There are Do’s and Don’ts in any profession, and graphic design is certainly no exception! Because good design is all about using visual elements to share a message, you’ll want to watch out for these common design slip-ups and avoid letting any of them sneak into your work. Read our Graphic Design Tips for more!


Most designers will agree that there are certain cases that call for symmetry while others are better suited to being asymmetrical. Always insisting on perfect symmetry is a common mistake made by designers who are new to the industry. You’ll want to experiment with your work and explore which designs would benefit from each approach. Opting for symmetry every time can make you seem like you’re always taking the “safe” route and give off the impression that your work is too “boring” and thus not eye-catching enough.


White space is the blank space left around certain elements of a design. The page you’re reading this on is making use of white space, can you see how?

Often designers will make the mistake of using too much or too little white space in their work. You don’t want to have a single line of text floating about on its own in the middle of a page, and you also want to avoid barely having a handful of pixels between one part of your design and the next important section.  White space allows your design to “breathe” and also gives you the chance to capture the attention of your audience and then lead them through your design in just the right way before delivering them to the end of the piece.


There is a fine line between using a handful of common elements to tie a series of designs together, making cookie-cutter copies that no one can tell apart from one another, and creating completely new designs each time that no one can connect with the piece that came before.

Many designers will either use too many or too few similar elements throughout a series of designs – the pieces will either share everything or nothing at all. This is a common mistake even seasoned designers make from time to time!

You can avoid this by selecting a few elements such as maintaining the same character styles (font, weights, styles, etc), colors, and textures across a series of pieces.


Type can often be the most important element of a design, and this can make it seem very intimidating.

If you’re worried about making “rookie” mistakes when it comes to type, steer clear of these common designer mistakes with type:

  • Center alignment of text – Only center align titles and short lines of text. Anything else makes text difficult to read!
  • Line length – Make lines short (75 characters max, including spaces) as this makes your text easier to read.
  • Kerning – Kerning is the space between individual characters, and it is very important! Good kerning can make the difference between text that flows well and text that looks cramped and difficult to read.

Whether you are a brand new designer or a veteran of the industry you should always be on the lookout for things that you can do to improve the quality of your work. If you want to become a graphic designer, sometimes doing so can be as simple as making sure that you’re avoiding these four big mistakes!


F.I.R.S.T. Institute’s Graphic Design Program will give you the tools to become a graphic designer in just 11 months. From a faculty made up of experienced design industry professionals to a broad spectrum of courses and a dedicated Career Development department, we give students access to everything they need to succeed in the design industry, both in class and on the job.

If you’d like to know more about our Graphic Design and Web Development school, please give us a call or send us an email! Our admissions team are standing by to answer any questions you might have.