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15 Common Mistakes Graphic Designers Do

All designers make mistakes. No matter how experienced or amateur one can be, they could fall or trip over some and can affect their work in general.

Knowing and being mindful of even the slightest mistakes in design can help you improve your work and develop better strategies. If you’re still an amateur, this article will be more helpful for you, because, in this post, we’ve listed some of the common mistakes made by graphic designers.

15 Common Mistakes Graphic Designers Do

1. Not Understanding the Brief

Over Confidence

The brief is a very important document during design because it helps to find exactly what the customer is looking for. If you are working on the basis of what you think or see is correct, you might be working on things that are not so relevant to the customer and you will probably need to make a lot of changes.

When you are given a briefing, the first thing to do is read and understand it, exchange opinions with your clients if necessary, and fearlessly ask for what you don’t understand.

2. Not Meeting The Clients

Avoid Meeting Clients

Not keeping in touch with your clients is one of the common mistakes amateur designers make. Whether it’s intentional or not, not meeting with clients will cause the project to likely fail.

Although the client entrusts us with the success of a project due to our professionalism, we must take into account what their needs are in order to adjust the project to what is best for them. Therefore, we must take their opinion into account, and not avoid any type of contact. Our work will only come to fruition if we work together with the client.

3. Ignoring Contracts

No Legal Agreement

Failure to sign a contract might be disastrous for the designers. Unless there is a legal contract, clients may be able to get away with not even compensating the designer sometimes. As a result, contact is essential since it binds all parties toward being loyally committed in actual commerce with one another. Be professional and always take contracts seriously.

4. Overthinking

Overthinkg is Bad

Dwelling too much about the client’s requirements or whether you did a great job is not a good thing for designers. Sometimes, we get so worked up on trying to generate a good output that pleases everyone and forget why and for whom we are making the designs.

Overthinking just does more bad than good. It prevents development and wastes time and effort; contemplating too much would eat up our confidence until we get stuck and eventually feel lost in the process.

5. Procrastination

Time Management

Time management should be one of the skills a graphic designer must hone and practice. Remember, that it’s not just your time that is valuable, but the clients’ as well. Professionals work on timelines and one delay in the process will also disrupt the others that come after it.

Therefore, It is unacceptable to slack off and not complete your tasks on time. This results in poor output quality and is also unprofessional. Your reputation may suffer, and some clients may never return. After all, no one employs a slacker designer!

6. Consulting Other Designers

Good Designers

Being in contact with other good designers is good. It helps a lot in your career to have friends or colleagues that can give good and honest opinions about your work. However, once you get your own project, it is no good to consult other designers.


Because you are a designer with different innate creativity skills. You are your own trademark and you have your own styles in design. Avoid consulting other designers during a design project because it might cause you confusion. The elements you thought are good may be considered otherwise by other designers. This will make you doubt your skills. Be confident and learn from every experience.

7. Using Bad Typography

Bad Typography

Using the incorrect font might result in a disaster, requiring the designer to repeat the job from the beginning. This is mostly due to the designer’s choice of a free typeface, which may conflict with consumer rights and laws.

8. Using Outdated effects

Outdated Effects

Always be on the lookout for the latest trends and practices in graphic design. There are a lot of designs that are already outdated, typography and fonts that are now overused, and effects that do not look exciting as it was before.

You can always find a lot of resources and basis for design on the internet. By carefully observing designs that are on the mainstream and have a lot of engagements, you will have a good idea about what type of designs you can learn and apply for your latest projects.

9. Being too quick to follow trends

Follow new trends

While looking out for trends is good, being too quick to follow them is not good either. Graphic design trends can be like fashion, experimental trends emerge, they are incredibly popular for a while, and then slowly disappear.

Design acts in a similar way, new styles or methods become popular for a while and everyone wants to be a part of it because it is new and exciting, and easy to replicate. But just as trends emerge quickly, some quickly go away, which means that these ideas are not as effective as they were deemed to be. So be mindful and express your own opinions on different design styles so you can’t be swayed easily.

10 Choosing the Wrong Colors

Color psychology

Color psychology is a basic knowledge that designers should have. As a designer, you need to be able to use the right colors at the right time, for the right reasons, and for the right brand.

Colors have different meanings and encourage different feelings. By knowing the best palette and color, you can design more effectively and make sure that it serves its function.

11.  Having Low Self-confidence

Low Self-confidence

The designer must be lacking in self-assurance. This will significantly impede his job. A designer must be self-assured and street savvy. They must be capable of dealing with the clients effectively. A self-assured designer can complete his assignment on time plus offer the greatest results.

12. Taking Criticism Personally

Design Criticism

People’s opinions differ, therefore a designer’s work does not have to be universally admired. During his or her career, a designer may be subjected to criticism. Receiving criticism favorably may help a designer improve his work; yet, taking criticism negatively can result in a designer being irritated and disappointed, as well as resulting in poor output.

13. Using Incorrect Hierarchy

Ledder of Success

As within any natural order, a strong and purposeful hierarchy is a very powerful tool. Within the realm of design, hierarchy is about placing visual elements in order to represent their importance. So the most important items are created to receive the most attention through scale, color, font, etc., and the least important items to receive the least attention.

One aspect that is most obvious in the usage of ladder in design is, therefore let’s consider an example with some letters of hierarchy. In the included example, look at the way the first invitation is laid out, all the letters are the same size and thickness, making all the information difficult to digest in one quick pass. However, the example to the right has a bit of hierarchy built into the lyrics. Although the hue, texture, and shape of certain elements are just a little adjusted, the data gets easier to consume and grasp.

14. Not taking advantage of white spaces


Using white space is one of the fundamental principles in design. When used correctly, white space can have many beneficial effects on your design and give it a special touch. You shouldn’t underestimate how much ‘breathing’ space can white space give; so experiment with it and always incorporate it into your design. Another tip is to use graphic design tools that can give your images a white background or a transparent one.

White space can help a lot in bringing more focus to a specific aspect of your composition, it can let your design ‘breathe’, it can balance your elements, or it can give your design a bit of sophistication.

15. Not Proofreading

Proof Reading

Always proofread your design. Remember that design is about communication. As designers, we use visuals to present our message and we design them carefully so that the message itself will have an appeal through using different elements, colors, and techniques. But if you don’t review your grammar, you are in for a disaster.

There are many grammar rules, and while it may seem like an unimportant thing to know, many designers would argue otherwise. It’s a subtle yet powerful graphic design tip that can bring a whole new level of professionalism and attention to detail to your designs.

Practice Makes Perfect

Mistakes happen and it’s alright. If you are not making a mistake, then you are not learning. As designers, you must always take heed of many professionals’ advice and learn from them. But you must let yourself explore so you can learn hands-on. Take more projects, be confident, and practice more.

We trust that these pointers will be beneficial to every designer, as well as those in other fields. Avoid these frequent graphic design blunders by paying close attention to the smallest details at business. These will undoubtedly give positive results in the long term.

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