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3 most common design mistakes and how to avoid them

July 20, 2021


I compiled a list of the 3 biggest and most common mistakes I see DIY graphic designers make and cover the ways that you can avoid them so that your content will look professional and on brand. To help you ladies out I also included a list of tips and tricks at the end of the article that you can use when working on your own designs.

1. THERE’S JUST TOO MUCH

One of the biggest mistakes I see is the “more is more” design approachThere are 7 different fonts in one document where there should only be about 2. Half the rainbow is used to make one graphic that would look a lot more classy with just 3. Or there are 3 posts worth of content smooshed and crammed into one Insta square.

There are a lot of awesome design elements like fonts, colors, etc. out there to choose from and it’s easy to get carried away, but when we overdo it and use too many of them at once (or try to cram in too much content) it takes away from the design instead of adding to it and can often leave our content harder to read and digest and even make it look a little tacky. Unfortunately, more is not always more, especially when it comes to the visual stuff.

 

2. DESIGNS ARE INCONSISTENT

You’ve heard me say it before and your going to hear me say it a again: consistency is key! This goes back to finding it hard to choose between lots of great fonts and colors and such. If you can’t use them all in one design, why not use them in a bunch of different pieces, right? A few different typefaces here and there. Your new favorite color thrown in every once in a while. It may be fun to design that way, but when you lose visual consistency your brand becomes muddled and confused. Brands depend on consistency to be successful, but it’s something that can easily be lost.

I wrote a whole article about this visual consistency and it’s importance that you can find here if you want to learn more!

 

3. CONTENT IS HARD TO CONSUME

There are a lot of elements that play into legibility and how someone digests content like font size, contrast, and visual hierarchy. When words in a design are too small or don’t stand out against the background a viewer usually has a hard time reading them and moves on. Or if there isn’t enough visual hierarchy the message and purpose of the content becomes confusing and can be misconstrued. Making sure your content is easy to consume should always be a top priority, but with so many fun tools, effects, and design elements on platforms like Canva, it can easily find itself on the back burner.

How to avoid these common mistakes

KEEP IT SIMPLE

When in doubt less is more! Simplicity is your best friend when it comes to putting your own designs together. While it may not seem like as much fun as throwing all of your favorite colors and designs onto the artboard, your audience will take your brand and content more seriously and will have an easier time digesting it.

 

QUALITY BRANDING & STYLE GUIDES

When it comes to branding your business or platform I always suggest hiring a designer (like me!) because your visual brand plays a major role when it comes to communicating with your audience and having a high quality system is important. On that same note, I do recognize that it’s not always in the budget, especially if you are just starting out, to hire a designer. If that’s the case I still highly recommend using a style guide once you have come up with your visual system to help you stay on brand when you are putting designs together. Style guides act as visual road maps that document your logo and how it’s used, your color palette, fonts, and any other visual elements used by your brand (check out the one in our shop here!)

If you are unable to hire a designer I also highly recommend investing in some templates for things like presentations, social media posts, emails, etc. They are usually customizable so you can plug in your fonts, colors and images to match your brand without having to worry about things like consistency and visual hierarchy. Super helpful and a big time saver!

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