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Although you may have an amazing product or valuable information to pass on, a poor design will quickly turn potential customers away. No matter what you are creating - poster, brochure, postcard or flyer - there are crucial dos and don’ts that you should keep in mind.
Make sure you're not making design blunders with these top 10 graphic design fixes:
1. Colors are either way too bright or washed out and drab - Liven up a dull piece by choosing three variations of the colors already in use. You don’t have to change your color choices, just change the shades. For a bright design, do the reverse and pick a color variation that is one or two shades lighter.
2. More than four colors are used (including black) - One or two bright colors can benefit a design and draw emphasis, but too many make it confusing and hard to read. Plan out your color scheme in advance. Choose what colors you want to use for headlines, subheads, text (black) and behind your text (white).
3. More than four different fonts on the same page - Plan your font scheme and use fonts in the same family. For most designs, you will only need three fonts and styles - headline, subhead and text.
4. Images are too large or too small - If your images are too large, they'll be an eyesore and they'll steal attention from the copy. If they're too small, they'll be hard to see and won't make an impression.
5. Text on a dark background - Keep your message simple by displaying text with contrast such as dark blue or black on a white background. Most other combinations are too hard to read for most people.
6. Too much going on - Your design should focus on funneling reader's eyes toward the most important parts - your benefits, offer and call to action. If you have too much going on, the message will be lost.
7. Not enough white space - If you have a lot of information that you want to include, it is important to plan the layout so that your printed piece doesn’t appear cluttered or hard to read. Try separating information with columns, boxes, highlights and other dividers; and add plenty of white space in between.
8. Fonts are too small - Too much information crammed into a small space will put off readers. This ties in directly with mistake no. 7. Fonts should be large and easy to read. Spreading out the information reduces clutter and increases your influential effect.
9. Background patterns are too busy - Your background image should not take away from your message, so use a contrasting color scheme that highlights the text.
10. Not clearly identifying your product or the reason for your promo piece - While graphic design is very important, it should not confuse a visitor. A good way to come up with a clear message is to write down exactly what your product does in 10 words or less. Now transfer this phrase to your design to help your prospects understand exactly what it is you do, what benefits that provides to them, and exactly what action they're supposed to take.