Create content for your client’s customer and not for your clients. If the content is for the customers then obviously the client will be pleased. Often clients are confused what they exactly need. So as a graphic designer, you have to help your client with that by providing ideas and concepts. I have been working as project manager for a graphic designing team over a year now and there are several mistakes a graphic designer do which either creates a bad impression or the client never comes back.
Instruction is the base:
First mistake that designers do is not reading the full instruction. I found some of my designers to be, too lazy to read the whole thing. Big sentences, hard words have always been their problem. But there is no way to skip any part of the description! If you do not understand specific part ask again and again till you are sure about it. Trust me, modifying content kills more time than creating a new one. So don’t just rely on client’s modification. If possible ask the client for some design he/she would like to have. More communication, better the satisfaction of client.
Typography & Spacing :
After you have clear direction on what to create, next most important thing is to choose perfect fonts. If you read my previous article on how to choose the best fonts then you already know that, you must not use more than 3 fonts in your content. Different contents should have different typography. For example, a party flyer usually have a funky typography while corporate brochure uses a simple yet professional typography. Spacing is also crucial in designing. Make sure your words are not cluttered and look like fillers. Keep the line spacing moderate even there is white space. Be careful about centralizing the text. Do it where its necessary. Sometimes it becomes harder for the reader to find the starting of the line if the line is centered.
Careful on the headline:
You can always save the centered text for the headlines! Talking about headlines, make sure you don’t kill it by using too many colors with the mixture of many fonts. May be 2 color is fine but more than that might look stupid. Yes, contrast is important specially to emphasize words but don’t over do it. You must remember, you are designing content that needs to please your client who is going to pay you, its not drawing from 2nd grade.
Keep the theme going :
Sometimes some repetition of visual graphics is necessary. It shows consistency. For example, certain color or shape in all the pages not only looks good but also clearly represent the theme of the content. But, if you overdo it, you will destroy the content. Use graphics sensibly. For example, if you use QR code in the design of a flyer or poster which will be sticked with a moving vehicle, it will be a total waste.
Images & Vectors :
The next thing any graphic designer should watch out for is, to use sufficient amount of vectors and images. Some uses too many pictures and ruins the content. Talking about vectors, using vectors has become a trend now. Most of the people like to vectors and symbolic icons to replace conventional photographs. But be extra careful if the icons or vectors are meaningful and easy to understand. Contrast and colors represent the feeling of design while typography are the dresses that content wear. Check out the icons below. First 2 are easy to understand. Broken bone and DNA helix (from the left) but the last icon here can be anything!
Read again & again & again :
The mistake that graphic designers make the most is proofreading. 70% of the complaint i faced by client is that there are so many spelling mistakes or sentence error in the content. Trust me, it really ruins the beautiful content you created if there are small spelling mistakes. And you cannot deny that it doesn’t happen! So right after completing the content, take a break, come back again, revise and proofread the whole content before delivering it to your client. You can always ask other designers if anything on the content looks odd.
Send the whole package:
When you are done with the project, client gives green signal, make sure you send the whole package files along with source file, mock-up etc. Add instructions how to edit the content, if possible with video tutorial. Ask the client about the purpose. For print use CYMK while for web use RBG color mood. Adobe softwares have the option “Package”. Use that to pack everything in one folder. You can also manually do it but make sure you keep the fonts, images, graphics etc in one place. Just make sure you provide everything and close the deal. A tip for designers is, when you are creating something and that looks bit odd and falls in clients instruction, make it right by what you think looks nice. Don’t ignore clients instruction. What you can do is to create 2 samples, one according to clients instruction and another one what you think is right. Let the client judge. You can often be rewarded for this!
Logo/icon means Illustrator :
If you use Photoshop to design a logo, then you should quit graphic designing! Logos, icons should never ever be designed in Photoshop. Its the worst thing to do. Always use Illustrator for logo, icon or character design. In short, the reason is, if you create logo/icon in Photoshop it will crack if you zoom in while Illustrator is totally free from this problem.
Copy is Crime:
Copying is the worst crime in designing. Now a days there are several tools available for clients to match a copy design. It can ruin your graphic designing career. Taking inspiration is one thing but copying is not!
Unique not extreme:
Some designers are found to go extreme with the design to be unique. By using too much colors, too much shapes or patterns. Don’t do that. Stay calm. Overdoing anything is wrong. Anything you create becomes unique unless its not a copy.
Capture the story:
Finally, each content has a story. If you are designing a flyer for a party, capture the story of what kind of party it is. If you are creating a flyer for college or medical, then use that theme. You must know the point of designing. And as i have mentioned in the beginning, make the client’s customer a issue to design the content. Kids will not need a medical flyer that much so you don’t need to make the flyer colorful with balloons and stuff.
Designers are creative people. Some of you might think, that designers should be free to design, thats right. But before that, you must have the idea what you are required to create. Instructions of client are hardly to create exactly similar to one sample. So just get the idea what to design, how to design it is your task.