Graphic Design Mistakes - Books

Graphic design has huge potential to help or hinder your business. Done well, high quality design highlights your business as trustworthy, professional and memorable – but making a design mistake could damage your reputation.

Professional design is well-considered and carefully constructed to capture the attention of the target audience. Businesses that don’t do this may find that their designs – whether logos, flyers, business cards, brochures or digital artwork – don’t generate the results they hope for.

We don’t all have an eye for design, but with the countless free graphic design tools out there, everyone is having a go! Poor design can suggest unprofessionalism and drive potential customers away.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common graphic design mistakes, along with our tips to help you make your projects more polished:


You probably have a lot to communicate to your customers, along with tons of ideas on how to present this visually. But this doesn’t mean you should add every possible message and embellishment to your design – stick to what’s necessary to give your message maximum impact.

A crowded design with an excess of images, fonts, shapes and colours means a lot of hard work for the viewer, in terms of understanding what the design is all about and extracting the meaning. Use of white space isn’t empty space – it helps to make your message or call-to-action stand out, drawing the eye of the viewer to what you really want them to focus on.


The images used within graphic design projects should be an appropriate resolution for the medium – for example print design projects require higher resolution images than digital designs.

A small sized, low resolution image will become blurred and pixelated if you try to enlarge it – which will instantly bring down the quality of your design. Always choose images of a higher resolution as these can be scaled down. Plus, when re-sizing images, ensure that you do this in proportion so that the images don’t become abnormally stretched.


Using too many fonts is distracting and chaotic! It can make it extremely difficult to read the text. Sticking to just two or three fonts, using one for the main body of text and one (or two) for headings and key messages will make your content clear and easy to understand.

Choosing fonts that complement each other is vital, as they help to convey your overall message. For example, some fonts may suggest corporate formality, whereas others may imply playfulness and fun.


It’s so easy to slip into the trap of designing something that we ourselves like, forgetting about our target audience. Take a step back and consider whether your design will appeal to them – does it meet their needs?


The aesthetic of your design relies heavily on the colours, text placement and alignment of objects – all of which can deliver added impact with a few professional touches.

Choosing the right colours can have a huge effect on your design. Different colours generate different emotions – for example red is often linked to danger, attention-grabbing (e.g. sales), or passion; whereas blue may suggest peace, tranquillity or stability. Consider this along with how these colours might work in conjunction with your brand colour palette.

To add balance and clarity to your design, ensure objects (such as text, icons and images) are properly aligned. All text should be readable and eye-catching, so think about the placement of text and the contrast against the background. If you can’t read it properly, then neither can your audience.


Whether your design project is for print or online should be at the forefront of your mind when working on a design. The medium, or format, should guide your design approach and layout.

For example, a flyer might contain more written text than a social media visual; or a website graphic may require a transparent background, whereas a digital advert will require a solid one. In addition to this, you’ll need to choose the appropriate colour mode for either print (CMYK) or digital (RGB). This will ensure that the colours are displayed accurately within the finished item.


Thorough proof-reading is crucial. Typos, poor spelling and grammatical mistakes just won’t cut it with your customers and can be hugely detrimental to their perceptions of your business.

Don’t just rely on in-built spellcheckers, read everything through properly and check for grammatical errors – even the smallest mistakes can suggest unprofessionalism. A fresh pair of eyes may spot something that others missed, so wherever possible have more than one person proof-read your work.


Simple – we’re professionals and the above just isn’t acceptable for us! We get the design rules spot on, every time. DIY design might seem like a way to cut costs, but when your business’ reputation is on the line, there’s no substitute for professional graphic design.

Contact us today to discover how we can support your branding and graphic design projects.