Art & Design

8 Design Faux Pas You Need to Avoid

If you’re in the business of graphic design, you know there are steadfast rules and principles that guide your designs – everything from choosing the proper color palette to the rule of thirds. There are also plenty of mistakes to avoid committing career suicide. Side-step these eight design faux pas that make you look like a rookie.

1. “Helvetica is my go-to font.”

Some designers spend as much time choosing a font as it takes to create the design itself. First pointer: Don’t use the same safe (translation: boring) font. Every. Single. Time. Each design is original and should be treated as such. On the other hand, avoid too many ornamental fonts. It’s distracting and, ultimately, ineffective.

Helvetica design taboo

2. “Can you read that?”

If you’re unable to clearly read the copy, from any distance, then you have a problem. Kerning is the spacing between characters. Be sure the copy has enough breathing room to make it legible.

Kerning definition

3. “Who is this for again?”

A beautiful graphic without a purpose is garbage. Sorry for the brutal honesty, but you were hired to accomplish SOMETHING specific for SOMEONE specific. Keep your target audience in mind at all times, and don’t lose sight of the main goal.

4. “Something feels…off.”

That probably means you need to reconsider your layout. Even if a design is off-center on purpose, be sure to maintain some balance between design elements, including images, copy and use of white space.

Balancing asymmetric design

5. “Everyone’s doing it.”

It’s good to keep up with the latest industry trends. It’s bad when all those trends are vomited onto everything you create. Your designs should withstand the test of time, so only apply trends that fit your creative, if at all.

6. “You need a logo? That’s easy!”

There are a couple of principles behind logo design that shouldn’t be ignored. According to DesignTaxi, failing to design a logo on a grid is a major faux pas that can result in a poor logo design.

7. “Did you ask for that?”

Haven’t read your client’s design brief? Or purposely ignoring their millionth email nitpicking every image placement until the job is done? That’s asking for trouble. Keep open communications with your client to be sure you deliver on their request, and they’ll pay you back with excellent reviews and future referral business.

8. “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

Um…actually…it’s not. In the graphic design world, copying someone else’s design as a “source of inspiration” is a big no-no. Instead, be inspired to create something original that will make someone else want to imitate your style!

If you’re in need of a design consultation, you’re in luck. Overnight Prints Design Services can help modify a design or create one from scratch for your next print project (And don’t worry, we won’t judge).

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