5 Things NOT to do as a Beginner Graphic Designer

By CreativB Studios – 27 April 2022

You have done your research and have decided to become a graphic designer, That’s great and I wish nothing but success to you in your journey. 

But, the time & difficulty of becoming a graphic designer purely depends on the effort you put it, the path you take, and how keen you are to solve a problem.

You can find thousands of articles out there about the things you SHOULD do but no one fully talks about the things NOT to do as a beginner graphic designer.

Being a self taught graphic designer has taught me alot of things and it took me quite some time to get on the right track and work for some amazing companies.

Trying Too Many Things as a Beginner

As a beginner, you might be tempted to try all the different fields in graphic design hoping to get through the beginner level quickly and land a job.

As logical it may sound, unfortunately that’s not how it works.

Every field in graphic design is built on the fundamentals and from there they have their own rules added to them. 

So if you’re going to learn all the rules in the initial stages of graphic design then you will get confused and start doubting your decision.

So, What Should You do Instead?

Be a T-Shaped Designer!

Umm what is a T-Shaped Designer?

Well, a T-Shaped Designer is someone who is a combination of a generalist and a specialist.

For Example, you can have general skills in UX Design, Branding, Prototyping, Front-End Code but you have expertise in UI Design.

The Horizontal line indicates the skills you know, and the Vertical line is the area you have expert skills in.

T Shaped Designer
Photo Credit: Solowork.co

This approach not only helps you to be a better designer but it also helps you land a graphic design job.

As most companies usually opt for T-Shaped Professionals which is also referred to as “Jack of all trades”.

Focusing on the Software's rather than the Fundamentals

One of the mistakes many beginner graphic designers do is getting all the software’s they can get their hands on and start designing without focusing much on the fundamentals of graphic designing.

Yes, you will be able to design a few things by watching different tutorials or know different tricks in the software’s but that’s about it.

Working with an actual client would be difficult as you wouldn’t have the fundamentals to convert their briefs into actual design.

Adobe Softwares
Photo credits: Pinterest

Focus on one thing at a time!

As mentioned previously, taking on all the software’s at once will only lead to confusion and slow down your design process.

The Best approach would be to focus on 1-2 software’s and use them to apply the fundamentals you have studied and gain the fundamental skills needed.

When should you start learning another skill?

Once you start creating original and good designs/content then you can start expanding with another skill.

Fundamentals make it easy to learn a new skill within the graphic design domain.

Stealing Others Design

As a beginner, its encouraged to “steal” others design for practice. But some designers develop the habit of stealing others designs which is could land them into trouble in the future.

Stealing a design is like stealing a bike, it could land you in legal trouble by the creator of the design or the company that owns the design.

Creating a unique design takes a lot of time and efforts, as a designer we should respect that and promote those designs instead of stealing it.

Photo credits: Pinterest

Be Inspired by other designs

Whereas, getting inspired by a design and adding your own style to it is the right approach to getting better at graphic designing. 

Also, crediting the original creator of the design is a good practice. This helps boost the creators morale and open up a possibility of exposure for you.

Using the Wrong Font Combination

Another thing i have noticed about beginner graphic designers (and seen from experience) is that they use fonts that don’t compliment the design or use the wrong combination of fonts for the heading and body.

There are so many designs with 4+ different types of fonts used. which is a big no no in the design community as it makes the design cluttered (unless that’s what you’re going for).

A simple font can either make or break your design, so its better to emphasis on typography when learning about the fundamentals of graphic design

wrong fonts
Photo credits: thundertech.com

Two or Three Fonts Maximum!

One of the rules of typography is to use not more than 3 font styles in a single design. Because it not only makes it cluttered but also separates the design rather than connect everything together.

Not Practicing Enough

Not practicing enough could probably be the worst decision to make at ANY level of graphic design.

Not practicing can put you at a stale in your business or your job. And for a beginner graphic designer, you need a bit of variety to land a client or a job.

Photo credits: Unsplash

Practice Makes Perfect!

Practicing not only helps you in terms of designing itself but makes your process smoother and faster.

The smoother and faster your process is the more time you will have for other skills or promoting yourself.

So, keep practicing regardless what stage of graphic design you are in!

Are you trying to learn design yourself?

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