The visual medium has undoubtedly become the most common and efficient ways brands use to draw and win attention. With modern audiences being smart enough to tell the difference between sensible design to bad design, brands constantly look for ways on how to beautifully deliver their message using various visual elements such as graphics and alluring illustrations, so they can provoke the interest of consumers and eventually make a purchase.   

If you’re a new graphic designer that thought might make you feel pretty intimidated. But worry not! This post aims to help you avoid committing common rookie design mistakes and get you on the path to success.


  • Overlooking the audience

This is perhaps the biggest mistake fledgling designers commit. The purpose of most projects is to create a design that targets a specific audience. Designs are about communicating. If you fail to do this, don’t expect to create a captivating design.

The best designs are always the result of understanding the psychology, behavior, and mood of the target audience. If your target audience is mostly dads and young adult men, it would really be unwise on your part to use dainty and delicate colors like blush pink or lilac.


  • Being generous with flashy colors

If you’re following your company’s design guidelines, then you might not have much choice in the colors you’ll use. But if you have the freedom to choose your preferred colors, try resisting the urge to use all the colors of the rainbow; otherwise, you’ll overwhelm your audience and make it hard for them to know what to focus on.

Like any other design element, color creates a massive impact on the mind of consumers. For example, red depicts boldness and anger, while blue communicates modernism and calm. Creating the right color palette should be the priority of designers because often, a great design becomes bad due to poor color selection. 


  • Going overboard with various fonts and stock images

When graphic designers are just starting out, they usually commit one of two things: leave the default font setting as is, or go berserk and use tons of various fonts. While projects with default fonts may appear lacking in pizazz, they usually look better compared to those packed with way too many different fonts.

Stick to a maximum of two different fonts per project. Going beyond that number often leads to a confusing and cluttered outcome. Aim to provide something that looks consistent and professional, not layered with different fonts.

Don’t overuse stock images as well. Many designers turn to stock images as hiring a professional photographer can be costly. Nothing wrong with that, but it should be carried out carefully because you might end up using stock images that have been used hundreds of times already. 


  • Overcrowding the layout

White space refers to any empty that surrounds the information on your design. One of the basic things designers are taught is following the “less is more” rule. Graphic design is all about communicating a large message with simple visuals. You can use icons or images instead of words to deliver the same message.

White spaces serve as breathing spaces in designs, making layouts look balanced while effectively conveying a message. If you’re a rookie designer, learn to strike a balance between empty spaces and design elements to produce exceptional outputs.  


  • Ignoring the visual hierarchy

Visual hierarchy aims to organize information and elements in such a way that the audience can easily distinguish their order of importance in a design. Color, alignment, and location all play various roles. For example, contrast draws out elements the audience needs to focus on, while a centered text block is more important compared to the note at the bottom.     


  • Failing to make a checklist

Professional designers go through a checklist to ensure client expectations are met and their design contains all the necessary elements. Creative briefs could form part of your checklist once your work is done. Your checklist should include getting another set of eyes to look at your work. It’s one of the best ways to ensure your work is free from mistakes.

Having a checklist can help you avoid misspellings in your client’s company profile or logo, which could evoke ridicule and ruin the brand’s reputation. Failure to proofread may end up in you redoing the entire project. Have a checklist too when preparing for a client presentation to boost the chances of your project making a great impression.


  • Overdesigning

Design is not only about aesthetics but about conveying a message clearly. An over-designed product may have a hard time getting its message across.  Too many fonts, colors, and images can make it difficult for viewers to know what to focus on.

The desire to overdo a design might only end up distorting a project’s overall concept. That’s why, like most designers nowadays, go for simple, clutter-free designs. Concentrate on essential aspects, and free your designs from the burden of non-essentials.


  • Copying others work

If you think you can get away with copying other designs, you may have a problem. Word generally gets around pretty fast, and it could lead to canceled projects.

Although designers always look for inspiration or get ideas from other designers, it’s still not acceptable to copy the entire work of someone else and pass it as your own. Copying someone else’s work will only limit your creativity and tarnish your reputation. Remember, nobody wants to hire a designer who can’t produce original work.


  • Being limited

The graphic industry offers abundant freedom to explore new styles and designs. As a designer, you should continuously look for ways to develop your skills; otherwise, you’ll be left behind in the race. Never stop experimenting. Be crazy. Designing is the only industry where one can go completely nuts while still behaving sanely.

A lot of changes happen every day. As a graphic designer, you should keep yourself constantly updated with the latest developments in the industry to speed up your workflow and to make your life easier.

Be proficient in graphic design. Complete a graphic design program at Q College to get a complete grasp of design principles and become an expert in using the latest industry software.