“So, what’s your design style?”

This is a question that I get asked more often than I’d like to.

So you’re sitting there, in a job interview facing the Creative Director/Design Director/Head of Design/Cleaning Lady, whoever is responsible to grind you endlessly with questions about all your projects, design and your career in general, and while you’re answering and churning successfully through all of these questions with your endless design culture and experience, eventually the style question comes up.

“So, what’s your design style?”

Well… I don’t know about you, but I don’t really have one.

And as I say this, I usually see the interviewers face slowly contort to take a very surprised (and somewhat disgusted) face, admired of how in the world is it possible that I, a designer, don’t have a design style of my own. And let’s be honest, it’s not like I’m an artist. I come up with visual solutions to problems, not art.

Sure, I do have favourite “styles”. I like minimal designs, based on simplicity, lighter visuals, with big and beautiful photography and a big care on great typography. I often explain how the International Typographic Style, (or Swiss Style) is my favourite design style, but that is my personal preference, which shouldn’t really be a major factor on my work.

So my answer is almost always the same. Even though it may sound a bit like a pre-prepared answer to show to my possible future employer how flexible I am in my role, and how that makes me oh so much more appealing as a hire. I don’t have a style, I just use whatever style is needed for that specific project. And I believe this to be common sense for any designer, you’re not really doing the work for yourself, you’re doing the work for your client. Surely a fancy restaurant won’t have the same branding, campaign or website than a bank, or a toy store or (god forbid) a sex shop. Each will require a different approach, a different look, a different.. style.

Having said that, there are designers (well.. mostly illustrators) that have their own unique specific style, execute it very well and are hired to replicate that style or type of execution on different campaigns and brands. I’m looking at you Mcbess, Burgerman.

Do you have a design style? What are your thoughts on it? Let me know and follow me on twitter here if you want to insult me personally.