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Common Graphic Designer Mistakes

Posted by Mike Lao on February 23, 2016
Common Graphic Designer Mistakes

Design Rules! And there are design rules. But of course, there are exceptions to every rule, and one of the things we love about graphic design is that there is really no wrong or right, as long as the piece makes the impact that we intend. That being said….some designs are just bad, and here are a few reasons why.

Missing The Clients’ Needs

“It's more than a pretty picture”

A visually appealing design can only get you so far, and if it’s out of context or if it doesn’t get the message across then it can’t be called a “good” design. Many designers fall into the trap of focusing on aesthetics of an art piece without making it clear what the message is. Sometimes an idea is executed just because it “looks nice” and there is no consideration for whether “it makes sense”. As designers, we all have our favourite colours, effects and typefaces, but our choices must satisfy the brief, brand message and standards.

Our Approach

Going beyond client expectations and getting an in-depth understanding of the end goal of the project. Put the question “Why?” before “What?” and “How?”. This ensures we are making design choices for the right reasons.


Not Taking Risks

“That’s good enough”

Meeting the client's needs is the ultimate end goal of every project, but as designers, we need to push our design boundaries. Often times, designers get too comfortable with current processes, styles, techniques and tend to stick to only what we know. Every project can be an opportunity to learn new techniques. Don't be afraid to present something different that stays within the scope of the brief. Great ideas can often be stumbled upon through discovery of a new style or technique.

Our Approach

Push for design innovation and collaborate with our clients about trying different ideas that they may not have considered. Open discussions about out-of-the-box ideas, leads to innovative design that can stand out and make a large impact.


Making Bad Typography Choices

“ Fonts, Fonts everywhere”

Font overload is another crucial mistakes designers make within their artwork. Multiple fonts within a piece can cause confusion and make it difficult for your target audience to absorb the message. Busy artwork caused by multiple typefaces and can deter audiences due to overwhelming feelings when looking at the piece. Too many typeface styles, sizes and colours can hinder an artwork, and obscure its objective.

Our Approach

As a general rule, a limit of 2 or 3 typefaces are preferred to prevent artwork clutter. While staying on brand, choose the right typefaces and work on using them effectively. In certain cases, of course, as in typographic posters, numerous typefaces (if effectively chosen) can be an effective style.


Not Thinking About Execution

“I CREATED it…..now how can I MAKE it?”

Big ideas. Not executable. Many great ideas could go down the drain,because the end product was not in mind at the outset of the project. Lack of available resources, such as high-quality imagery, or not knowing how to execute a certain print process or style, can bring about problems once a design is approved, and it is time to actually produce the artwork.

Our Approach

From the get-go, we think about the project with the end product in mind. We make informed decisions, based on available resources (images, budgets, etc.) and knowledge of how final execution will work. Having a proper understanding of the big picture ensures that we flow smoothly from ideation and design to the final product.


At BTI, our graphic designs are always approached with the above points in mind, to ensure that our creative hits the mark from both a beauty and communication perspective. Let us use our expertise and experience to help you solve your brands' creative challenges.

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