Skip to main content

We all know that one person who is an artist. It’s your hairdresser’s sister, that friend from college who studied art, the work-obsessed agency creative (as I slowly raise my hand). It’s the same story with no clear understanding of what that person does outside of being “an artist.”

For those who work with creatives in a professional setting, the most important key to success is understanding how your creative team ticks.

Here at Franco, we wanted to celebrate Detroit Month of Design with a little tongue-in-cheek approach to the labels placed upon artists. Maybe we hit the nail on the head – or are so far wrong – you can let us know.


The Fine Artist

  • The artist artist
  • Has a stack of Strathmore sketchbooks for each medium in all sizes
  • Not interested in painting something for your living room
  • Hates that scene in Ghost because the technique is off
  • 86% sure they own a Banksy or met them once
  • Owns a pair of paint-covered overalls somewhere in their dresser (that was thrifted for a steal)
  • You have to attend their latest exhibition about their time in [INSERT CITY NAME HERE]

The Illustrator

  • Sketchbooks full of “works in progress” they’ll never revisit
  • Never names their digital art layers
  • Forever trying to develop their art style
  • Spends more time having to promote their art on social media than actually making it
  • Tired of being asked if they can design a logo
  • Always caught between having a lot of ideas and no motivation and feeling motivated but having no ideas

The Photographer

  • Wholly devoted to one established camera brand with strong feelings about the other
  • Doesn’t want to take your band promos
  • Loves an all-black ensemble
  • Stop “shaking it like a Polaroid picture” it damages the film
  • Has a shelf full of cameras and use the two in the camera bag
  • Hard drives on hard drives on hard drives

The Graphic Designer

  • Judges you for using Canva
  • Waiting for the day they add a “just make the design pop more” button to the Adobe Suite
  • Typography buff but sticks to the same 4 classic fonts they’re comfortable with
  • Lots of clothes with geometric patterns and earth tones

The Freelancer

  • “We’re an award-winning multidisciplinary creative studio”  but it’s just them and their house plants
  • Has mastered the invoice and following up on said invoice
  • Living a perfect balance of design freedom and panic attack
  • Stop asking them for a logo in return for a Starbucks gift card

The Design Intern

  • Fresh out of college, doe-eyed
  • 4-year and running iced coffee addiction
  • Random pencils and pens are found in every pocket and tucked behind their ear
  • iPad and Apple pencil is always only an arm’s length away
  • Still raises their hand during meetings before speaking
  • Lived in sweatpants and oversized t-shirts for the last four years

The Creative Director

  • Names PMS codes from memory
  • Their last stock search was a same-sex couple in the woods wearing jewelry
  • Has a running list of free resources and assets and uses one of them
  • Caffeine addiction
  • Can tell that line of copy is set to -10 kerning and the others are not
  • Relies heavily on their team to get the job done

How can you work better with the artists in your life? Explore our Creative Glossary that includes a comprehensive guide of creative terms, ranging from color, collateral, composition & layout, image file formats, logo types, photography, typography and web.

Ashley DuPuy Mancuso is an Associate Creative Director and Lily Stotz is an Associate Art Director at Franco. Connect with Ashley and Lily on LinkedIn.