Know the 7 Design Personalities: Communicate better with your designer

by Jun 7, 2017Design Tips, Branding, Business

Have you ever taken a personality test?

Not those “scientific” 30 minute tests; the fun types, where it kind of hits the spot but at the same time it’s pretty general too? Or maybe you’re into horoscopes? (I am! I’m a proud Aries). That is what a design personalities are like; broad descriptions of your personality, but ultimately the shoe always fits.

You can see different design personalities in every space you enter, be it a friend’s home, your neighbor’s home, or even your own. Online spaces like websites and blogs also reflect these personalities. A design personality is not limited to interior design; you see it manifest in Graphic Design as well.

In the general sense more than one person can have the same design personality, and there are 7 main ones out there. Whether you’re interested in design or actually a designer, you’ll still fall under one of those seven. If you outsource your design needs, by knowing the characteristics of each personality you will be more prepared to talk with your designer about the work you need done.


The minimalist is a no frills, function above form kind of personality. Mostly extremely organized and efficient people go for minimalism. They plan everything, and try to stick to schedules and milestones in design and in their life. Minimalist design personality can be bold, but it also can be superficial; aesthetic values take the front seat in their designs, followed by material quality, texture, and efficiency above all else. The minimalist’s definition of vintage is also very “minimal” and only what can fit into their scenes.

These are five characteristics of a Minimal design personality:

  •       Perfectionist
  •       Methodical
  •       Efficient
  •       Determined
  •       Introverted


The personality of someone carrying traditional values and with attachments to roots; not necessarily their own, it can be something that they feel they belong to. As an opposite of the Minimalist, the Traditional places comfort, warmth, and coziness above efficiency.

The Traditional design personality presents more of itself in its designs than any other personality. That’s why traditional interiors and designs are usually tainted by culture and modern history. Traditional personalities value culture, friends, and family members. They pay very close attention to their own comfort and entertainment as well as other peoples’.

These are five characteristics of aTraditional design personality:

  •       Friendly
  •       Social
  •       Interested in culture
  •       Chick
  •       Elegant


Contemporary design personalities are definitely the cool crowd, without a doubt stylish, and very bold. Their signature is bold patterns, color blocks, and unconventional elements in unexpected places. Their design choices always have a story behind them, since every item has a substance.

Unlike the other personalities I mentioned above, Contemporary is far more dynamic, intriguing, and mysterious. They value their intimacy and have a habit of disguising their inner most feelings in their designs; for a viewer an element can look like a necessary piece of a composite, but to the Contemporary personality it represents a step, phase, mood, or a story.

Contemporary has its own views and perspectives of the world. Their 5 common traits are:

  •       Complex
  •       Mysterious
  •       Eccentric
  •       Stylish
  •       Fresh

Shabby Chic

We’ve all seen those types of designs flood Pinterest, from interiors to gift wraps and stationery, but what’s really behind them? These personality types are defined by elegance, more than anything. They are usually happy, positive, friendly, and social by default. They rather reuse and repurpose than acquire anything new, since to them the longer they own an object the more memories it gains and the harder it is for them to part with the object or replace it. Their Nostalgia is very hard to control and may be fatal to their sense of design and aesthetics.

Five main characteristic of a Shabby Chic personality type is:

  •       Charismatic
  •       Highly social
  •       Artistic
  •       Nostalgic
  •       Nature lover

Vintage (Hipster)

There is no flair associated with this personality type, their style is often subdued and relies on small details, as well as elements that carry a very well defined era or item memory. The most popular items of choice for the Vintage (Hipster) personality type’s style would be Leather Suitcases, Succulents, Historic Maps, and Boats in Bottles.

It does not mean that this personality style is generalized or common; they are very unique individuals with a variety of unique tastes and it could be due to the fact that they already know what they want and show high determination + motivation in ascertaining their individual personalities.

The five main identifiers of this personality type are:

  •       Highly complex
  •       Stubborn
  •       Motivated
  •       Well read
  •       Perfectionist


The spiritual design personality is the most basic of all the personality types; because they are in constant awareness of their surroundings and how they affect their spiritual wellbeing, so they value the essence of things and the value of a simple, breathy, nature inspired design work. Due to their simplicity, they are highly organized. The down-side of this design personality type is that they are very restricted to their own beliefs of spirituality. A small portion of them value spirituality in itself and are not constrained to a certain belief. The inhabitants of a pure spiritual mindset would not accept compromises and would not complicate their existence with complex design concepts.

The five markers of spiritual design personalities are:

  •       Simple
  •       Positive
  •       Organized
  •       Energetic
  •       Cerebral


This design personality needs no introduction; they respect timeless beauty, and cherish the seed that sprouted it. They are usually noble and elegant, are interested in the politics of things, history, and culture. Their comfort is measured in aesthetic values, or elements that hold historical values. Nevertheless, not everything that is “classic” holds their attention for long, only items that live up to their standards of nobility or elegance. To this design personality there is an unwritten rule book for their life; they would never compromise it for modern or “hip” trends.

It’s always dress pants/skirts and luxurious possessions with classical imprints for them, and that’s exactly what their designs entail as well. True classics are rarely seen these days due to the rigidity of the design style and the complexity of the personality, as well as cultural changes.

The top 5 characteristics for a classical design personality are:

  •       Noble/Graceful
  •       Charming
  •       Upright
  •       Rigid
  •       Ageless

Some people choose their design personalities, but the majority is living that personality naturally; they dress, decorate, design, and are attracted to places that reflect that personality without actually being aware. If you look closely, no two similar design personalities have the same style; this is where their own personal touch comes in. Financial status, cultural backgrounds, and personal history always play a role in how Design Personalities grow.

So whether your Design personality is a Minimalist or a Classic, let the unique parts of you leave its print. I for example am  a Spiritual/Contemporary design personality; I know too much!

How about you?

Angie Soliman

Angie Soliman

Guest Author / Designer

Angie used to be a freelance interior designer and is currently a small business + startup coach for interior creatives and a 3D modeling + visualization trainer.

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