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5 common mistakes made in graphic design (and how to avoid them)

Key to the beauty of graphics is how easily they can be inserted into various marketing channels. Basically, whether you want a new logo, banner, letterhead or website, a graphic designer can help you to make it look good – especially as they know what works and what doesn’t aesthetically.  

However, you should be careful to choose an experienced designer, lest you end up with a design committing one of the following sins that can appear a little too often in graphic design.

Too many fonts

Generally, a design piece should use a maximum of one or two fonts. Otherwise, the differing fonts could distract from not only each other but also the wider message of the piece.

Naturally, a relatively small piece, like a logo, won’t be able to accommodate a huge number of fonts in the first place. However, even when designers are overhauling an entire website or webpage and so have more room to play with, using just one font can help in establishing a brand identity. 

Constantly putting in stock images

While usage of stock images can be justified for cash-strapped projects requiring specific images, they should ideally be used sparingly. That’s because certain stock photos can become victims of their own success due to overuse, leading them to look increasingly derivative.

Yes, you are probably now picturing the overly familiar photo of a woman wearing headphones and a microphone in what could be deemed the stereotypical image of a worker in a call centre.

Failing to proofread often enough

The ‘often enough’ part is especially crucial – as, if you proofread text you have yourself placed on a graphic, you could too easily gloss over minor imperfections, like a misused comma or stray apostrophe. Some textual blunders are so bad that they could even risk going viral…

One good case in point would be that of the DVD cover for the recent action film Nobody, where listed underneath quoted praise from a critic was the phrase ‘Critic Name, Publication’. Whoops…

Opting for the wrong colours

The ‘right’ colours wouldn’t distract too much from what the design is fundamentally trying to say. If you want a logo suitable for a law firm, for example, you wouldn’t want colours that make the firm itself look as though it could be run by half-forgotten ‘90s TV favourite Mr Blobby.

A good rule of thumb would be for both primary and secondary colours to be incorporated into the colour palette intended to form the basis of your brand’s visual identity.

Neglecting to create a truly versatile design

Think about it: many of the most iconic logos in the business world today, like the McDonald’s ‘M’ and the Nestlé symbol of a birds’ nest, look just as good online as they do on printed materials.

By choosing what looks like a genuinely timeless design now, you can hopefully save yourself from having to commission a potentially expensive redesign later. Our graphic designers can help you to get things right the first time around.

5 common mistakes made in graphic design and how to avoid them
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