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The Do’s and Don’t in Graphics Design

The graphic design industry is never static. It is always changing. By the time you get the hang of a new trend, another one would have already replaced it. Staying on top of current trends is key to being a successful graphic designer so that their designs remain relevant and creative.

Learning and understanding the rules of graphic design allows a graphic designer to create something that is extraordinary and unexpected. It is difficult to know how and when to break the rules to create the most unexpected designs and when to stick to the traditional formats until you fully grasp the do’s and don’ts in graphic design.

So, here is a list of the do’s and don’ts in modern graphic design that will help you learn the relevant things that work and the ones that don’t.


To think outside the box, it is important that you learn the rules of design. One can push the boundaries only when he/she stays inside the box, with a piece of detailed knowledge regarding the rules.

In order to push the boundaries and come up with something new and exciting that meets (or even exceeds) the expectations of users, you must test and try new concepts in the initial phase of design. After that, get authentic feedback from your target audience on what works and what doesn’t. Based on that feedback, finalize the design.


In this digital era, most of the design works are digital that printed materials are getting lost in the mix. Always keep in mind where your bleed lines go and the image resolution every time you design something. Because the design that looks great on your computer screen might look blurred or fuzzy in print if the right format is not used and the resolution is not high enough.

Always think about how a magazine ad works. Depending upon the ad’s size and the publication’s layout, you must bleed to one side of the page or the other. Consider where the product fits on the page.


White spaces are extremely helpful in highlighting the elements you want your users to be drawn to. It is equally useful and important in both online and offline designs. The value of white space is in the items that are placed within it.

Despite its name, white spaces do not necessarily have to be white in color. It can be any color, pattern, texture, or a background image. White space will give the eyes a break and keep the focus on the goal of the design pieces.


Always keep in mind that most of the colors don’t even work together. Instead of dazzling your client’s eyes, some color combinations might hurt their eyes.

Colors are important in expressing the emotion of your design. So, always find the color palettes that work well together for your requirement, before you start your design. There are many mediums like Pinterest to guide you here.

Once you finalize the color palettes, start designing by keeping your client and the required emotion in your mind.


In other words, don’t confuse your audience with too many elements.

There is a point in the graphic design process where every designer should sit back and take out some elements to keep the design clean and less complicated (to keep it simple!). As a designer, your ultimate goal should be to deliver a clean, outstanding design that doesn’t confuse your client.

The simplest solutions are the most effective ones sometimes. Less is more. Find the perfect balance between boring and over-complicated. And, when in doubt, ask a friend to look over. If his/her eyes catch the answer you were looking for, finalize the design.


Every graphic designer has a secret obsession with fonts. There are different fonts available for download, but the last thing you want is to confuse your clients visually.

Select the right font that speaks for the brand that you are promoting. A font might not be the right one for the context just because it is pretty or exciting. Avoid using display fonts (big, fancy fonts) as they can be eye-catching but can go very wrong very easily.

Pay attention to the fonts you use. Simple fonts are suggested to keep your type attention-grabbing and easy to read. But make sure to have fun with fonts.


For any designer, it is very important to use the process of inspiration to study the work of other designers and learn new technologies. However, since the idea stays with you, you might end up copying (or imitating) another designer’s work.

There are certain things you can do in order to avoid this from happening. Always keep a book with you and note down any technique you come across and credit it to the right designer. Highlight your ideas and other designers’ ideas separately. This will prevent you from copying or imitating someone else’s work


Using too many fonts can confuse your audience and clients. One of the best ideas is to stick to one typeface and use its different font variations. Headings should be made bold and larger so that the body will become more visually exciting.

Of course, you can include more than one typeface. However, try sticking to two fonts, and only include the third one if it is absolutely necessary. This helps your audience understand your message loud and clear.


A grid is used to place your graphic design elements in position that will draw the viewer’s eye into the composition, instead of just glancing at the center of it once and moving on. 

You can transform a boring graphic design into a design that is incredibly uniform and well-considered by using grids. This will add personality to the design and allows you to structure your images and sections effectively.


Hierarchy is a system that is used by designers to make sure that the most important parts of their design catch the viewer’s attention first. It is the most important aspect of communicating your message accurately and effectively. 

The hierarchy depends on the situation, but the rule stays the same. The information that is the most important should be the most attention-grabbing.


Effects are fun and have enough potential to make the design look extraordinary. But, when you use unnecessary effects, your design will only look like those cheesy Powerpoint slides you used to make in school.

The design should be clean and simple. Effects should only be used when it is really necessary. Such designs are easier to accomplish, won’t take you nearly as much time, and will always translate best.


Never ever forget your audience. Always remember who you are designing for. Do thorough research on your target market and brainstorm properly before you start designing. If it is not done, there is a possibility of conveying the wrong message through your design.

Studying your audience will also help you choose the right language, symbols, and images to use. Most importantly, it will educate you on which things are definitely not okay to use for your design.

Every graphic designer has his/her own uniqueness. They have their own style and flair. So, never hesitate to express yourself while designing which will bring out the best out of you. You can follow these do’s and don’ts for design but learn to follow your instinct. Never fall for doubt or confusion. Know the basics, keep the do’s and don’ts in your mind, try out new things, and follow your instinct to thrill your clients with your designs and stand out in the crowd.

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