Top 5 Design Mistakes

This week we're taking design mistakes and how to fix them. These are super common mistakes seen in everyday life that you definitely want to avoid when marketing yourself.

1) Type is Too Big

Almost always, you can make your type smaller. I think we can all feel convicted by this. Especially in the example above. We can see "art" needs to be way smaller and the "f" probably needs to be smaller as well.

When the text in a design is too big, its audience is overwhelmed or in this case, they misinterpret the design.

Here are some great examples of designs taking advantage of smaller text:

In these examples, they want you to focus on the image. The designs literally pull you to read more.

If these advertisements had larger text, it would take away from this eye catching image. It begs you to read and find out more.

2) Using Clashing Fonts

First of all, the advertisement above is atrocious and I could talk about many things going wrong here. However, we'll focus on the clashing fonts.

"Blowout sale" and "today only" are in two very different fonts and don't pair well together. I don't know about you, but my eyes can't decide where to focus on this image or what to read first.

When designing with multiple fonts you should definitely do your research to figure out the best typefaces to use together (and use hierarchy—which we'll talk about in a few minutes).

I love to go to Pinterest to look up type pairings and use what I find as inspiration for my projects. Another tip you can use is by going to google fonts. Find a typeface you like, click on it, scroll down, and it will show you other typefaces that pair well with it.

However, the best way to pair two typefaces is always to type a bunch of sentences out in different fonts, print them out, and compare them to see for yourself.

Here are some of my favorite book covers with some great type pairings:

3 & 4) Not Enough White Space and Not Using Hierarchy

I cringe looking at most local car advertisements because I don't know where to look. This is a white space and hierarchy issue. When you look at the car ad you're so overwhelmed by it that you look away and you never come back to it.

First, white space. Having some breathing room on the paper is something you almost always want to have. We want an audience to look at a design and not feel absolutely overwhelmed.

This leads into the audience knowing where to look first on your design. Text and images need hierarchy on the page. For example, on a book cover the designer must decide if they want your audience to see the title, name, or image on your cover first.

It doesn't matter which one catches the reader's eye as long as it's only one of those things—not all three.

Here are some good examples of hierarchy and white space used in design:

Each of these designs let your eye catch on one element (the words or the beautiful image) and gracefully leads your eye to the next thing.

On the movie poster, your eye goes from the swan/woman to the words "Black Swan" to the actors names, and finally to little words at the bottom.

5) Color Scheme Clashes

Are these colors vibrating?

Never underestimate the greatness of a color scheme where the colors compliment each other. Our goal is never to make the audience wish they were blind. Using color is great way to draw in your audience or add a deeper meaning to your design.

Some of my favorite ways to find good color schemes are through Pinterest or

Check out these great examples of designs using color:

These advertisements all draw you in with a color that catches your eye. It's probably one of the most simple tricks to elevate your marketing.


If you make sure to avoid these top mistakes while designing, you will automatically take your marketing to the next level. Your audience will love seeing your work and taking in what you have to say.

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