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The Five Graphic Design Mistakes You’re Making

Effective design is a crucial part of any successful branding and/or marketing campaign. Ideally, your design will attract and engage your target audience by communicating your intended message confidently and effectively. However, without a plan or some knowledge, your design can sometimes go wrong. Avoid these common mistakes and create better designs with our tips and tricks. 

1. Overcrowding Your Design

Overcrowding occurs when there are too many elements competing for attention in a limited space. ‘Not everything can be the hero,’ is a common refrain around here because when you try to make everything important, then nothing is important. This means your message will get lost in the design. For instance, a business card that includes multiple images, extensive text, various font styles, and an array of colours, will be disorganized and unprofessional.

To avoid a mess of a design you should prioritize content and use space strategically. Focus on essential elements and use negative space effectively to create a clean, organized layout to guide the viewer's eye naturally through the design. Less is almost always more.

2. Inconsistent Branding

Inconsistent branding can - and likely will - ruin your business’s identity and customer recognition. It happens when a brand uses varying design elements across different mediums, such as logos, colour schemes, typography, and imagery, that do not align with established brand guidelines. This inconsistency can confuse customers and perhaps even make your brand unrecognizable. For instance, a company might use a sleek, minimalist style for their main brand and then deviate from that with a loud and bright style for a side project or “can’t miss” deal. To avoid this mistake - and keep a consistently strong brand presence - it’s crucial to develop a comprehensive brand style guide and adhere to it across all marketing materials and platforms.

3. Poor Font Choices

Font selection plays a pivotal role in the readability and perception of a design. Poor font choices, such as using overly-decorative or multiple, conflicting fonts, can make text difficult to read and distract from your message. For example, a legal firm using a whimsical script font for serious content, would not only undermine professionalism, but also potentially alienate clients who find the style jarring from what would be expected. Designers should choose fonts that reflect the brand’s personality, while ensuring legibility and consistency across all materials.

4. Ignoring Visual Hierarchy

Visual hierarchy is the design principle that organizes elements in a way that implies importance, guiding the viewer’s eye to the most critical information first. This also goes hand-in-hand with overcrowding, and like overcrowding, Ignoring visual hierarchy can leave viewers confused about where to focus their attention. For example, a promotional poster with a headline, details, and call-to-action, all with equal prominence, will fail to convey the primary message effectively. Designers should use size, colour, contrast, and placement to create an easy and clear path for the eye to follow, ensuring the most important elements stand out first.

5. Neglecting Colour Psychology

Colour psychology is the study of how colours affect perceptions and behaviours. Colour can directly affect emotions and understanding the psychological effects of colours can help designers communicate more impactful messages to their target audience. Some examples include red bringing out a passionate response or green being connected to life and growth. Neglecting to consider colour psychology can result in a visual message contradicting your intended message. For example, a health food brand using dull, grayish tones in its packaging might inadvertently communicate a lack of freshness or even that it’s healthy. Instead, bright, vibrant colours would convey energy and life, aligning more closely with the message. 

Need Help?

By paying close attention to these aspects of design, your business can create visually appealing and effective designs which resonate with your audience and reinforce your brand identity, while communicating its message. We have many more tips and tricks and we’d love to share them with you in a quick chat. Get in touch to chat about how we can help your brand communicate more effectively!

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