Most graphic designers fall into the same traps at the outset of their career. There is no shame in making these common mistakes. However, it is best to learn from the errs of others and sidestep setbacks when possible. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most common graphic design mistakes to heighten awareness and help others avoid these pitfalls.
Mistake #1: Forgetting to Leave Enough White Space
White space is essential to every design yet it is often overlooked in favor of excess design and color. There is visual importance in an area that does not have a design element. Leave ample white space to balance out the overarching design and the viewer’s eye will move through the piece with ease.
Mistake #2: Using an Excess of Fonts
Using more than a couple fonts in any one presentation is a mistake. Fonts are certainly visually pleasing yet they have the potential to distract the viewer. Keep your fonts limited to a maximum of one or two so they do not overpower the rest of the design.
Mistake #3: Failing to Align the Elements
Each of your graphic elements should have a similar alignment. Make use of the ruler/grid lines to ensure each element lines up exactly as it should. This way, it won’t look like text is scattered every which way. Furthermore, elements aside from type should also be aligned with one another. The piece is not ready until all shapes, lines and other visual elements are fully aligned.
Mistake #4: Too Much Design
There is such a thing as over-designing. The polar opposite of leaving an excess of white space is overfilling the space available with font, color, images, etc. If you think your piece might have a little too much visual flair, spend a few hours away from it, return and you will be able to perform more of an objective assessment. When in doubt, err on the side of less as opposed to more so the design does not flood the viewer with an abundance of shapes, colors, etc.
Mistake #5: Skewed Type
Using excessive fonts and design elements will negatively impact the presentation yet skewed type can prove even more disastrous. Do not drastically alter fonts. Do some resizing, tinker with kerning (the amount of space between letters), alter sizing as necessary, keep things within reason and your end result will prove engaging as opposed to distracting.