7 Signs of An Amateur Graphic Designer
Learning is change. This is one of the Principles of Leaning I learned in college. The principle simply means that you can only consider an individual to have learned something if there is a notable change in his behavior as influenced by his experiences.
No change means no learning, means no experience. No employer hires a worker who has no experience unless maybe if the boss is his or her relative.
Every graphic designer has experienced doing bad deigns and got rejected. I experienced that for many times, but it did stop me from exploring something new and making more and more designs. I have listed here seven things I badly did while I was starting to learn Graphic Design.
Perhaps, you can use these points to evaluate your design skills. If you still do these things, maybe you need to consider improving you graphic design skills after reading this post.
1. You still enjoy using multi-colored backgrounds.
Do you still use a rainbow colored background? Silly. Anyway, I also have had loved that. It is the right time to forget about that multi-colored background.
A single-colored backgrounds is easier to work with and is neat. Many say that black is elegant but I prefer to use white as main background unless black is required or a brand color should be used.
If you are not familiar with white space, it is the area which is empty but not necessary to be white. Having ample of this, makes your design looks more professional. It also allows the eyes of your readers rest.
This is the common mistake of graphic designers in retail industry because maybe the boss wants to put all the low-priced items in a one page print advertisement.
Overcrowded design is messy and it gives an impression of low quality. Is this what you want your customers think about your product? If yes, go on with your overcrowded design.
3. You still love beveled and embossed and drop shadowed text.
When I first learn creating beveled and embossed and drop shadow text effects, I was very excited to use them in every design I was making. Not only that, I was also so fascinated with ‘outer glow’.
I even used them on images and on the small texts but when I look back on my previous designs, they really look silly. I am not saying that using emboss, drop shadow and outer glow on your designs is bad but as much as possible minimize using them.
If you really have no choice and you need these effects, customize the setting. Do not use the default. See this comparison below.
I suggest cast shadow than drop shadow. Here is my Photoshop tutorial about realistic cast shadow.
4. You often use fancy and well decorated fonts.
Fancy and well decorated for sometimes look sexy, happy and cool. Yes, they are. However, you should have a very good judgment on how to use them properly and sparingly. Readability is still very important because your well crafted copy will become void if no one could read it.
Always remember that when it comes to producing designs, you have to give more emphasis on the message than aesthetics. If you want to use fancy font styles, make sure that you apply them on the bigger text and use the more readable fonts like Helvetica, Verdana or Arial for the smaller ones.
5. You do not observe margin and bleed.
The elements of your designs that are intentionally set on bleed are indeed different from the elements that are cut because you do not use margin and bleed on your design.
Margin is the allowance or the space inside the page from the edge while bleed is the allowance outside the page that is reserved be cut and thrown away. Most printing companies require 5mm bleed.
This is very important on print designs because after printing, the edges of the printouts are to be trimmed. And if you have not put an allowance for this purpose, you will just be surprise to see your design with some missing letters afterwards.
6. You don’t care about the quality of the photos.
You never mind the quality of the product photo long as you have the image to use. It is okay for you whether its is full of ‘noise’, blurred, low resolution, overexposed, underexposed, with bad reflections, improperly angled and so on. You only use them for the sake of compliance. If you’re doing this, you are worse than I was.
Try too look back on the two design at our point No.2, and observe how the way the products are shoot affects the design. Do not underestimate the power of photos because they can speak the words which you cannot express.
7. It doesn’t take time for you start a new design.
About a week ago I have posted, A Good Print Design is Not Done in 30 Minutes, Not Even 1 Hour. You can check it out to find out why it takes time to start a new design to produce a good one. If you want to finish your design so fast, expect that you cannot produce a good and effective one.
So, how do you consider yourself, amateur graphic designer or not? Thank you for reading. Godspeed!