stop buying 'cool stuff'

10 reasons not to date a designer

Where would you be without your Peter Fowler vinyl toy?

You know that limited edition vinyl toy by that cool artist – the one you got signed and only cost you £200? It's cool isn't it? And your collection of comics? They are ace. And what about that old letterpress set you bought off eBay and had framed? That was a stroke of genius. And the new iPad Pro. And the iPhone 6S. And the list goes on.

You, as a designer, just have to have the cool things you love, no matter the cost. Yes, it can be infuriating for your partner. But they can put up with it, right?

08. You're impossible to buy gifts for

Buying gifts for you is a nightmare. You buy everything you want the moment you see it (see point 07). And any gifts you receive are subjected to a scrupulous examination and critique (see point 01).

In all honesty, the only gift you'd truly be satisfied with would be a monograph from you favourite designer (the one you mention again and again) – not a reprint but an original of course, out of print but in perfect condition. And signed (even if the designer is dead). And dressed as a character from Star Wars. Yeah, that would work.

09. Everything has to look great. Always.

10 reasons not to date a designer

If a things worth doing, it's worth doing with a cool retro font

Your partner is preparing a worksheet for their new teaching job. A cursory glance over their shoulder reveals they're creating it in Microsoft Word. And WHAT ON EARTH is the font they are using?

You take it upon yourself to set up a grid in InDesign (which they struggle to use), purchase a display font and design the best ever worksheet on 'Learn your ABC' that there has ever been. The headline font is by Alex Trochut, the body is no longer Arial. It's Helvetica.

You've added two hours to your partner's once quick and easy job. But don't worry, the six-year-olds will appreciate the subtle difference in glyphs between the two body fonts. They WILL!

10. Your clothes

Look, there's nothing wrong with wanting to look good, and let's not put hipster and designer in the same sentence.

Oh, we just did.

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Rob Carney

Rob is editorial, graphic design and publishing lead at Transport for London. He previously worked at Future Publishing over the course of several years, where he launched digital art magazine, ImagineFX; and edited graphic design magazine Computer Arts, as well as the Computer Arts Projects series, and was also editor of technology magazine, T3.