Graphic design is a creative process that has a lot of moving parts. Within these parts, there are going to be certain things that you need to avoid or improve on. While using your creativity, make sure that each piece of marketing material that you put out is going to be eye-catching, but at the same time easy on the eyes. It needs to be appealing and contain information or images that people will be interested in. By taking time and putting thought into your marketing materials, you are ensuring that people will trust your brand and hopefully evoke the intended emotion within your target audience to generate new customers. Take a look through these critical graphic design mistakes to avoid while developing your marketing materials.
Evaluate Your Logo
How does your logo look? Blurry? Outdated? Unreadable? Your logo, if not done right, can make your business look unprofessional. You want to make a good first impression, and your logo is the first thing many people see when coming to your business or looking it up online. Your logo should be easily recognizable, simple, and relevant to your business. Your logo is the most noticeable visual of your brand and is used everywhere you advertise your business. Make sure your logo fits your business culture while also looking professional.
Maintain Brand Consistency
All of your marketing materials should be consistent! This will include colors, fonts, images, grammar styling and placement. When choosing a typeface, make sure to choose a legible font and no more than 2 options. Your typeface (collection of specific fonts that share a similar design) will need to be used on all marketing materials to ensure advertisements are presentable for your target audience. Playing with fonts can be fun, but you do not want your intended audience to be off-put by your font choices. Keep a consistent color scheme that compliments the other colors and identify the brightest color to be used for your website headers, paragraph titles and call to actions (buttons).
The images used also need to convey a consistent message, whether you use stock photos, graphic designed images or a combination of the two. If your business industry is more serious, like a lawyer or hospital, you may not want to use a comical cartoon image. Placement is important too! Do you want your company logo always in the bottom left corner or the top right corner? Establishing brand guidelines ahead of time will ensure that everyone on your marketing team knows how the advertisements should look. When all of your marketing materials carry a consistent theme, this makes your brand more recognizable.
Avoid Too Much Color
Just like too many fonts, you will want to avoid using too many colors. The magic number seems to be around 3, and with these 3 colors, you need to make sure that they blend well. Too many colors can make your marketing piece look juvenile and be hard to look at. At the same time, the wrong combination of colors can also make your design look unappealing. Make sure that people are not going to want to look away as soon as they see your designs. Again, you want their eyes to be pleased!
Check Your Font Size
You don’t want your words too small. Anything under 10 is a big no-no, 12 and up is better! You never want to cram too much text into a small space. Rewrite the text to make sure it fits properly, or adjust the space. You also want to make sure that everything is spaced correctly, or has correct kerning. Kerning is the spacing between letters or characters in a piece of text. Sometimes with certain fonts or typefaces, their letters will have uneven spacing. Making sure that these small graphic design mistakes are avoided can make the biggest difference in your marketing piece.
Examine Graphic Density
You will want to provide plenty of space between text and images. This makes your marketing material easier on the eyes. Use things like headers, bullet points, and good spaces between lines to make them easily scannable. Make sure that there is enough “white space” between your images and words. White space is the term used to describe the areas within your graphic design in which you have left open on purpose. This will lead to your marketing material being easier to read and more attractive to the eye.
Every single marketing piece you send out should be proofread multiple times. Even have multiple people proofread it! A grammar or spelling mistake can make your marketing piece look extremely unprofessional. Often times, graphic designers can’t just copy and paste the words you provided. Usually, they have to design each individual letter and when in a rush, it is easy for the graphic designer to make a mistake. Pay close attention to the small details, because in the end, these can be detrimental to your marketing strategy and ultimately your business.
Have a Strong CTA (Call To Action)
Give a clear and exact action plan in your marketing piece. What do you want the consumer to do after seeing your marketing material? Call you? Download a file? Use a promo code? Visit your website? No matter what the call to action is, make sure it is clear so that the consumer knows what to do next! Without a call to action, you may not be sure who will have seen your marketing materials, and this can lead to no return on investment for this particular marketing material.
PRO TIP: Place your call to action in the bottom right-hand corner. We read left to right, and top to bottom. By placing your call to action in the bottom right-hand corner your reader will not have to backtrack after reading, it will be right at the end where they can act fast!
Use Good Imagery
You need to use high-resolution images or photos, at least 300 DPI. If not, your pictures are going to appear blurry. You are also going to want to make sure that your images are not generic or be something that your targeted audience has seen thousands of times. The best way to avoid this is to purchase images or use a stock image resource. When choosing your imagery, you want them to be compelling and grab attention. Your chosen image needs to flow with the colors and text you have on your marketing materials, all while depicting your message.
While some of these seem very obvious to avoid, most graphic design mistakes can be easily overlooked at times. Don’t let some aspects of your marketing materials slip through the cracks, and ultimately become just another piece that goes in the recycling bin! Your targeted audience will take one look at your product and can decide to count you out or know right off the bat that you are the one to help them with whatever it is that they need. Remember, we only get one first impression, so make it count.
Walker360 specializes in creative design and market branding guidelines. If your company needs guidance on creating brand guidelines, reach out to us today and we will help get you started!