3 Common DIY Graphic Design Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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Having the skill to design your own graphics, without always turning to a designer, can be really handy. While a professional may be good for the big things and getting you started, having to ask your designer for help with every little thing, may not always be ideal.

I see a lot of business owners trying to tackle their own graphics, be it for a banner, a promo graphic, something for social media or an ad campaign.

They may have hired a designer to create their logo, chosen colours and fonts.

But they want to tackle some of the day to day small graphics on their own. It saves money and it is a handy skill to be able to whip things up on the fly when ideas strike or an event or opportunity suddenly comes up and you want to get the word out.

There are a few mistakes I see these people make though. Sometimes they are just a few simple tweaks away from a really well designed graphic. Often the trouble lies in things looking unbalanced, poorly executed, dated, not well considered or even a little bit ugly.

Fortunately, the ability to design can be taught. While some people have a more natural eye for design. They are often following the basic design principles subconsciously.

When I was in Fashion School, I had a teacher who made us create posters that represent each of the elements of design e.g shape, colour, pattern or line. We would then have to critique and discuss each students poster in depth. This went on for weeks, and to some may have seemed pedantic and a little frustrating, with how much she made us analyse the very basics principles of design. But despite the fact I later decided Fashion was not for me, those lessons became my biggest take away from my Fashion school experience, as those same principles were the foundations of Graphic Design. The teachers I had, really ingrained in me the importance of really truly understanding the basics, and the importance of passion and not seeing limitations as roadblocks.

So if you feel limited by your untrained design eye. Do not let that stop you. If you want to get better at designing for yourself, you can do it, and it starts with getting better at the basics and having a keen understanding of their importance.

There are 3 main mistakes I see come up for DIY designers. Often when I help someone fix their design or give them pointers, I find that often huge differences and improvements can be made, by addressing these three things and getting them right. There is no reason you can not design something aesthetically beautiful and effective for communicating your message.

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