Top 9 Graphic Design Mistakes to Avoid in 2024
6 mins read

Top 9 Graphic Design Mistakes to Avoid in 2024

Graphic Design: What is the purpose of graphic design? What is the purpose of graphic design? Graphic design is an art-science balance to generate sales or reinforce brand identity.

We work with graphic designers of all levels, from those who are just out of college, to those with decades of experience. We’ve seen almost every possible graphic design mistake. This list will help you to become a better graphic designer, particularly if you create print designs.

Graphic Design Mistakes to Avoid

1. Being too artistic and losing the message. 

It’s easy to get caught up in a design that’s so appealing, that you think it speaks for itself. Your target audience might not share the same love of design that you do. Your design may go unnoticed, leading to low response rates. 

The design is important, but the message and offer of your piece are even more crucial. Some postcards I receive only say “20% off any item!” on the front. The back has the store address and offers. That’s it! It’s that simple!

Note: If you reside in Surat and have an interest in pursuing offline courses, DecodeX offers “graphic design courses in Surat” and “UI/UX design courses in Surat” that can assist you in achieving your marketing objectives.

2. Ignoring color space (CMYK or RGB). 

You should always design a piece to be printed in CMYK. It will make it easier for you down the line. You should start with a CMYK colour space and not RGB. This is so important that I cannot stress it enough. 

You might think that converting your RGB artwork to CMYK is easy, but it is not. Your artwork’s colours may change dramatically if your printer has to convert it for you.

3. Forgetting bleed. 

If I had one nickel for each time a designer forgot to include bleed in their artwork, I could pay off the national debt. Most people are aware of bleed, but they often forget it. 

The artwork that extends past the edge of the artwork is called bleed. The bleed is needed so that your printer doesn’t leave a gutter of white between the artwork edge and sheet edge when cutting your piece. The industry standard is to request a bleed measurement of.125″.

4. Designing a piece of the wrong size. 

It happens a lot more often than you might think. It usually goes like this: The purchaser gets a quote from a printer for a particular project. The designer creates the piece. The quote doesn’t match what was created. 

Double-checking all the details in your printer’s final quote is a simple way to ensure that you get the best deal. You can also double-check things like inks and paper, quantity and turnaround time.

5. Use of bad “design” programs. 

Standard practice in the printing industry is to request artwork as print-ready high-resolution PDFs. It’s a great thing, but you can always avoid a few problems. Not all PDFs have the same quality. 

Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator PDFs are the best. These are both professional design programs designed with commercial printing in mind. 

Microsoft Word and Microsoft Publisher are programs that were not created for commercial printing. These programs sabotage your artwork, creating a nightmare for your printer. 

If you’ve saved a PDF from Word or Publisher, likely, the PDF will likely not be of high quality. We offer layout and design services because Adobe software is expensive.

Add colour bars or trim marks in your PDF. Designers often think they are helping the printer, but it is more work. The majority of medium-sized and large commercial printers have their imposition software that creates colour bars and trim markings unique to each printed item. 

Your printer will need to remove the colour bars and trim marks that you added to your PDF before they can do anything else. Colour bars and trim marks may be requested by smaller printing companies, while larger companies will need them placed according to their requirements.

7. Ignoring turnaround time. 

It’s a tough one because sometimes you have no control over turnaround times, and in other cases, the designer sets the deadline. Leave enough time for the printer to finish your artwork if you’re designing something that will be printed. 

This usually means that you should allow 1 to 3 days for proofing, and 5 to 7 days for production. These are only estimates. Your project may require more or less. Allow extra time if it’s the first time you are working with a printer. 

You can also ask for a test file to be sent ahead of time so that any necessary adjustments can be made in advance. A little extra breathing room will make your project more enjoyable and less stressful.

8. Forgetting proofreading. 

It may seem obvious, but many graphic designers overlook proofreading. It can be difficult to find someone to proofread your work, especially if you’re a freelancer or working for a small company. 

However, spending just 5 minutes on this task will save you a lot of money in the long run. It can be expensive to reprint an entire project.

9. Use images with low resolution. 

You should check the resolution before printing. Low-resolution files can look pixelated, with the edges looking like stair steps instead of smooth lines. Images created for the web tend to be 72 dpi whereas those intended for printing are 300 dpi. 

Every once in a while, I see people try to “trick” the system by adding 300 dpi images in their files and then scaling the image up between 200-3000%. This doesn’t work because you reduce the resolution when you scale images. When scaling your image to 100%, you must maintain 300 dpi. If your image will be printed at 3 x 4, you must have 300 dpi.

This article will hopefully help you become a more talented graphic designer. You will leapfrog the competition if you learn from other people’s mistakes.

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