How to Identify Common Graphic Design Mistakes (Before Anyone Else Does)

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by Graphicszoo 15+ days ago 5 mins read

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Graphic design is a creative field and can be very subjective when it comes to deciding its impact and accuracy. The same design which may seem pretty good to some may seem to be out of place to others.

However, there are a few common graphic design mistakes that carry a common opinion, especially, in the professional circuit. 

These design flaws do not (and should not) miss a professional designer’s attention as they could potentially blemish a brand’s reputation; if noticed on the public forum. 

So, if you are a business owner or a professional designer looking to create nearly flawless designs, here’s how you can identify some of the most common graphic design mistakes; before anyone else does.

Poor Kerning

common graphic design mistakes

One of the very first things that you should look for when perfecting the design is the readability

Nearly every kind of design carries some text on it. Be it website design (or a landing page design), blog design, social media design, email design, etc. 

Now, if the message on the design is not clear to read, and understand, the entire objective of creating that design goes in vain. 

“Kerning”, is one of thecommon graphic design terms which basically signify the space between two consecutive letters in a word. 

Sometimes a typeface will have too little space between some letters, or too much between others, so manual kerning can fix the problem and enhance legibility.

Non-adaptive designs

Not creating adaptive designs (mobile-friendly) is one of the gravest mistakes one can commit. 

It is an established fact that the majority of internet users access content from their mobile phones. Be it checking their emails, reading a blog, or surfing a website; everything happens on the small screen. 

It is, therefore, imperative to create designs that are adaptive so that your users get the same experience of accessing your brand’s information as they would on their laptops or PCs.

Lack of whitespace

Another design mistake that relates directly with readability and clarity of accessing content information is the lack of whitespace. 

A good design is one that utilizes whitespace appropriately throughout the design so that the content is easy to comprehend by the users.

For example, no one would like to spend time on a website that is highly cluttered and overwhelmed with design elements all over the webpage.

Adding white space can save designs, making them understandable, visually appealing, and clutter-free. A professional designer would know how to utilize the whitespace strategically in favor of the design.

No element of latest trend

common graphic design mistakes

Of course, following the latest trends blindly is not recommended for creating custom graphic designs. However, having said that, it is always a good idea to utilize a few design elements that belong to the current trends. 

Using such trending elements in your designs allows your brand to connect well with a wide range of audiences and, also, reflects your brand’s image as adaptable and aware.

For example, you can always stick the good ol’ minimalistic design while using geometric icons as elements that are trending highly in 2020 (and will continue in 2021 as well).

Check out our two-part series on graphic design trends for 2021 to know more. 

Part 1

Part 2

No focus on typography

This is one of those common graphic design mistakes that can be identified pretty easily (by anyone). And, so, it becomes all the more crucial to be taken care of. 

Sticking to irrelevant font type that doesn’t go along with your brand’s overall tone of voice, only to look fancy, can prove to be a huge deterrent in your brand building process through graphic designs. 

For example, let’s say you are running an e-commerce website for organic products. Now, it’d be a mistake to use a font style such as Comic Sans or Brush Script, just because it looks quirky and different. 

Additionally, using too many different font styles can also ruin your entire design and deny you the impact you aim to create. 

Design with too many fonts can make it look chaotic and unprofessional.

Check out this extensive list of 50 fresh fonts for modern graphic designs

Using outdated effects

common graphic design mistakes

Another very common mistake that designers commit in order to create unique graphic designs is to use outdated effects; especially for logo designs. 

Look at some of the biggest brands from different industries and you’ll see how even they transformed their design structure and overall look by doing away with outdated effects.

Of course, using retro elements in graphic designs is considered to be a good practice but, that shouldn’t be the base of your entire design project.

Also, it shouldn’t be used just because it is recommended. A design effect must be used only if it goes along with your brand’s identity.

Use of raster images

common graphic design mistakes

Excessive use of anything can be daunting for design and, that’s a common design mistake that novice designers commit; especially, with the use of raster images, stock images, or even flat vector images. 

Using stock or raster images can be a helpful and affordable solution when you’re working on a project that requires specific images. However, using too many stock photos can make your project look cheap or unprofessional. 

Additionally, a lot of designers tend to include raster images in logo designs; which is a straight No-No. Logos need to be created with vectors so they can be scaled to the size of a billboard or flexible across different mediums.

Now, while vector images are popular within the graphic design circle, and are preferred any day over stock or raster images, stylistically, they are all the same. They are drawn in one style and with the same colors. They have neither beauty nor uniqueness which means using flat vector icons in abundance is not only unprofessional, but it also sips any uniqueness from your design.

Bad color scheme choice

Color is one of the fundamental elements of graphic design and carries a lot of importance in determining the success of a design. 

Similar to using too many fonts, choosing too many colors or choosing the wrong colors can also make a design ineffective.

Every color leaves a different impact on the minds of consumers. Therefore, it is essential for professional designers to pick the right colors for the design by choosing the appropriate color palette; to begin with.

The color palette created should include both primary colors and secondary colors. Understand how to blend the light color with the darker one for effective branding and communication.

Test the fonts along with these colors to make sure that text is legible whether standing alone or sitting on top of other elements.

Graphic design mistakes including color are easily detectable by the audience and, so must be checked before rolling them out live.

Missing hierarchy

Design hierarchy is, again, related to the readability of the information fed to the consumers through the designs. 

Hierarchy defines how the information is organized so the audience knows which elements are the most important and how their eyes should move over the piece.

Every design, generally, carries a central message that the brand wants to communicate to its audience. Whether it is communicating a sale, upcoming event, or new blog post, how the hierarchy in the design is established will dictate what the audience takes away from the design.

In simple terms, therefore, hierarchy is the top design technique that ranks the importance of the information.

Also, hierarchy doesn’t just have to be font size or placement. It can also be established through colors, graphic elements, or the weight of the fonts used.

No audience appeal

common graphic design mistakes

This could be considered as possibly one of the most brutal, yet, common graphic design mistakes that should be identified at the earliest. 

The main objective behind creating a design is to communicate the brand’s message to the audience. This involves understanding the psychology, mood, and behavior of the target audience.        

However, a lot of new players in the industry rely on their own tastes or current trends, instead of thinking about the target audience and their preferences.

For example, as the owner or the designer, you may prefer to use bold colors such as red, black, blue, etc. for your designs. But, if your main target audience includes young ladies and females, your designs won’t really be able to connect with your intended audience. 

It is, therefore, the responsibility of a professional designer to effectively communicate the company’s ideas through the designs.

To conclude…

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, graphic designs can be very subjective. However, there some common graphic design mistakes which need to be identified and rectified before they are live on the public forum.

We hope this design guide was able to help you note down the crucial aspect of successful graphic designing and how you can identify the common mistakes before anyone else does.

If you are looking for professional graphic design support for your business, GraphicsZoo can help you. With a team of skilled and experienced designers, we have served over 1700 brands; and counting.

Get in touch with us with your requirements at