I’m gonna be showing you and telling you the 5 graphic design mistakes you should avoid. If you’re a creative professional graphic designer, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been doing it, you make mistakes.
It’s part of the process. In fact, a lot of the mistakes that we make actually help our process out. However, there are so many mistakes that technical SEO experts near me have seen over on our subreddit and these mistakes I’m always constantly pointing out. I thought I’d make a blog and put an end to these mistakes, these fundamental mistakes today. Mistake number one is too many fonts.
We’ve all been there, we’ve been new designers and we love fonts. We maybe find a website called Dafont.com, or maybe you recently got a subscription to Envato Elements, link below. and you just need to use all these fonts that you have found. Well, the problem is, that when you use too many fonts, it can clutter up the workspace. As a brand identity designer, we select a certain typeface, which is a collection of fonts.
If you didn’t know, a typeface has many fonts and a font that is part of normally a typeface. We select the typeface because it looks similar all the way through. It may have different weights, it may be wider, it may be more condensed, and it might be italic. Using a maximum of three fonts will ensure you create a nice consistent flow within all your work. For example, I do Instagram carousels. If you don’t know, go follow me down below.
Behind The Scenes Of Graphic Designing
I teach all about graphic design and sort of the behind-the-scenes, the BTS of what it means to be a successful designer. And in those carousels, I use my brand typeface that’s Montserrat for the most part because it’s still legible at small scales. Generally, I use Montserrat as my headline. It’s bold, it’s nice, it fits carousels perfectly, and it’s very geometric.
But I also have a couple of other typefaces. I also use Visby CF and Jazmin or Jazmin. These are more of my display types. Now, the trick that I have is I don’t ever venture out of these typefaces unless it’s for illustrative purposes. For instance, you’ve got a poster design, there’s lots of information, and you think you need to use more typefaces. Well, let me tell you what, you’re wrong. In fact, instead of using multiple typefaces, you could lay out the poster or the cover or anything.
The Instagram carousel is better and more involves the typeface. So that’s tip number one. Stop using too many typefaces and use only three. Not in every project, but in that one project. Tip number two is not enough white space. Now, white space is different from negative space, as negative space is the space within an object, but white space is the space outside of it.
The framing, what a lot of amateur designers do is create work with not enough white space. There’s not enough border around it. What this does is it sort of fills the page and it doesn’t train the eye to what really matters. Now, a great way to combat this, first of all, is to have a guide. These guides can be put as a border. Essentially, you don’t put any work outside of there.
Learning Layout And Composition
The second way to learn this is by learning layout and composition. A good layout in graphic design is a way to allow people to read easily without fatiguing the eye or confusing the viewer. It should be natural from the top left to the bottom right. And as we start to learn graphic design and we start to experiment with different ways of creating layouts, we sometimes think it’s a bit boring and too simplistic, so we add things to the white space.
In reality, what this is doing is it’s actually showing the amateur side of your skills. A good principle is to not have too much stuff on the outside. So make sure you’ve got enough white space on the page. Don’t clutter it unless it’s an artistic thing that you need to do for the project, for the aesthetics. It’s aesthetics. Aesthetics, that’s right, aesthetics. I can’t say it.
Essentially Is Keep The White Space
Tip number two essentially is to keep the white space, and allow it to be there. It trains the eye towards the content that you’re bringing to the viewer. Mistake number three is poor readability or legibility. I’ve got Dyslexia, which means that it’s sometimes difficult for me to read lots of words on a paper. It sometimes also means that the words will kind of jumbled up as I’m reading.
Being a logo-type designer might sound counterintuitive and a bit strange, but in reality, it’s easier for me to see shapes within the letters. So when I talk about readability, I’ve got a really good sense of what it means for a typeface or a font or a piece of work to be readable.
A lot of amateur designers don’t know when something is readable, so they would automatically post to Reddit without knowing that the typeface of the font is too small or too large, or the actual typeface is just not accessible to other people. Maybe with those with bad eyesight, maybe with those with Dyslexia. Choose a typeface that is easily readable. I choose Montserrat and Visby CF. These are called San Serifs, or in the French, Sans Serif. Which essentially means without sans. No. Which essentially means without serifs.
That’s the word sans. Sans Serifs are really easy to read and we’ve been trained to read them from a very young age. This is the reason why most corporate companies will use sans serif. Meta, which was Facebook, used sans serif and they changed their typefaces all over the place when they were Facebook anyway, to make it even more readable and to modernize it, your favourite store will probably have sans serif as the main logotype, unless it’s very decorative, such as Theory Eleven. Which is a logo that I really like.
The Actual Logo Type.
It’s a card company, a playing cards company or a Bicycle. They’re very old school, they’ve got like this heritage sort of feel. There you go, Bicycle. The typeface you use has to be legible, but not only that, you have to make it legible with sizing. In Illustrator, if you Press Command or Control 1, you’ll actually view the page as 100%. That means that you’re viewing it at the exact size of which it would be printed in real life. There are so many different rules of thumb or little hacks.
You can do this, and I will save that for another blog. But essentially make sure it’s clearly readable and visible all the time. When it zoomed in when it zoomed out at 100%. The next design mistake is again another principle of design, which is a lack of contrast. The contrast is like white and black, it’s like blue and yellow. Light and dark. It is what you see prominently in what you do not see.
Main Fundamentals Of Design
Contrast is one of the main fundamentals of design and knowing what is good at contrast and what doesn’t contrast well is important. And for me personally, I learned this just from experience and playing around with colours, as I was learning. There are many websites like Colour Contrast Checker, where you can check the contrast of a certain colour that works well.
Now, the problem is that we have is people are colourblind and that’s absolutely fine, we can’t change that. So we need an ability to be able to change the contrast of the colours that we’re seeing as designers to colours that people who may be colourblind see. The contrast will change in a lot of ways that we see on Reddit. We don’t see enough contrast in either the logo design.
The Actual Colour Of The Design
We don’t see enough contrast through the negative space. We don’t see enough contrast between the title text and the body text. Now, there’s no real rule of thumb for contrast. It’s kind of a hard one to get and it can be subjective for the most part. But there are websites that will link in the description that will help you check the colour contrast. Now, for typographic contrast, and by that I mean you have title text and you have maybe a subtitle and then body text.
But a good rule that you can put into place for yourself when it comes to choosing contrast between types is when you’re choosing the headline, the title text. Skip a couple of weights and just basically divide the title text by 1.618 two times and you will get the body text while skipping two weights. What this will do is it will give you great proportions, obviously. It will also mean that you’re getting good contrast between the boldness of the type.
Before I go into the last one, I just want to tell you about Envato Elements really quick. You’re a new designer, or maybe you’re just up and coming. You’re a student, maybe you’re a freelancer and you’re just refreshing your skills. Or you found this blog. Assets are really difficult to find. And not only that, mockups, fonts and all these things can be relatively expensive for the good quality ones.
Well, Envato Elements has all the assets you need from loads of fonts, mockups, scene generators, audio files, blog templates, like after effects, and logo reveals. They’ve actually got 55 million, over 55 million assets for you to download with their subscription. And not only that, they offer an amazing simple license. We use assets from Envato Elements all the time with our client work. It’s just super simple, knowing that the license that we have with them, as soon as we stop.
Maybe one day subscribing to Envato, we can still use the assets that we’ve downloaded from Envato indefinitely. If you click the link in the description, you get 50% off the annual subscription, which means that for less than $20 a month, you have access to over 55 million assets. It’s a great deal no matter how you look at it. It’s amazing. Thank you, Envato for sponsoring this blog.
The last mistake I see a lot of designers make is following trends. There’s nothing wrong with design trends. A lot of people think of the design connoisseurs, and They get really mad when I make a blog about trends, saying, We’re designers and we don’t need to follow trends, you’re wrong. It’s important to know what the trends are. Trends are normally things that we see. Patterns of design that we see in large companies, or that a lot of designers are doing at once.
For instance, design trends, such as using crazy serifs, authentic serifs that we don’t really see anymore, and people are using them in a modern sense that started happening a couple of years ago or even like the nice gradient logos that we see that Meta is using now. A lot of people follow design trends, which is great, and it can work. But the problem is, that design trends change.
It’s Not Timeless
The principles of design are completely timeless. Every logo that we create in our agency comes out timeless. It will last over ten years. Some of the best logos that we see today have been derived and inspired by timeless logos from early 1900. Following trends isn’t a bad thing. It’s just something I wouldn’t recommend. And when I see designers doing it, for instance, when I see everyone using gradients on their logos because they’ve seen Meta doing it, then it’s kind of like you’re just copying Meta. Everyone looks the same.
There’s no differentiation between the companies anymore. And also the functional aspects of gradients and logos can get a bit weird as well, especially if you’re a printing company or company that uses t-shirts or whatever, Meta is a digital company. I’ve got a blog in the description below which outline all the design trends. I sort of predicting them before they happen, but it’s not really a prediction.
Doing And Seeing
It’s just seeing what other people are doing and seeing what others are going to be doing in the next year. And that’s great. It’s a great way to learn how the design industry moves and what everyone is doing in the community. But don’t follow a bandwagon. Stick with the principles. If you do that, your designs will last even longer, so you won’t have to tell your clients.
New Technology Comes Out
Your logo is only going to last like two years until this new technology comes out, sort of thing. But with that being said, don’t discount them either. So don’t blindly follow design trends. Thank you so much for watching this blog. If you don’t know who I am, I’m Will Paterson. I’m a graphic designer. I own an agency in the north of England, and we bring you blogs every week, twice a week, with the express goal and Mission to make your life easier as a designer by teaching you things you may not know and to also sharpen your skills. We want you to be a better designer after every single blog that we bring out.