When it comes to graphic design, we have good news and bad news. The good news is it’s easy to be a graphic designer, the bad news is it’s hard to be a good one. Whether you’re a business owner looking to build your brand or an aspiring graphic designer, we’ve compiled a list of things to avoid when you sit down and start to design.
1. Have brand standards
If you don’t have a guide outlining your brand standards, create one ASAP. Brand standards help you create consistent content and help build a brand your customers will recognize.
2. Make the most of your real estate
We all know about over designing, but did you know it’s also possible to under-design? Under-whelming designs get you nowhere so use your space wisely!
3. Take it easy on color, font and other design elements
Even the busiest designs are a calculated balance of fonts, colors, images, etc. While at sometimes it may suite your message to mix it up with some different design elements, its usually best practice to stick to a simple combination in any given design. Your brand standards are usually a good place to start when it comes to selecting colors and fonts.
1. Demand perfection on the first pass
Design isn’t one of those you can just sit down and do perfectly on the first attempt. Like anything else creative, it’s a process. Furthermore, don’t stop after the first iteration of your idea. Let the ideas flow, develop your concept, make multiple copies so you have lots of options!
2. Try to wing it (or asking someone else to)
It’s wise to at least have a concept to support your message before you begin the design process. If you start without an idea of what you’re trying to create, you’ll probably end up being blown in the wind with every thought or idea that comes your way.
3. Blindly follow trends
There are tons of trends out there when it comes to design, but don’t assume they’re all good ones. Bold colors may be in style when it comes to design but if your brand is simple and not flashy, bright greens, oranges, etc. will contradict your brand identity.
4. Use Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word is a great tool with many useful features, but graphic design isn’t one of them! While you may be able to create something that looks okay for a simple project, Word just isn’t conducive to design. Taking it one step further, avoid clipart or any icons and images that are reminiscent of clipart.