The Top 5 Graphic Design Mistakes That All Designers Will Make

The Top 5 Graphic Design Mistakes That All Designers Will Make



Regardless of how savvy a designer may believe themselves to be, the reality is that some things just come with experience. In the case of Graphic Design, there are some time-tested mistakes that virtually every designer may make at some point in time. Usually, these mistakes befall the fresh-faced and recently certified grad working toward their first gig after college.

While the education process may have prepared you to manage multiple software suites and layer like there’s no tomorrow, there are some things that no amount of online courses or lectures could properly instruct. Here are our Top 5 Graphic Design mistakes!

1. Not Charging Enough!

Right out the gate, this mistake is one of the easiest to happen upon and one of the hardest to prepare for. As a newly-minted Graphic Designer, you may find the first prospect of landing a paying project to be extremely exciting. What you may not be ready for however is being required to quote a price. Many Graphic Designers end up working for pennies when they first start because they’re so eager to get new projects and gain credentials for their portfolio that they don’t realize what their worth is actually worth. As a result, it’s not uncommon for new designers to be seen eating Ramen noodles for months on end.


2. Not Managing Deadlines Properly

Young Graphic Designers are often eager to please, sometimes a bit too eager. Starting out, one common mistake is setting unrealistic deadlines and or not managing them properly. Inexperienced designers are often so eager to make their clients happy that they will quote timelines that end up being far too aggressive and as a result end in the project being hastily completed, unfinished or costing the designer several sleepless nights. Most clients have reasonable expectations and are more concerned with a deadline being accurate and the product being quality than they are with it being incredibly fast.


3. Not Entering Into Contracts Before Beginning Projects

This is one of those mistakes that most designers only make once and it usually takes the form of the “worst project ever”. This mistake is usually characterized by a project that was supposed to take a week suddenly taking four and the price tag not budging at all. After dealing with a nightmare client who demands repeated changes, design alterations and new palettes every designer will see the sudden and obvious value in contractual agreements. Hammering out specific costs, times and work will save you from suffering through this one more than once.


4. Not Working Those Portfolios

Designers often have a bad habit of only building a portfolio around the work that they consider to be their very best. While this is not necessarily a terrible practice it can sometimes backfire if you haven’t backed up and saved past work in a safe place. Every potential project will be different and each client will be looking for something different. Tailoring multiple portfolios to suit different industries, clients and project types will increase the rate of success you have with landing new projects.


5. Using Comic Sans (And other terrible fonts)

It really cannot be stressed enough how horrible the Comic Sans font is. It’s one of the most painful things for human eyes to look at. While most designers have this thoroughly impacted deep into their psyche before they ever leave the classroom it still manages to crop up from time to time. Even if it’s not the horror that is Comic Sans there are a wealth of dreadful fonts floating around people’s portfolios and most of them come from low-quality free font sites. In general, it’s best to rely on fonts that have been vetted or come from a reliable source.

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