5 Common Mistakes Graphic Designers Make

By • 5 years ago with 2 replies already

Even the most seasoned designers can fall victim to design faux pas. Whether you’re creating a design for a coffee mug, pillow or your own website, here are 5 common mistakes graphic designers make and how to avoid them.

  1. Forgetting to spell check. You may not be a copywriter, but as a designer, you’re responsible for the entire design — and that includes every misplaced comma or forgotten apostrophe. Before you enter your copy into an official text box, create a Word document and run a spellcheck to catch any glaring errors. Even better, send your copy to someone who knows grammar, whether it’s a freelance proofreader, your mom or your fifth-grade English teacher. And as a rule, step away from your design when you’re finished, wait 24 hours (or even just a few), then revisit it with a fresh pair of eyes. Another designer don’t? Accidentally leaving your Greek text. Just lorem ipsum won’t do it.
  1. Ignoring spec. Nearly every piece you design will have some constraints, parameters and overall design needs, whether it’s word count, overall size or font choices. Nearly every item on Zazzle, for instance, has a maximum character count, and T-shirts and print pieces, such as invitations, will have specific bleed requirements. Look for Guidelines and Grids icons within Zazzle so you know how to align your text and images.
  2. Improper kerning. Kerning refers to the spacing between characters. It’s a simple step every designer should add to their workflow to make sure their final design is perfectly polished and professional looking. It may seem simple, but some letters are more difficult to kern than others, especially depending on whatever font you’re using. If you’re a newbie to the design world, this beginner’s guide to kerning is a helpful resource.
  1. Overusing stock images. It may be unavoidable at times, but too many stock images can make a design look impersonal and, well, unoriginal. Instead, opt for DIY photography, an infographic, or images without copyright or hire a student or fellow artist to collaborate with you. Another option? Forego imagery altogether and opt for bold typography. Which leads us to our next common mistake …
  1. Going font crazy. There are thousands upon thousands of fonts out in the world — that doesn’t mean you should explore them all. When you’re working on a project, consider the context of what you’re working on. Is it modern, vintage, retro, comic book-inspired? If it’s font-neutral and you want to mix fonts, by all means go for it. Experiment. Have fun. But try to void using more than two or three fonts within one design — and remember to choose fonts that are legible!
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2 thoughts on “5 Common Mistakes Graphic Designers Make”

  1. Great tips, Erika! With Zazzle’s new design tools that allow us to adjust kerning (finally!), your link is a great intro for typography newbies!

  2. I have hundreds, over 500 plus products on Zazzle.com but they don’t list them in my collections or store, and im not making a dollar? Is this normal? FREEDart* is my store, this seems insane too me…

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