7 Vital Signs That You Are Still An Amateur Graphic Designer

Learning is change. This is one of the Principles of Leaning I learned in college. The principle simply means that you can only consider an individual to have learned something if there is a notable change in his behavior as influenced by his experiences.

No change means no learning, means no experience. (Too much logical! ^_^)
No employer hires a worker who has no experience.

Let us check these seven vital signs to find out if you  are still  an amateur graphic designer.

1. You still enjoy using multi-colored backgrounds.

Do you still use a rainbow colored background? Silly. Anyway, I also love that before. ^_^ It is the right time to forget about multi-colored background. A single-colored backgrounds is easier to work with and is neat to look at. Many say that black is elegant but I prefer to use white as main background unless black is required.

2. You overcrowd your design, you don’t use white space.

If you are not familiar with white space, it is the area which is empty but not necessary to be white. Having ample of this, makes your design looks more professional. It also allows the eyes of your readers rest.

This is the common mistake of graphic designers in retail industry because maybe the boss wants to put all the low-priced items in a one page print advertisement. Overcrowded design is messy to look at and it gives an impression of low quality. Is this what you want your customers think about your product? If yes, go on with your overcrowded design.

3. You still love embossed and drop shadowed.

When I first learn creating beveled and embossed and drop shadow text effects, I  was very excited to use them in every design I was making. Not only that, I was also so fascinated with ‘outer glow’. I even used them on images and on the small texts but when I look back on my previous designs, they really look silly.

I am not saying that using emboss, drop shadow and outer glow on your designs is bad but as much as possible minimize using them. If you really have no choice and you need these effects, customize the setting. Do not use the default. See this comparison below.

I suggest casted shadow than drop shadow. I have a Photoshop tutorial about that here.

4. You often use fancy and well decorated fonts.

Fancy and well decorated for sometimes look sexy, happy and cool. Yes, they are. However, you should have a very good judgment on how to use them properly. Readability is still very important because your well crafted copy will become void if no one could read it.

If you want to use fancy font styles, make sure that you apply then on the bigger text and use the more readable fonts like Helvetic, Vedana or Arial for the smaller ones.

5. You do not observe margin and bleed

Element of your designs that are intentionally set on bleed is indeed different from the element that are cut because you do not use margin and bleed on you design.  Margin is the allowance or the space inside the page from its edge while bleed is the allowance outside the page that is reserved for trimming.

This is very important on print designs because after printing, the edges of the printouts are to be trimmed. And if you have not put an allowance for this purpose, you will just be amused to see your design with some missing letters afterwards.

6. You don’t care about quality of the product photo.

You never mind the quality of the product photo long as you the image to use. It is okay for you whether the its is full of ‘noise’, blurred, low resolution, overexposed, underexposed, with bad reflections, unproperly angled and so on. You only use them for the sake of compliance. If you’re doing this, you are worse than I was.

7. It doesn’t take time for you start a new design

About a week ago I have posted, A good print design is not done in 30 minute, not even one how. You can check it out to find out why it take time to start a new design to produce a good one.

So, what do you think. Are still considered as amateur graphic designer?

Thank you for reading. Godspeed!

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