Excessive color use

When creatives start-out they seldom have knowledge of color balance and the best way to apply complimentary flat or minimal color usage. This ends up in a mash-up of color vomit, a filler to make the design “pop”. Sure it might make your design pop, however, the opposite is true. When elements fight for attention constantly your entire design goes down the drain and goes against graphic design’s intended purpose. To effectively communicate a message.


More than 3 fonts

Trigger happy creatives tend to fill a piece of design material up with more than three fonts. Personally, in my experience, more than two fonts become blasphemy. Limiting the number of fonts easily creates crisp design and balances all the elements equally. Copy clutter makes design difficult to read and immediately creates a loss of interest in the readers’ eyes.


Badly faded or cut out images

Creatives spend a great deal of time taking one image and adding to it. This often means designers have to go and grab certain elements from a static image. Experienced retouchers spend hours on tasks like these, with a great deal of knowledge on keying an object and making sure it looks as though it is part of the communication. Start-up designers often do this haphazardly. Making your visual look like somewhat of a cardboard cutout of un-shaded graphics. A mish-mash collage of out-of-place elements.


Balanced elements

As stated in the above video, most designs are based on a grid. Either making use of the rule of thirds, in-line with the Fibonacci sequence or based on the golden ratio. This makes for appealing visuals and well-balanced artwork. Some designers often throw a design together without good knowledge of element weight. How different parts of the artwork complement the rest of your material.


Texture Pirates

An over-use of texture can make your work look really tacky. Often times in-experienced designers go overboard with texture usage. Sure, it has a place, a purpose, bringing something “more” to your work, however, over-usage can tend to make artwork, intended to be simple and easily communicative, overbearing and unreadable.


Effect addiction

When many designers start learning the art of effect usage they tend to take it a bit too far. Rather than using effects to compliment their design, they end up making the effect the main focus, completely forgetting the intended purpose of the creative. To communicate and relay a message. Effects in excess, such as gradients, embossing, drop shadows, beveling etc has it’s place. Not used wisely though, makes for a horrible execution. Everything in moderation…