What is Good and Bad graphic design

What Is Good And Bad Graphic Design? Graphic design is an art where the creative use of photography, typography, and illustration to communicate a message.

Every graphic designer is tasked with making good designs that communicate. Sometimes one may follow all the instructions of a client but still miss the tone of voice, or overdo the designs.

In graphic design, there is a thin line between good and bad design so let’s look at some mistakes that make a design look bad. Before we get into it, just a recap of our previous article on What Makes A Good Logo.

What Makes A Good Logo?

When looking for a good logo, there are a number of factors you need to look at. Here is a list.

Wrong placement.

The most important thing in design communicating your message and placing different elements such as photos and text on a design. Not balancing your elements on your artwork or ad makes your design look bad.

 For instance, on a newspaper layout, the headline needs to be in bold font and centrally placed to virtually capture the readers’ attention. If the headline and subheading are wrongly placed the important message is disoriented.  

Bad grammar

When it comes to visual and print media, grammatical errors stand out like a sore thumb making your design look bad. Wrong grammar can kill a design and shift the attention of the viewer sending the wrong message mostly if it is print media, either individual, company, or public design. The wrong grammar can cost the brand a lot of money and the company’s credibility to the public viewer.

For example;  Rachael finds inspiration in cooking for her family and her dog.

In the example above the design gives the message a different meaning than the intended one.

What Is Good And Bad Graphic Design
Bad grammar

Too many fonts

When it comes to designing simplicity is usually key.  It is difficult to understand a message if there are too many fonts used thus distracting the viewer and making your message over complicated. There are so many fonts on the web that one can easily download online but not all of them are good, there are so many bad typefaces out there that are just ugly, illegible, and boring to use on creative designs example copperplate gothic combined with Trajan Pro, comic sans, papyrus and courier and curls.

What Is Good And Bad Graphic Design
Too many fonts

image from pinterest

Wrong color combination

Color in design is very subjective. It evokes different reactions in different people and sometimes it might be perceived negatively due to the color combination. Understanding how color affects people is very important in graphic design. Putting hues on top of one another would be common sense for most designers but it still happens. Some color combinations make your design look bad and most people would just ignore your art,

For example; green on red. Combining these two shades of color makes it hard to read and the color clashing makes the viewer’s eyes react negatively to what it sees.

Purple on green evokes the same reaction as green on red.

What Is Good And Bad Graphic Design
Wrong color combination

What is Good Graphic Design

  When you think of graphic design your mind goes to the eye catchy advertisement on the web, and beautiful spreads in magazines but the design is broader and also include posters, infographics, book covers, product labels, logos, business cards, and therefore the list goes on and on. In making graphic designs there are rules and those rules are called principles of design. They typically separate good design from bad design. And on this article, we are going to look at how these principles make for a good design.


The visual weight of every element is distributed in a way that gives the composition stability. We use balance to add stability, structure, emphasis, and dynamics. In design, one will attempt to place visual elements during a pleasing arrangement to satisfy a purpose or achieve a particular look and feel. Every good design considers the type of balance to achieve whether symmetrical, asymmetrical, or radium balance.

Understanding these three sorts of balance will help achieve the proper visual effect in your graphic design.

For instance: when you draw a line at the center of an image and the visual elements on one side of the screen are mirrored on the other side. They don’t have to be identical but can be similar in number, shape, or scale.

What Is Good Graphic Design

image from Pinterest


Contrast is used heavily in graphic design and it is when two visual elements are dramatically different. the greater the difference, the greater the contrast, and therefore the key to working with contrast and graphic design is ensuring sure that differences are obvious to the viewer. The contrast in size, value, and of course some other elements too. The main reason for using contrast in graphic design are; for emphasis, highlighting information, and creating a hook.

For example; size is an easy way to create contrasts, placing two elements next to each other that are similar in every aspect apart from their size is one way to bring size contrast to the table of your design. It can be a big and a small image or a big in a small typeface but leaving plenty of white space around a small object is another way to create contrast.

What Is Good Graphic Design

image from xpozer


This is the trail the viewer’s eye takes through the artwork, often to areas of focus. So a lot of time movement can be directed along lines or edges.

A good design will have visual pathways to guide the viewer’s attention from one form to another.

Example: when we look at a stairwell design, we can see these sorts of lines of the stairwell kind of moving through a spiral fashion and the lines pulling us from the edges of the piece all towards the center of the stairwell.


This is reusing equivalent or similar elements throughout a design. Good design practice seeks to repeat some aspects of design throughout a bit of work be it for an easier or more complex piece of labor.

We use repetition to bring a sense of unity and consistency throughout a design. Repetition creates a specific style and artistic cohesiveness, and emphasis and also strengthens your design.

The ultimate goal of any design is to make a good lasting impression. Repetition in design is a type of visual brainwashing. The more we see something the more we familiarize ourselves with it, thus committing it to memory. It is human nature to find comfort and attraction to familiarity.

A good example of repetition is in branding. In any good brand, there will be consistent use of style and language such as a particular color scheme, typeface, or photography style.

About Author

3 thoughts on “What is Good and Bad graphic design”

  1. Pingback: How much do graphic designers make in 2022

  2. Pingback: All you need to know about Brand Identity and Logos

  3. Pingback: 5 best graphic cards under 200

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top