20 Common Graphic Design Mistakes

20 Common Graphic Design Mistakes

Graphic design may seem easy for people outside the industry. They may think it is just combining the right picture, picking a specific set of colors and placing text in the right area. No, it’s more than that, not to mention those applications and software that they have to master to produce quality output. The truth is, it is a rigorous job that requires a keen eye, patience, and talent.

Sometimes, even the most experienced graphic designer still commits mistakes. Surely, there must be a reason behind that and is often unintentional. In this blog, we’ll talk about the common graphic design mistakes graphic designers commit.

1. Wrong, mismatch of a typeface and using too many. An unusual and unique typeface is not always good to use. Just because it looks good on “The Quick Brown Fox Jumps Over The Lazy Dog’” doesn’t mean it will look good on the material or will represent the brand or message well. Always opt for professional typeface and pick their right partner. Remember that not all typefaces go well together. Also, minimize the change of typeface to only three, or else it will look a mess or a child’s play. You wouldn’t want that. Last, do not use Comic Sans for art’s sake.

2. Not having a checklist Just like any other job, graphic design has to have their own checklist. Steps and tasks shall all be listed and checked to avoid confusion and problems. Also, it is an effective way to track progress. We all have this client who demands progress report every single time.

3. Not proofreading. This is crucial. Professional graphic designers can also commit typographical or grammatical errors. To avoid this, having a second look or someone who will review the material would be helpful.

4. Too much and “more is more” thinking Maybe it’s full of elements, colors, or text or symbols because the graphic designer might be overwhelmed by the content. It will look heavy and unpleasant to the eyes of the viewer, causing it to be ignored because it’s not readable. Remember that minimalism will help you have a clean and sleek output. Two to three color with one neutral is enough.

5. Wordy Content interpretation of the graphic designer plays an important role in how they will minimize the words they will put on the design. The key is always on important keywords. Some content can be shown through the use of visuals, symbols, and icons. Materials need not be wordy.

6. Too general icons It’s now common to use icons to interpret content. Aside from its simplicity, it looks clean and more professional. But choosing or making the right icons has to be carefully executed as it can mislead the viewer because it may be interpreted in different meanings.

7. Too much stock No, we don’t condemn those who use stock photos. It’s just that, a lot of us use those nowadays. Wouldn’t it be awkward if the viewer already saw those photos from the other design? Also, too many stock photos look cheap and ungenuine. People are now craving for authenticity.

8. Ignoring Visual Hierarchy The reception of the viewer to visuals is not how they read the text. Visual hierarchy is common knowledge for artists and designers and must not be forgotten.

9. ‘Stressed-out naming’ digital files Remember the last time you named a psd file ‘finalfinallastdraftfinal.psd’? I know it’s dreadful if the clients want so much revision but still, naming the file right (tip, use numbers to avoid confusion) will save you from problems like sending the wrong and unedited file.

10. Bad Kerning Spacing is necessary for the content to look and precise. Kerning or spacing between letters should be consistent for the viewer to read it properly.

11. Too little negative space White space helps to manipulate the eyes of the viewer for its focus and also plays an important role in increasing the design’s readability.

12. Elements placed arbitrarily Using grid lines can help in placing elements in the right place.

13. Not creating contrast Too much playing with colors can cause this. Always remember to choose the right colors without compromising the material’s overall appearance and readability.

14. Being on the trend too much Following trends is not a bad thing as it is a proof that as a designer you are also updated on what is effective in a particular period of time. But following too much may lose the identity of the brand that you are serving. Not all trends speak well with the brand or even the message you want to portray.

15. Filtering low-quality image through Photoshop A low-quality image will always have its way to show itself no matter how many layers of filter of PS used. Beware. Just get or request high quality one.

16. Using live tool too much C’mon. We know it’s hard, but it doesn’t mean you’ll always opt for the easier way.

17. Impatient with the clipping tool A poorly clipped photo can always destroy a good design. Have patience, and your hard work will surely pay off.

18. Bleeding too much Whenever working in digital always imagine the designed material how it will look in print. Sometimes bleed looks fine on screen but not in print. A simple mistake can ruin the design, worse, it’s message as well.

19. Using RGB colors Most of the printing companies use CMYK colors so change that immediately or else it will look wrong once it is printed.

20. Designing for yourself and not for the audience Maybe this is the most important one and a lot of designers unconsciously or consciously commit this. As a graphic designer, it is your job to serve your audience and interpret the content in a visual way. You are a doer and a problem solver more than an expressionist. But it doesn’t mean you can’t express yourself through your art or design, it’s just that the audience comes first above all.

In the rise of digital marketing, graphic design plays a vital role in attracting the right audience and compelling them through powerful visuals. Have a creative design or graphic design needs? We can help you! Write to us at virtuoso@athl.com.hk.

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