When you look at a stunning graphic design, you think — "Wish I could have created something like that." It's human nature, but you can also create stunning graphics. What all you have to do is to look into basic rules that others often overlook.

Even if you're a beginner in the group of graphic designers, you can outshine them. But how? Well, to help you out, we have put together a list of mistakes that every novice designer makes but doesn't learn from.
Keep reading to know what you should be doing when starting your next graphic design project.

1. Not understanding the target audience -

It’s perhaps the most common but biggest mistake beginners make. Design isn’t just a piece of visual, but an effective way of communicating a brand’s message to the audience. When your design fails to do so, it’s not relevant then.

Any piece of visual is created after analyzing the mood, psychology, and behavior of the audience. It's the sole responsibility of the creative person to convey the brand's ideas through the captivating designs effectively.
Consider, for example, that your target audiences are women and teenage girls. Using dark colors in your visuals such as black, red, etc. instead of pastel shades like pink, blue, or green would be a mistake.

2. Using too much text -

Do you know the fastest way to shoo your audience off? It’s to add too much text instead of using a visual. In terms of presentation and infographic design, limiting the amount of text to be used is really necessary.

3. Poor or unclear readability -

Another mistake that novice graphic designers make is to fit too many characters in a single line. It's a pretty common mistake, but this tiny thing may significantly impact the whole design. It may end up making the design unreadable.

So for better readability, designers should add 50 to 60 characters in a line.

4. Combining too many fonts -

Novice designers tend to overdo their design by adding too many fonts. This makes the design look disorganized and unprofessional.

Also, too many fonts can make the design look chaotic, which may annoy the viewers. If it's necessary, never pick more than two fonts. Also, have an idea of font pairing to maximize the effects of your design.

5. Poor color choice -

Colors leave a significant impact on the viewers' minds. Every color has a different meaning. For example, red stands for boldness, anger, and strength, while blue depicts calmness, intelligence, etc.

Every designer should choose a color wisely. They should focus on creating the right color palette. It's because a poor selection of color may let a design convey the wrong message and make the design look awful.

Another mistake that graphic designers who're beginning their careers often make is that they forget to choose a contrasting color.

Sometimes, they forget to add the basic contrast, which makes the design dull. As a designer, they should be familiar with the perfect design blend for effective branding.

6. Bad Kerning -

Spacing between the letters is known as kerning. It may look trivial to some novice graphic designers. But as they say, it's the small details that leave a big impression; kerning can make a big difference in your design. Any beginner who wants to become a professional graphic designer should master kerning.

7. No negative space -

Lack of white space in a design is a sign of amateur designing. As a designer, don’t consider white space as space but an important design element. If you have seen FedEx's logo, you know how the negative space between the letters E and X forms an 'arrow' that stands for speed and precision. Similarly, Google's website has nothing but quite a lot of white spaces, a minimal logo, and a search bar.

8. Improper alignment -

In graphic design, alignment is essential. It's the proper alignment that helps you arrange the elements in a way that's easy to scan for people. It also helps balance the image, which makes it more appealing. Proper alignment also creates a visual link between the elements.
On the other hand, improper alignment can disorganized your whole design elements. Further, it leads to visual clutter.

9. Improper scaling -

Novice graphic designers are also sometimes hesitant to perform proper scaling of the design elements. When this is done, elements either become stretched or distorted. In short, large or small scaling reduces the quality of the image. So, proper scaling is essential.

10. Not following visual hierarchy -

Visual hierarchy is one of the most important principles of graphic design. It conveys the importance of every single element used in a graphic to the audience. Novice graphic designers often overlook it, which is not good.
Suppose you're creating a banner. As a rule of thumb, you will add a larger text right at the beginning, followed by the subtitle and body text.

11. Incorrect Font Combinations -

Knowing font pairing is a crucial skill that every beginner should master. Like other elements, correct font pairing communicates a message as well. For example, using soft or a lighthearted font such as Serif or Sans Serif for a wedding invitation card looks great. But using bold Gothic fonts for an invitation isn't right until it's for Halloween.

12. Inadequate or no space between the lines -

The spacing between the lines of text is known as leading. Having too much space between the lines can make the text look disjointed, while too little spacing can cause the text to appear crowded. For a clean and crisp graphic design, balanced spacing is a must between the lines.

13. Using raster images instead of vectors -

Novice designers usually pick raster images instead of using vectors. While a raster image becomes blurred when scaled up, a vector image appears crisp and clear. If your design gets pixelated when scaling up or down, use vector images.

14. Copying others’ ideas or designs -

You can take inspiration from others' designs but cannot copy their ideas. If, as a beginner, you do so, it's plagiarism. Your clients would never be happy about that. Also, you won't improve as a designer. This will also hurt your credibility as a designer.

15. Not paying attention to the brief or client’s needs -

When you create a design, stop seeing it as your design. It's not you who wants to be happy about design, but your client. Think about what exactly they need. Pay close attention to the design brief before initiating a thought process.


Graphic design isn't something that you will master overnight. To become a successful graphic designer, you need to learn with every project you complete. Even if you're a novice designer, you can avoid the mistakes mentioned earlier to improve as a designer. These mistakes may look trivial or common, but these are the basics that you need to strengthen.

You can visit sites like Designhill to check what’s going on in graphic design these days. Also, you can learn a lot about other graphic designers from around the world.

Author's Bio: 

Alice Jackson is a business consultant, blogger, social media enthusiast, online market analyst, amateur designer and an avid author at Designhill. She has written on several topics including social media marketing, SEO, content marketing, startup strategies and e-commerce. When she’s not writing, she loves spending her time reading romantic novels, creating new online tshirt design. Connect with her on Twitter: @jackson_alice1