We once saw an article where they said, “pity the spouse of a designer” and we have to agree — as designers we wouldn’t want to expose ourselves to… well… ourselves; the endless critique of all things designed, the constant re-evaluation of the minutia, the angst at having to make the simplest of visual decisions and the obsessive need to edit and simplify. Being a designer is a blessing and a curse and at Sasges Inc. we wear the designer badge with pride. But sometimes, we catch ourselves and say, “ Wow, that obsession is really over the top”. Here are some of our best:

How many art directors does it take to cut a birthday cake? – Rita
Despite the fact that we’re all getting older a staff birthday is a big day at Sasges Inc. There’s always a cake and sometimes if we’re lucky, Shirley — our office manager and master chef — will bake one of her special cakes. After the candles are out comes the painful task of deciding which way to cut the cake; should the pieces be long and thin or square and thick; should we cut into the decoration or around it; and how many pieces do we need to cut (you never want to watch a designer factoring math). It’s a complicated task with many art directors at the table all voicing their opinions — until finally Shirley shouts, “cut the cake”. And at that point we know it’s either because she’d fed up with working with designers — or maybe she wants us to get back to our billable work.

The art of sugar cubes – Tali
The simple task of bringing a bowl of sugar into the board room prior to a meeting makes us stop in our tracks. Does the bowl have enough sugar, does it look full but not too full, are the cubes artfully arranged to look random but not too messy, does the aesthetic satisfy the designer eye… So before the sugar can be served we need to top it up and rearrange… It’s a visual thing.

The edited colour wardrobe – Amanda
Black, White, Cool Grey 9, Warm Grey 6, PMS 2945 and the odd shot of PMS 1665. We haven’t checked but we’re sure the inside of our closets all look pretty much the same. It could almost be a litmus test for hiring. Without planning and consultation some mornings our clothing palettes match — and then it’s a little like being an extra in a Fellini movie.

Menu proofing and…chunks?! – Chandra
We can always count on restaurants and their menus to keep us on our toes. What you think would be an ordinary task of selecting a food item, can sometimes become a confusing layout review or a fun proofing exercise. As designers not only do we have to consciously stop pointing out mistakes to our dinner companions (who look equally confused and nearly not as excited as us), but we also have to account for the extra time it’s going to take to actually make a choice. All of this makes us that much more appreciative when we come across a beautifully designed and clear menu…ahhh we can breathe… and eat!!