Most Common Design Problems

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Whether you are new to graphic design or have been making beautiful things for years, chances are that you’ve faced some of these common design problems every now and then

Let’s talk about how they affect your work and how to improve them, so every project can be your next success story!

#Image Quality

It might surprise you, but this is going to affect many graphic design projects more than you’d expect. A client might give you images. Or you might obtain them from a stock photo site, or actually take the photos yourself. What’s important is the image resolution. High resolution images are often ideal but they can also sometimes be more expensive to purchase. Sometimes clients will give you photos they have taken themselves – of a company building, employees or company products. Always encourage clients to use professional photographers whenever possible, as this often ensures higher quality photographs as well.


Today’s graphic designer has as many fonts to choose from as we have cable TV channels: hundreds & hundreds! It can be tempting to add lots of flourishes and use fonts that always have added embellishments of some type. But sometimes the best choice is a “classic” such as Garamond or Times New Roman. An excellent option can also be to put several words in a fancier font but most of the text in a more basic font. Remember that you always want a client’s brochure, web page or billboard to be easy to read. If customers can’t read what it says, they can’t respond to that Call to Action and buy or make an appointment – and your client will be disappointed with your efforts even if you’ve created beautiful design work for them.

#Playing Favorites with a Project

We’ve all done it. Most graphic designers do several “mock ups” for a client, offering them a variety to choose from before going ahead with a final design. But it can be easy for us to choose our own favorite from the designs. So we wind up spending a little extra time & creativity on that design. While they don’t always pick that one, it certainly is our favored “child” of the bunch and it shows. Your job as a designer is to design – for the client.

#Not Listening to What the Client Wants

This is a very common challenge and can happen without you realizing it. Often simply because we have different communication styles. Some blow their stack when they get mad and others get really quiet. There are also people who are hesitant to express and opinion and then still others who seem to do nothing but share their opinion all the time. Learn to develop your active listening skills so you can draw out just about anyone in conversation and understand what your client wants to achieve with this project. Before you get started you as a designer should have an understanding of what colors and design they find attractive and what they don’t.

#Document Setup

Before you start to design it is helpful to know what size and type of document you are creating. This affects so many of your design decisions. Most designers can confidently re-size items, but this takes time and effort. Confirm the size of the document if you must, it’s important!

Graphic designers do important work. They communicate and clarify the vision for their clients. Avoid these common problems and your projects will be even more successful than before!