We’ll be honest! Graphic design is a very subjective field with different people having different opinions on what’s really good design and what’s not.
However, having said that, there are some elements of graphic design that cannot be replaced or skipped.
Graphic design has become a vital part of business marketing plans. It can work as the make-or-break for your brand’s image. And, therefore, it is important that you (whether you are a designer or the owner) avoid making some of the commonest graphic design mistakes that could ruin your brand’s position in the market.
Today, that is exactly what we’ll be discussing and helping you with.
So, here are 7 grave design mistakes no one should ever commit.
The main objective of creating a design for your business, be it a logo, a webpage, a business card, etc. is to share some necessary information with the audience. So, it becomes essential to ensure that not only the right kind of message is being sent across but, also in the clearest manner.
And the copy of your design plays a huge role in that.
Now, we understand that it can be lucrative to use a set of fancy fonts for your designs to make them look interesting. But, if the message is not understood due to lack of clarity then the purpose is not solved; no matter how fancy the typeface is.
Therefore, a piece of good advice while using fonts for your design copy is to stick with a maximum of 3 different fonts.
Do note that this doesn’t mean that you start using 3 different fonts for all your designs.
For example, your logo design might only be able to compensate for space for one font. Similarly, you can use two font styles for your business card designs if required. And, for something like a billboard design or your business website, you can go with three fonts styles if need be.
The point to remember here is, select your typeface beforehand and pick a maximum of 3 font styles from the family and use them accordingly throughout your different designs.
‘Kerning’ is the process of adjusting the space between the letters of a word.
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Now, the above example clearly shows us the impact that proper kerning makes on the clarity of your design content.
And, for those who are thinking, “what difference would it hardly make if I miss a space between two letters of a word?”
You see what I did there with the word ‘miss’?!
Now, imagine the same applied to your entire copy of the design.
In order to make your designs legible and attractive, you need to keep a check on such issues as well. Ask a professional graphic designer and they’ll tell you how important it is to ensure proper kerning in your designs.
Last week, we had discussed the importance of typography in business designs and one of the key components in that discussion was the visual hierarchy.
Having a proper visual hierarchy for your graphic designs (whether it is a website, brochure, email, etc.) helps the audience to understand which elements are the most important and how their eyes should move over the piece.
And it is important how? You may ask.
So, whenever you’re creating a new design, there is typically one main message you want to communicate. It could be about an upcoming event, a new discount offer, a product launch, etc.
Now, how you create the hierarchy in your design will dictate what your audience takes away from your design.
If you want your audience to know about your event name, make sure that’s the part that is highlighted the most on your design.
Also, it is a good point to note that hierarchy doesn’t just have to be font size or placement. You can also create an effective hierarchy through colors, graphic elements, or the weight of the fonts you use.
This is where proper typography comes into play.
Just like fonts, the use of colors is also a very important element in graphic design.
Using wrong or too many colors on your design piece can create chaos and confusion for your audience; making it difficult for them to comprehend the design and the message you want to share.
When choosing a palette, limit your selection to just a few shades that create enough contrast to give the design depth without being distracting. Test your fonts along with these colors to make sure that text is legible whether standing alone or sitting on top of other elements, and use color in text sparingly.
A good way to decide your design colors is to refer to the shades of your brand colors. You can use the same to provide continuity and resemblance for your audience to recognize your design.
One of the worst mistakes that can happen with your business graphic designs is the over-use of stock images.
Not that using stock images (or any raster image) is a crime in the field of graphic design but, the fact that they are overwhelmingly used by other sources as well, there is a high possibility of your designs getting matched with any of your competitor’s.
Additionally, when you create a design you may have to use it for different purposes on different platforms. So, scalability can become a huge issue in that case.
For example, let’s say you have used a raster image to create a custom logo design for your brand. Now, if you have to create a billboard design for your brand and have to place your logo on that ad, you will have to enlarge the logo size several times high to match the size of the billboard. This clearly would deteriorate the quality of your logo design.
Whitespace is yet another very important element of graphic design that must be used strategically to enhance the legibility of your design.
In its presence, whitespace might mean nothing but empty space on the design piece that has nothing to fill it up with. But, when you look at it from a professional designer’s PoV you’d see a design pattern in the form of such whitespaces.
Not only does it make your design look elegant but, it also puts emphasis on certain design elements such as your call-to-action, making your message stand-out.
Lastly, but equally (or maybe slightly more) important graphic design mistake no one should commit is missing checking the final design thoroughly before making them public.
It’s not uncommon to miss out on tiny grammatical or other kinds of errors in your own work after you’ve been staring at it for hours or days.
And, while misplaced punctuation may not seem like a major problem, there are plenty of people out there that will notice common issues like that, and ignore the rest of the project.
Not only will it be the wastage of your time and efforts but, also it will add more expenses to your project as you’ll have to get all the designs printed again.
In addition to this, if you are creating the design for a client you should ensure that the entire design matches accurately with the original instructions from the client. You should see to it that all of the elements fit together to convey the right message; with clarity.
A good way to avoid such a humiliating mistake is to get someone else to take a look at the project that might help catch the problems you may have missed.
If these mistakes were a revelation for you, let us inform you that there are several other graphic design mistakes that many tend to commit; unknowingly, of course.
GraphicsZoo is a professional graphic design agency that has helped over 1700 brands across different industries with 16000+ professional designs; and counting. We understand the nuances of graphic designing and how to make the best use of each element.
If you are looking for any design-related help, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today at firstname.lastname@example.org