The 7 Deadly Sins of Graphic Design

By: , On Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

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Great graphic designers know not only how to effectively ply their trade, but also how to provide value-added customer service that keeps clients coming back for more. No matter how good you are at design, you might still be making mistakes that limit your ability to reach true greatness as a designer. See if you commit any of the following seven deadly sins of graphic design; and if you do, make adjustments immediately to maximize your potential as a graphic designer.

Lust

In its original context, lust isn’t limited to sexual desire; it is the intense desire for anything and represents a lack of self control. Often in design, you can be heavily invested in a concept to the point that you force the issue – even when it doesn’t work. It’s important to control your designs so they help achieve the end goal, rather than simply satisfy your vision.

Gluttony

Gluttony is often considered to be related to the over-consumption of food (and withholding of food from the needy), but it also means overuse of anything. While you likely have a distinct design style that serves you well, do you find yourself overusing design elements, layouts and concepts to the point that your different projects are ultimately not that different from one another. Try something new!

Greed

All greedy designers see are dollar signs, which means they tend to rush work, take on more than they can handle, and therefore churn out inferior work. While it’s important to make money as a graphic designer, you also need to know when to pass on projects and to devote the proper time to each project. Take your time, do it right, and if that doesn’t pay the bills, charge more. That’s not being greedy; it’s being fairly compensated.

Sloth

Are you a lazy designer? Do you use templates rather than coming up with your own original work? Do you reuse the same graphic elements over and over? Do you not make enough money because you only work four hours per week? Laziness cannot be tolerated in the world of design.

Wrath

How many times have clients upset you? Has an angry client left a tirade on your voicemail? Never respond to clients in anger — even if the client is wrong and behaving childishly, if you lash back the negative consequences can be long-term. Remember that a few bad reviews, even if unfair, can cost you great clients. If you’re really angry, wait a day to respond. You’ll cool down and be able to solve the problem with common sense.

Envy

If you see a competitor drive by in a Mercedes while you’re in your 1998 Taurus, you might become envious of their business. While it’s necessary to keep an eye on your competitors and strive to grow your business, you don’t want to become obsessed with their success to the point that you try to mimic everything they do. You’re your own designer, and you have your own unique style. Don’t sacrifice it to be like someone else; by doing so, you sacrifice your own unique selling point. Plus, keep in mind: your Taurus is paid for, while they might be tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

Pride

Perhaps the most dangerous of the seven deadly sins for graphic designers; pride can doom your ability to obtain the best clients. Take criticism in stride, and work with your clients to develop design work that meets and exceeds their expectations and helps them achieve their goals. Those types of real results are, indeed, something to be proud of.

Author’s Bio: Brian Morris writes for the PsPrint Design & Printing Blog. PsPrint is an online commercial printing company. Follow PsPrint on Twitter @PsPrint and Facebook.

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