7 Common Mistakes Designers Make

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7 Common Mistakes Designers Make

All designers make mistakes, especially beginners. Most of the mistakes could be easily avoided. When we start our design career we put most of our focus on how to do things and care less about the shortcomings of our approach. As we progress in our career we realize many of our choices were wrong and should have been avoided.

We have compiled a list of common design mistakes for you to be aware of. Although we’ve committed most of these crimes ourselves, but you can learn from them and get a better start…


Starting the project without any planning.

Always plan ahead and layout the steps towards completion of the project. As beginners when we get a project/assignment our first step is – Open Photoshop!!?? This is almost a guarantee to mediocre result.

Professional always plan first. Research about the project, make a mood-board and start with definite goal in mind. This would help you achieve better result and maintain the


Not understanding the brief

You need to get into the clients mind and understand his needs, as early on as possible. Without proper consideration of client’s need, you may end up making matters complicated for yourself. A lot of time can be wasted working up design ideas that may not be relevant to the client’s requirements.

Instead, you need to read and understand the brief carefully from the start, make notes, brainstorm and try to keep in contact with the client to ensure that what you are working up is heading in the right direction. 


Improper use of images.

One image is worth more than thousand words, use them wisely.  Beginners tend to use images which are complex and busy. Moreover they seldom retouch the colour of photos which result in inharmonious output.

Instead, you need to use images which tell a story and suit the colour scheme of the project. It should complement the overall meaning of the artwork.


Font overuse

Too many typefaces can look cluttered and confusing. Having a clear, formatted design is crucial and so it’s important not to use too many different fonts within a piece. You want your type to look consistent so don’t confuse the viewer by layering your page with lots of varied typefaces.

As a general rule, try to stick to two different fonts and use the different font weights to differentiate and highlight areas.


Not saving files correctly

In general, save your designs as CMYK for print, RGB for web. Knowing how to set up your files correctly from the start is vitally important. There are many things to consider depending on the output of the work.

Print work is generally set up as CMYK and at 300dpi, whereas work for the web should be RGB (resolution will depend on your client’s needs regarding mobile, Retina etc). Remember to consider bleed, trim and safety areas. Before sending to print, think about your file formats, outlining fonts and colour profiles.

This may all seem like a lot to take in but learning these processes will save you time in the long run, ensuring your work is reproduced correctly and keeping the client happy.


Failing to proofread

Using the spellchecker is great for finding misspelled words within your work but it won’t catch correctly spelt words in the wrong context. For example, one of the most common mistakes is to confuse ‘your’ and ‘you’re’, but spellcheck won’t be able to help you with that. This is just one reason why you must always proofread every piece of your work (and ideally, get others to check it too).


Working destructively

‘Working destructively’ means making permanent adjustments to the pixels within your projects without being able to go back and re-edit things later.

To avoid this situation, try using layer masks instead of the eraser tool. Become comfortable using smart objects rather than rasterized layers and make use of adjustments layers. And try to ignore the standard adjustments from the image drop down menu in the toolbar.

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