4 Design Mistakes Every Graphic Designer Should Avoid

4 Design Mistakes Every Graphic Designer Should Avoid

It’s very easy to call yourself a graphic designer. I mean, if you’ve got a copy of Photoshop and an ounce of creativity then you’re set, right?

Perhaps, but there’s a big difference between being a graphic designer and a great graphic designer.

A great graphic designer consistently delivers amazing results and can tell you exactly why they’re amazing. An average graphic designer might serve up passable work, but it’s nothing that stands out and it’s obvious that the technical knowhow isn’t there.

If you want to mark yourself out as an awesome graphic designer then you should start by making sure you’re not making these 4 design mistakes.

  1. 1. Style over Usability

No one heads into the world of graphic design without a million ideas springing from their old grey matter. And every graphic designer wants to stand out. After all, it’s our creative freedom.

But there comes a point when you need to stop trying to push the envelope. For example, say you’re working on some cereal packaging. Yes, we know that every single box of cereal is exactly the same shape and yes it’s lacking originality.

However, that regular cuboid shape is actually pretty useful for the consumer. Sure, your Tony the Tiger shape cereal box is a wonder of graphic design, but how are people going to get their cereal out of it?

Always make sure your projects retain the right balance of style and usability otherwise you’ll find your work getting rejected left, right and centre.

  1. 2. Making Minimalism too Minimalist

I’ve happily banged the drum about minimalism on this blog before and I still stand by the fact that it’s a powerful aesthetic.

However, it needs to be handled properly.

All too often I find myself clicking on websites which have taken minimalism to the extreme. You certainly need to strip cluttered websites of all that clutter, but make sure it’s only the clutter! Minimalist designs which have had the pruning shears run over them once too often will be devoid of any functionality.

To avoid this make sure your strip down your designs gradually. This allows your users to know how to interact and what they’re interacting with.

  1. 3. Using the Worst Fonts on the Planet

If there’s one thing you should be taught on the first day of graphic design school it’s which fonts you should avoid like the plague!

Certain fonts are overused, unengaging or just plain ugly! And it’s the use of these fonts which make for unimaginative designs and show you haven’t put enough thought into your designs.

The worst fonts to use, in my opinion, are probably the ones you’re most familiar with due to their ubiquity in graphic design: Times New Roman, Helvetica, Papyrus and Curlz.

Keep away from these fonts to ensure that your design doesn’t jostle for room in a world already crowded with mediocre typography.

  1. 4. You Don’t Have to Centre Everything

A big mistake in graphic design is to assume that everything needs to be centralised to look ordered. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

I mean, take this blog for instance. Imagine if everything was centralised. It would be a nightmare to read (content not withstanding) and certainly wouldn’t look natural. Humans like to read from a definitive left edge which helps guide the eye down from line to line.

That isn’t to say that hitting the ‘centre alignment’ button is a crime. Many logos for example, due to their lack of elements, are centralised and titles are often best kept in the centre. Just make sure you analyse each project for the best alignment.

Avoiding these 4 design mistakes will help you stop making amateur mistakes and improve your designs no end, so get to work on eliminating them immediately!



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