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6 common graphic design mistakes & how to avoid them.

Craig Greenup 30/08/18, 16:19

graphic design mistakes

Every time you stretch a font, somewhere, a graphic designer facepalms

The language of good graphic design is universal – you can usually tell at a glance whether something has been thoughtfully designed or not. While it’s easy to poke fun at bad graphic design, it’s also pretty easy to make some of the mistakes that can make your design go viral for all the wrong reasons. Here are 6 of the most common graphic design mistakes we see, and how to avoid them.

1. Using too many fonts

Starting with something pretty self explanatory here – nobody wants to look at a graphic that has a baffling number of fonts crammed into it, no matter how fun you think it looks. It’s visually confusing and can take away from the overall impact of your design. To prevent font fatigue, limit the number of fonts to no more than 3 in a single design. As a general rule, the smaller the design, the fewer fonts it should feature.

2. Overthinking your design

If you’re a perfectionist, the urge to keep tinkering with your design can be overwhelming – you must resist this temptation! Just because Photoshop gives you access to hundreds of filters it doesn’t mean you have to use them all at the same time. Sometimes less is definitely more, and there’s a lot to be said for keeping things simple.

3. Improper kerning

Kerning is simply the process of manually or automatically altering the spaces between the letters in words. Adjusting the space between letters can prevent embarrassing visuals. A good example is to think about how the lowercase word ‘click’ looks when there isn’t enough space between the C and the L. If you don’t get it, then you have a very innocent mind and we’re not going to spoil it for you.

4. Lack of proofreading

As a graphic designer, grammar may not be your strongest skill, but proofreading is a step that you should never skip. Some spellcheckers will miss certain errors, so make sure you go over your work in close detail and ask a colleague to check it too if you’re not sure.

5. Thinking inside the box

Thinking outside the box is a bit of a graphic design cliche, but one that it’s important to consider. Too many designers stick to the same formulas when working on projects and are worried about taking some creative risks. Don’t be afraid to play with colours and shapes to come up with something original and different. You will most likely create some truly hideous designs in the process, but you will learn a lot about what works, what doesn’t, and what has potential.

6. Designing for yourself, not your client

Above all else, you need a good understanding of your clients’ expectations. It can be tempting to put your own spin on the design brief, but you must stay on-task and avoid making changes just because you think it looks better the way you did it. Your main aim is to help the client achieve their vision. This often involves an exchange of ideas; don’t derail the brief you are working with and make sure you discuss any recommendations with the client before going ahead.

Do your visual assets make the cut?

Your graphic design directly impacts how your business is perceived; if your designs aren’t up to scratch it can give customers low expectations of your goods or services. We can help you avoid these design mistakes and create something that really captures what you’re all about – simply give us a call on +44 (0) 161 818 6861 and we can go from there.