From the architecture of our homes to our favorite box of cereal, graphic design has become an integral part of modern life. A great design can leave you in awe! Likewise, a bad design can be a turn-off. Graphic design can be incredibly accessible to beginners looking to express themselves personally and professionally. But it can also be easy to make graphic design mistakes when you are new to it. So let’s uncover the 7 most common graphic design mistakes made by beginners, and ways to correct them!
1. Improper use of fonts.
With so many fonts to choose from it can be difficult to settle for just one. Here’s a short guide to making your text legible to avoid this design mistake:
- What’s the mood of my graphic? Try to use a font that goes well with the mood of your image.
- How can I keep my text short and still convey the message?
Simplified Design Tip: For readability stick to an average of 50-60 characters in a sentence.
2. Clashing colors.
While it is fun to experiment with your designs, clashing colors can be a big turn-off for your audience. To combat this problem try using this method:
- Layer your base color with a contrasting color.
- Choose a color that aids readability.
3. Convoluted configurations.
Graphic design is all about patience and creativity. Many novice designers make the mistake of over-complicating their designs due to limited app knowledge.
- Choose user-friendly graphic design tools instead of niche professional tools.
- Watch tutorials and learn key shortcuts to make designing quick and easy.
4. Breaking the visual hierarchy of text.
Our brains are used to reading text in a particular order and breaking this could lead to your message getting lost.
- Follow this text rule of thumb: big font to small font.
- Use the heading structure to emphasize information you want the reader to retain.
5. Cluttered designs (most common graphic design mistake!)
When beginners start designing, they often try different elements and variations which can unfortunately lead to crowded graphics. The result can be confusing, so as a designer, stick with a ‘less is more’ approach.
- Use your negative space well!
- Add less text.
- Use fewer illustrations and elements.
This graphic design mistake is most relevant to small business owners. When creating your brand’s logo, be mindful of how you can apply the same style to your other marketing designs in the future: business cards, packaging, etc.
- Create a color palette for your brand and stick to it!
- Make sure your logo is multi-purpose and works well for both online and offline marketing.
Simplified Design Tip: Consistency is key when it comes to a brand’s identity and voice. So figuring out these tiny details at the beginning can help you save time and money later.
Here’s a quick video to help you stay consistent:
7. Overlooking file formats and mediums.
Another overlooked graphic design mistake is not knowing the medium for your designs. Identifying where your design will be used can help you save tons of time and perhaps a facepalm moment later!
- Determine the medium: print or digital? Use RGB format for digital graphics and CMYK for prints.
Simplified Design Tip: Make sure to be mindful of your spacing especially when designing print material. For example, the space between two pages is called a gutter. So if you are working on designs for a book/magazine, leave enough gutter margin for readability.