Tag Archives typography

5 Sins of Graphic Design

Graphic design also known as visual communication or communication design, is the art and practice of planning and projecting ideas and experience with visual and textual content. Graphic design can be for commercial, political, educational or cultural purposes. Designers use topography, page layouts and visual arts techniques to create visual compositions. Whether you are a web designer, creative director or a graphic designer, getting your topography right is essential if you want to get your message across in the way you, or your client, intended. When it comes to landing a career in graphic design the competition can be fierce. Erring can be human and forgive, divine, but too many wrongs in the world of design can be the end of your good career as a designer.

The most common sins that a designer should avoid include;

  • Using too many unnecessary fonts– unless it is a document that is specifically for the purpose of showing different fonts, using too many fonts is confusing to the brand and it can be a bad design in general. You don’t want your design to look like it was designed by drunk circus clowns; try to stick with not more than two fonts wherever possible especially when designing company logos.
  • Using fonts that are too hard to read– if the reader cannot read the text in the design then it has failed instantly because the reader is not receiving the message intended. Use a font that will make your design bolder and your message more effective.
  • Improper kerning– spacing characters evenly is a basic rule of design and should not be neglected. It is imperative to keep your kerning, tracking and leading in mind when working with any kind of topography. Otherwise, your designs will suffer. Kerning is the spacing between pairs of letters while tracking is the spacing on the whole word.
  • Typing over busy backgrounds– this makes it hard to read a message due to the background overpowering. Be legible by setting your types in blocks of solid color in order for the message to stand out.
  • Faking of small caps and italics– if you looking to add variations to your headlines using small caps, use a font that has one. Do not try to screw a font that is not italic to make it one as the curves will be distorted and the stroke weight will be out of sync.
  • Use of caps only and reverse typing– caps can make a body copy slicker and cooler but using all caps can also turn it into an illegible mess. Text that has both ascending and descending characters is easier to read than all caps text. For the sake of legibility one should avoid white text on a background. This is also known as reverse typing.
  • Use of long measures and combining fonts– go for 45 to 75 characters. Using too long or too short characters can be distracting to the reader as he or she will have to fight to construct sentences. A text written by combined fonts is shady and confusing.
  • Grammatical errors and misspelling words– this is a matter of professionalism. A brand that is written incorrectly can ruin your credibility. If you are not a perfect proof reader please ask someone to look it over for you to avoid making obvious mistakes.

Lastly, do not cram everything you want to say into one small space