Top 9 Design Mistakes To Avoid In Your Next Project

We all make mistakes. But when it comes to design mistakes, there are some that are more common than others. Being aware of potential design mistakes can go a long way in anticipating and avoiding them.  

Reflection Of You In The Design

Something that you have to remember with a design is that you are not designing for yourself. You are designing for your audience. You want to create a design that represents your brand well. Not just your personal views. Sure, there may be some things that look better to you than others. But your design has to keep your target audience in mind.

Carefully study your audience. Be aware of their preferences. And build your design for them.

Grammar And Spelling Errors

Design is not just about shapes, colours and images. There is text involved. And mistakes found within your design’s text will stand out. From that little typo of swapped letters, to a misplaced comma, they just can’t happen. So be sure to proof every design multiple times and by multiple individuals if possible. Take your time to read through each time and use a grammar checker tool to be sure. The last thing you want is to find out about an error after your billboard goes up or your digital campaign goes live.

Loren Ipsum and Stock Images

Most designers use Loren Ipsum as dummy text when laying out a design. It’s essentially a placeholder where the actual design text will be added. It’s a handy tool that can help with moving forward with a design and figuring out the right font to use. But when you swap in the actual text there’s always a chance that the design won’t look quite how you imagined it. It’s important to build in some buffer room to allow for tweaks to be made to the design.

Another potential issue lies in the use of stock images. Don’t get us wrong, you can make great designs with stock images. But less is more. Taking the time to choose high-quality images that are unique and clearly tied to a brand leads to great results. Meanwhile using too many stock images, or hastily chosen ones, can lead to a design looking cheap and generic. 

Typography Errors

Typography is one of the most important elements in a design. And not being careful and intentional with it can cause a design to lose its whole purpose. Typography errors can crop up a few ways: 

Using too many fonts – Just because there’s a ton of fonts out there doesn’t mean that they’ve all got to be in your design. The last thing you need is for your customers to feel annoyed or just simply tune out because your message is too hard to read.

It’s an unwritten rule not to use more than 2 fonts for a logo and 3 fonts for any other kind of design. With each font coming with its own set of variations ( regular, bold, italic, thin, semi bold etc.) you can often create a great design with just a single font. , You can create a good layout even using one single font. 

Kerning – Playing with fonts includes kerning. Kerning is adjusting the distance between letters of a word. If done properly, this can lead to some attractive results. But It should be done carefully. Don’t let halfhearted kerning destroy the cohesiveness of your otherwise seamless design.

White Space

There’s really no need to squeeze every possible element and effect into your design. Leave some room for white space and keep space and padding between elements. This will help guide your audiences’ eyes to the elements you want them to focus on by creating contrast between. And it’ll make your whole design look clean and modern.

Hierarchy Gone Wrong

Visual hierarchy is important in design to let the viewer know which information is most important. Sometimes it’s also used for dramatic effect. If you end up not implementing a visual hierarchy correctly, the whole message in your design can change. For instance if you overemphasize a detail that isn’t so important and bury a line of text or an image which is.

Hierarchy can be created with colours, size or placement of design elements. Whether we’re talking about text or images, a design has to guide the viewer to what’s most important. 

The Dreadful Box

Thinking outside of the box is like the first thing you hear when you approach a design. But you have to know what the box is to think outside of it. And to each one of us, the box can be quite different. Be sure to know what it means to your target audiences so that your designs are relevant and impactful.

No design is doomed to be limited by a particular approach. Designers have a great freedom and an opportunity to evolve beyond their boundaries. Take advantage of that! Give your designer a bit of free reign and you’ll get back something original, as opposed to designs that look like they came off of a conveyor belt. Add a human element to your designs by making each one unique.

Ignoring Research

The importance of research cannot be stressed enough. Designs have to be relevant to their industry and their intended audiences. Information about customer personas, the brand, product/service being represented and details about competitors can all be important to factor in. While they won’t play a direct role in a design, they will help shape the strategy for it. 

Taking the time to make research a part of your design process will help you create something impactful and memorable.  

Not Communicating

Communication between a client and a designer is the lifeblood of the design process. The strength of a design depends on each of their ideas. And communication is not just limited to feedback. From the time that a design project is being discussed, it’s important for collaboration to occur. From the client sharing context and details about the scope and purpose of the design, to a designer asking questions and suggesting different approaches.

Both a client and a designer should be on the same page about the design brief as early in the design process as possible. Screen recordings help a ton in this regard, because text based briefs can be misinterpreted quite easily without visual references.

At the end of the day, every design project is unique and can come up with its own unique hurdles. Mistakes will happen. But prevention is key. And once you know where you can go wrong, you’ll be a lot less likely to go down that route again.