Sara Tranberg's Five Type Crimes

5 Design Crimes and How to Avoid Them

As a professor of a visual media course, I see these five design crimes over and over (and over) every semester from my design students. There are so many different design principles to keep track of when you are learning, but these are five mistakes that scream “NOVICE DESIGNER OVER HERE!” Please avoid these design crimes like the plague. It will make your designs look more professional if you do. Fake it till you make it, right!? So, without further ado:

Five Design Crimes

  1. Putting text or design elements too close together or to the edge of the page.
  2. Forgetting that EVERYTHING needs to align with something else.
  3. Using obvious gradients with multiple colors.
  4. Putting strokes or obvious drop shadows on graphics or text.
  5. Design elements all have a similar size and visual weight.

How to Avoid these Crimes

It’s easy! Study the infographic below. Memorize the crimes. Don’t commit the crimes.

The caveat

In the design world, rules are made to be broken. But a good designer only breaks them purposely and tastefully. Committing these design crimes draws the audience’s attention. Once you’ve learned why, you can use this to your advantage and strengthen your message.

So, without further ado:

5 Design Crimes infographic

Anything you think I should add? Let me know in the comments!

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