The graphic design industry has its fair share of “sins” and faux pas like any other industry. What’s unique in the design industry is that instead of comments like, “Oh no, not that belt with those shoes!” designers tend to hear, “Oh my, look at that type! Looks like somebody skipped out on kerning…”

When you first become a graphic designer, it’s easy to (and highly likely that you will) make plenty of mistakes. It’s part of the learning process after all! What we’d like to help you do today is learn more about a few of the worst mistakes made by graphic designers and how you can avoid them altogether with a few key Graphic Design Tips.


Beware of free fonts. There are a lot of websites where you can download free fonts until your hard drive is begging for mercy, but be careful. Between potential licensing issues (is that free font able to be used in commercial projects?) and the limitations that come with only having one or two weights, these fonts might be more trouble than benefit for someone looking to become a graphic designer.

If you must go for free fonts, check out FontSquirrel and Google Webfonts for high-quality free fonts.

More is NOT better. While the exact number varies, most seasoned designers will agree that there is a limit on the number of fonts that should be used in a single design. The general consensus is that two is best with a maximum of three.


Stock images are an affordable choice for graphic designers (and their clients) who just don’t have room in their budget for a photographer; depending on the license options you choose, you can have an image ready to edit however you like for just a few dollars!

It is this same affordability and ease of use that makes it easy for designers to go overboard and start relying on and using a lot of stock images. If you want to work with stock, make sure to select a sorting option such as “Recent” or “Relevant” and avoid the “Popular” category—chances are any images falling under that label have been used more times than anyone can count.


Few things are more embarrassing than having a client point out that you have (unwittingly) combined multiple images in such a way as to have two people in a highly inappropriate position.

A close second would have to be a client looking over your work and catching a typo… and repeating the process half a dozen times before you’ve corrected them all. Designers can avoid all of this by making sure to allow themselves plenty of time to complete and correct a project for any mistakes. In an overwhelming majority of cases, errors are made and overlooked because the designer is in too much of a hurry to double-check their work.


Perhaps the most far-reaching mistakes made by graphic designers is missing the point of design entirely.

Even those with experience in the design industry can be guilty of allowing themselves to focus more on form and less on function. Yes, design is about how something looks, however there is a huge difference between “design” and “decoration”— design is about understanding a problem and developing a solution that bridges the gap between a message and its intended audience.


F.I.R.S.T. Institute’s Graphic Design and Web Development 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.