In every business, it is important to get the basics right. No matter how professional or experienced you are, there is always the possibility of human error. Indeed, no one is perfect. Neither you can expect anything to be. But the idea is not to excuse and learn how you can minimize your mistakes.
However, graphic designing is a lot of serious work than it seems to be. It involves different aspects such as conveying a brand message, researching about the industry, and creating a perfect balance of images and text. Making mistakes as a designer can ruin the whole concept of your graphic design. For people outside the industry, it’s important to learn the most common design mistakes by non-designers. As it will help you to start easily from scratch.
By avoiding some of these common graphic design mistakes, you can create stunning artwork. This will help you to ensure high-quality results. And in a matter of time, turn your business into a trustworthy brand in the eyes of the target audience.
Below we’ve put together a list of common graphic design mistakes, along with examples and ways to avoid them.
A single picture tells a thousand words. Why? Because humans are visual creatures. We prefer visual information rather than several paragraphs of words. Minimizing the amount of text and maximizing visual elements is a great way to grab the audience’s attention.
A graphic design is supposed to be primarily visual. It is about communicating and conveying your message through images, illustrations, and elements of design. It’s not easy to design image-based content. Words are an important aspect of designing marketing materials. Using too many words is one of the graphic design sins to avoid. It is a common graphic design mistake non-designers and amateurs make. Excessive text can overwhelm the viewers.
To create an effective and amazing graphic design, make sure to use the right words. Keep your text minimal, concise, and impactful. Try to avoid using large blocks of texts where it is not necessary.
2. Using the wrong Typography
A person’s way of delivering a message plays a key role in how it is perceived by the other person. In graphic designs, this is what typography is for. The typography you use makes or breaks the deal for you. It is an obvious and telling sign of a well-designed logo or brand.
Using the wrong typography is the worst graphic mistake to make. Not only it is one of the key elements of graphic design but also a basic rule of creating one. The use of wrong typography might misrepresent the brand. It also makes it difficult to read. Along with picking the right typography, you have to choose the appropriate color for it too. As it makes an impact on the overall design.
At all costs, avoid free fonts as they are of low quality. Stick to professional fonts or purchase fonts that can give your design an added appeal. For a single project, use one or two similar types of fonts.
3. Too Many Fonts
The most common design mistake made by non-designers is excessively using several fonts. It is surely fun to play around with fonts. Experiment with new design tactics to convey different feelings and messages. But makes it hard to understand the message of the brand. As it is the main purpose of creating a graphic design. This is the main reason why brands should stick to a maximum of two or three fonts on a design piece.
This particular mistake stands out when looking at a professional design vs beginner design. Non-designers think that overdoing and experimenting in a design makes it unique and attention-grabbing. But it’s not the reality. Combining too many fonts makes it look disorganized, cluttered, and unprofessional. A designer’s work should look consistent and professional. Instead, being layered with different fonts.
While working on a single project, use a maximum of two different fonts. Sticking to one single font is ideal. Not only it is impactful but also adds continuity and establishes brand identity. You can be creative on a large piece of design like web design or infographic. While for smaller pieces like a logo, use one font only.
A large number of beginners underestimate the spacing between letters and their impact on the viewers. The proper spacing between letters is known as Kerning. According to We Design Studios, it is a process of typography in which the space between letters is adjusted. It is essential in graphic design and can be done manually or automatically.
Kerning makes a huge difference in the way your project looks. Closed together letters appear to be packed and crowded. While letters too far apart look like floating independently. In some situations, particular words need more room than others to stand out and look more balanced. By failing to provide this room, it makes them hard to read. With the use of proper kerning, all the text becomes legible.
Make sure to use proper kerning. Then do a squint test. All you have to do is squint your eyes to see the spacing between letters without being distracted. At last, ensure there is equal spacing between letters and words too.
5. Choosing the wrong colors
The most important decision while creating a design is choosing the color and color combination. Color is an important element of graphic design. Every designer should have enough knowledge about when and how to use color. A good communicative design can easily go downhill with the wrong choice of colors and color combination.
The use of wrong or too many colors can lead to visual confusion. For a clean and appealing design, create a delicate balance of color and special features. Try to keep the special features to a minimum and only the necessary ones. And make use of the color sparingly and wisely. Instead of bold colors, opt for contrasting colors as they appear clear and easy to read. Always ensure that your fonts go along with the color for text legibility.
Create your own color palette which includes both primary and secondary colors. For a single design project, choose two or three colors. Always include a neutral one to create balance. Use contrasting colors that represent the feeling you are trying to evoke.
For reference, see the site of Artisticore. They have used the perfect blend of colors, shapes, alignment, and spacing between each of their element. It is an appropriate example of what you see in a professional design.
6. Using Stock Or Raster Images
Stock images are your go-to if you need a specific image. They are an affordable and helpful option when you are not willing to hire a professional photographer. Otherwise, never use stock images for your design. It gives your project a “not so original”, cheap and unprofessional look. You can also accidentally end up using an overused stock image that the majority of your audience has already seen.
Raster images are also another big NO for graphic design projects. They are made up of pixels. So, when enlarged, they become blurry and hard to understand. Never use a raster image for your logo. As you will not be able to scale it for different uses without losing quality. It is fine to be inspired by them and use them as a reference.
Always use vector images for designs. As they are made up of curves and geometric lines. These images can be scaled to any size and still appear clear and crisp. An easy way is to create designs bigger than your need. Because you can reduce resolution but can never increase it.
7. Incorrect Hierarchy
An extremely crucial principle of graphic design is the hierarchy. Visual hierarchy is the placement of different elements according to their importance. This is the process of organizing so the viewer can see the important information right away. It cuts down the time and directs the viewer’s attention to what’s important.
It is one of the top design techniques that ranks according to the importance of your information. The way you create hierarchy in your project will instruct the audience on what to take away from your design.
Create a hierarchy in your design, by using colors, graphic elements, or weightage of the fonts you use. Use the largest text for the most important message.
8. Designing for the wrong medium
An often-overlooked factor is a medium your design will appear in. It should be the first decision a designer makes when starting an artwork. No matter if it will be published online, on a website, in a book, or in a magazine. The medium of a design contributes a great part to the way you create your design.
For printing purposes, you will have to use CMYK color mode. It is used for four-color process printing. While on the other hand, RGB is the color mode for digital screen-related projects. Creating a design in another format and printing it another one, will give your design a completely different look. Because the colors wouldn’t be able to translate.
Always ask your clients the format they require. Then save and package your files accordingly, just so that you can avoid some major graphic design fails. If possible, create specific folders for graphics, images, fonts, etc. This way, you will have every element on hand at the request of your client.
Now you are fully aware of the common graphic design mistakes. You can go on with experimenting with your design while avoiding these mistakes. Stop being nervous by thinking about these or if they may crop up in your designs. Knowing these do’s and don’ts will contribute to better results in the future. Just by avoiding these common mistakes, designers make in graphic design, you can create stunning and eye-catching artwork.