These 5 common graphic design mistakes are incredibly easy to make, but with a little bit of education and visual examples, you can learn what not to do when it comes to designing.
Don’t make the same mistakes I did when first starting out!
We all have to start somewhere and sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in all of the fun graphic design elements and fonts. I did it for years! I probably still make some of these mistakes and others from time to time. I’m not a professional or formally trained graphic designer, it’s just something I’ve learned to love over the last several years. I am mostly self taught and my knowledge comes from first hand mistakes and a lot of online reading. It’s my hope that I can help out a fellow newbie and offer some free advice when it comes to these 5 common graphic design mistakes.
5 Common Graphic Design Mistakes
Using Too Many Fonts
Fonts are so fun to use and can really make a design stand out, but using more than 2 or 3 in a piece can really kill the vibe. It’s a hard pill to swallow sometimes, I get it, but keeping the fonts paired down is crucial to a great design! Check out my favorite google font pairings to get you started.
Read Next: Simple Guide to Pairing Fonts
Just like using too many fonts can have a negative effect on your design, a skewed type can do the same thing. Fonts are meant to be resized, but they are not meant to be stretched, shrunk or distorted. Definitely play around with kerning (the space between each letter) and change the sizing when needed, but anything else just looks bad. Use that shift key when you are dragging the bounding box in Photoshop and Illustrator to make sure the text stays within the normal proportions it was designed to be. It’s the same with graphic elements like shapes, lines and images.
Not Aligning Elements
Make sure that all of your graphic elements have a common alignment! Use those grid lines or rulers in Adobe Illustrator to ensure that your elements line up properly. This is key to a great design. The last thing you want to see or your client wants to see is text that is all over the place when it comes to alignment. This also applies to other elements than just type, like lines or shapes.
Not keeping enough White Space
White space is the amount of space in a design that does not have a design element. You want to make sure you have a really good balance of white space to design. If you don’t have enough white space, then the eye doesn’t travel through the design as easily. It may cause the design to look too jumbled or smooshed together. The same can be said for photography!
Read Next: The Best Resources for Fonts and Graphics
Everything is Over Designed
This goes along with not enough white space, but over designing can really take away from what could be a great design. If you are worried your piece is overdone, walk away for a day or two! When you come back you will be looking at it from a fresh perspective.
If you don’t have the time to walk away for a bit, then play it safe and scale the design elements back a bit. Maybe get rid of a line element, a shape or a color. Simplicity is always best!
Not only is the above example using way too many fonts, but there is just too much going on. Actually it is an example of most of these 5 common graphic design mistakes; Too many fonts, skewed type, over-designed and not aligning the elements. The only thing it has going for it is the white space. It’s actually pretty proportionate to the elements. Otherwise, it’s just bad! I can say that because it’s one of the very first graphics I ever made for my food and home blog Domestically Creative.
These are just some of the most common graphic design mistakes that newbies start out making, but with just a bit of education, they can be avoided. Which of these mistakes are you guilty of?