Hello! I love being positive. I try to focus on being happy and appreciate the good things in life, however some days we have to face the darkness and today it just so happens to be all about ‘What makes Graphic Design…[gulp] Bad’.
I have to stress, most people have an opinion about what looks good, bad or otherwise, particularly clients, friends, family even the dog next door. However, this does NOT mean they are correct or even have a clue what they are talking about (woof?), remember who is trained, knowledgable and experienced. With that said, be open to criticism, often there is wisdom in feedback it just depends on how you decipher and use it. Who knows it may inspire a masterpiece.
So what makes BAD design? Here’s a shortlist of Top Graphic Design No, No’s.
1. Being Inconsiderate-When a design is not considered it literally looks like vomit on a page. Take the time to plan your design. Thumbnail. Think about your brief, your audience. Use your grid and think about common points of alignment. Think about the hierarchy of the design and the most effective way of delivering the brief. Draw your audience in and keep them there for a while.
2. Fonts Galore– Limit your fonts.Usually 2-3 typefaces suffice. More than this and a feeling of being overwhelmed, inconsistent and dare I say…amateur-ish? Unless of course this is a feeling you are aiming for, it has been consciously considered and compliments the structure of the design.
3. Mr Big and Heavy– Contrary to popular belief, bigger is not always better, however size DOES matter but most importantly it is how you use the variation of sizes to be most effective. Use a combination of weights and sizes that work together to deliver the message.
4. Faulty Images– Get the images right. Do not use copyrighted images without permission. Buy quality stock images or use a Professional Photographerto get the look and feel of the images 100%. Professional images are more desirable to the client, the brand, and the audience. Those with camera do not maketh the photographer.
5. Crazy Colours– Don’t overdo the colour or combination of colour. Use it wisely. Colour has a psychological and physiological effect on us so getting it right is very important to support the overall attitude of the design. A good rule of thumb is using the 60- 30-10 rule. Use the primary color in 60% of the layout to create the overall theme. Add about 30% of the secondary color to create contrast and visual interest. And lastly use 10% of the accent color to provide the supporting accent and detailing of colour.
So there you have it. An essential shortlist of the Top Graphic Design No, No’s. Keep them in mind and try to avoid them. Remember to integrate the Elements to Graphic Design and the Principles of Graphic Design and you are well on your way to successful graphic designing!
Jodie Slowski [NBPD] Northern Beaches Photography & Design