10 Most Common Graphic Design Mistakes Made by Beginners

If you’re a beginner or an aspiring graphic designer, then there are many challenges that will come your way – some of which will be posed by your own self.

There will be times when you unknowingly make things difficult for yourself – overthinking on a certain aspect of your design or trying to do too much within a very little space. This is what this article intends to warn you about.

Yes, the little mistakes that if avoided can make a big difference to your overall learning and designing experience!

If you are still learning or wish to try your hand at designing as a beginner, then you can join a branding agency. Working with designing companies will not only help you hone your skills every day by working on live projects, but also give you a hint of what it is like to work for real life clients and understanding their needs & instructions – an art that many beginner designers find difficult to master.

Let’s get started with the mistakes that you need to steer clear of while you’re stepping into the world of designing.

10 Most common graphic design mistakes usually made by beginners

1. Congested Designs

Sometimes it so happens that you put a lot of objects in your design, perhaps trying to fit in more information or just trying to fill in empty spaces. However, this isn’t the wisest thing to do when it comes to designing. Sometimes, it is better to leave a few blank spaces in your design, for it to look clean and sophisticated.

This also improves readability, and diverts the reader’s attention to the space where it should be. Too much information is seldom good, always remember.

2. Uneven Spacing of Font Face – Kerning the Font

This is a major mistake that a lot of beginners end up making when trying to accommodate a certain word, sentence or paragraph within some space, or trying to cover a space with text. This isn’t to say that kerning is a bad thing to do.

Remember, every tool on your designing software exists for a reason, and it is up to you and only you to make the right use of it. When you kern the typography, it might look unprofessional if not done correctly, or rather consistently.

The same applies to spacing your font. Inserting spaces between words or lines randomly in order to occupy or fill a certain area in your design does not only make the design shabby but also affects legibility of the font. The message would hence remain unclear and the design would not hold the reader’s attention for long.

3. Too Many Fonts

Excess of anything is bad applies big time to the world of designing – especially when it comes to font faces. The idea of using different fonts to differentiate or set apart different types of information or messages may sound appealing, right and practical – but unfortunately it isn’t anything like any of these.

Too many fonts make your design look very unprofessional. You not only end up throwing in all forms of shapes and designs onto one design, but also jeopardize the essence of the message that the design wishes to convey.

Remember, even your typography per se has a feel attached to it. The kind of font face you use has to align with the emotion that your message and the design over all wants to convey.

4. Using Too Many Stock Images

Now, it is understandable that stock images are your easiest source of images and that there’s an image for almost every requirement, but don’t make it a habit to use stock images every time. Given their accessibility and availability, a lot of people have either already used those images or are using them in their designs.

This means that a greater lot of people must have already seen those images somewhere or the other, and putting the same image in front of your audience isn’t an idea all that appealing.

5. Spelling Mistakes

No matter how great your designs are, a single spelling mistake can act as a major spoiler. Always be very careful about the spellings in your designs – proofreading everything twice if you’re not very confident about your spellings.

Same goes for grammar too. It is advisable to get your image copies proofread by someone who has a strong grammar base. This will help you even when you are designing for yourself – for a school project, or for a client for its marketing campaign.

6. Not Understanding the Instructions

There’s a difference between designing what you like and designing what the client wants. Your client might prefer to have a font or a color on the design that you might not like, but you might still have to follow his instructions.

Emotionally attaching themselves to their designs is what beginner designers often end up doing, however, this brings nothing but discontentment, because the client is always going to have the ultimate word. Hence, it is important to pay heed to the instructions of your client and design accordingly.

It might be hard to satisfy the creative designer in you, and you might have to go against your “principles”, but when it comes to business, the customer is the king.

7. Colors

Not using the right colors is a horrible thing to do to your design. It can make your design look everything that you never want it to – kiddish, unprofessional, immature, and the likes.

Hence, it is extremely important to have your color game strong. There are a lot of sources available on the internet that can help you with deciding which colors go well together. You need to keep a close watch on latest design trends also.

8. Trying Too Many Tools on a Single Design

Yes, you’re new to the designing software. Yes, these software are new to you. Yes, you want to bring out your creativity as much as possible.

But using all forms of art on one single canvas isn’t really a great thing to do. It is understandable that with the software in your hands you want to do as much as possible, but you should leave this experimental part for the time that you are trying out different things and making new designs just for fun.

Do not keep the hit and trial for a client’s project. This is not to say that you shouldn’t think out of the box and restrict your creativity. However, there is a very thin line between thinking out of the box and going overboard. That is something that you need to mind.

9. Overthinking the Smallest Details

It is good to be a perfectionist, but upto a certain limit only. Delving too much on a single design, or rather a single object on your design, may consume a lot of time that you could have otherwise given to something else, perhaps creating a new design. “Oh the background colour isn’t really good”, “Maybe the border could be changed”, “Is the font good enough?”, if these and other such questions pry on your mind for longer than they should, then you’re making a huge mistake of getting stuck on a question that you’re being unable to answer in your examination.

10. Losing Hope

If you’re a beginner, it is highly likely that you will lose hope quickly if you feel that you’re being unable to create what you had thought, or if you get negative feedback on what you thought was great.

It is essential that you keep up your spirits and work with the same dedication and enthusiasm that you had started with. It is natural to feel a little disheartened when you’re new to the profession, however, don’t let it get the best of you.

Always remember, you’re trying to take your own time to get better at it, but never lose hope.

So, all the designers who are aiming to go from beginner to professional, make sure to steer clear of all the pointers discussed above. With practice and time, you’re definitely going to get there someday!

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2 years ago

Sending projects without proofreading is one of the most common mistakes made by all beginner designers.