Mark Aron Szulyovszky

Designing your personal identity

January 01, 2013 | 2 Minute Read

So you are a graphic designer and you think you need a personal identity - not necessarily to show off your skills, but because you need to have one. And designing it can cause a lot of problems. I, myself can’t even count the hours I wasted on experimenting with my own personal identity - and still, it’s in “beta” at best.

I mean, how can you have something as a graphic designer that both represents your skills, your mindset and your style when all of these variables are changing extremely fast? And I really do hope that none of them will eventually stop improving….

Before writing this post, I asked this question on Quora - I was really curious what experienced designers think on the topic, and I’ve got really cool answers that confirmed my superstition.

"I usually find it weird for designers to have a logo...where do you even put it? I usually find it weird for designers to have a logo...where do you even put it? I try to keep my name in my portfolio as neutral as possible, putting more emphasis on the work. If you look at some of the big names in graphic design, very few have "logos" (Sagmeister, Scher, Beirut, Müller-Brockmann...ok maybe Massimo Vignelli but he has his own agency). " Victor Ng, Designer at Pinterest

I have to say I was surprised that the most experienced designers recommended to not to have a personal identity at all. My first thought was: “but it’s like selling the best ice creams in town without an ice cream stand!” Which is of course completely false, since if your ice creams are so good, you can just walk around with a portable ice box full of your product and sell them in no time. If you think about it for a second, having no personal identity suggests that you know what you’re doing and you don’t need the fancy stuff to prove it.

The conclusion is that I either need something that I can always fall back on, something that is so core that no new trend, Photoshop/Illustrator function or effect can override - or just eliminate the whole time-consuming and problem by having no personal identity. At least until somebody invents the automatically changing personal identity that needs no maintenance at all. I would definitely subscribe for a service like that.