January 08, 2015

10 Design Mistakes to Avoid in Social Media

Design, as celebrated graphic designer Paul Rand puts it, is the Silent Ambassador of your Brand. So, a simple mistake online can even lead to a catastrophe, inviting your brand to everything that was not intended.

Here are a few common design mistakes to avoid while designing for social media.

Inconsistency: The first design mistake

Inconsistent visual branding has the potential to confuse your audience. So, it is the most important factor to avoid while designing for your brand. Just as we say about colors, every element that we use in our designs, including lines, shapes, textures and fonts, has an associated meaning.

  • What does your brand stand for and what are its USP’s?
  • What kind of reaction or emotion do you desire to evoke in your audience through your design?
  • Does the design reflect the brand’s persona? And also, your TG’s?

Consider these simple questions before you actually start with your design process. This will anchor you to understand and decide what will work best for your brand and how to maintain visual consistency through it all, thereby creating a consistent and concrete brand image.

Among all the benefits of consistent visual branding, the most important is brand recognition. Maintaining consistency in designs enables your audience to recognize your brand quicker and thus, leading to retention. This will, in turn, lead them to build trust around your brand, invoking brand loyalty.

Effective Visual Hierarchy

Visual branding is not just about making your designs look attractive but also efficient. Hierarchy in design simply refers to the appropriate order or arrangement of elements across your design so as to lead your audiences through your message from the most important to the less.

Always remember, ‘People read bigger things first’. The other ways of creating a visual hierarchy include effective usage of colors, fonts, sizes, and positions.

effective visual hierarchy

Where were your eyes first led to in the above example?

Oodles of Fonts: A must avoid design mistake

Sounds great, but a must avoid in any design. Using lots of fonts, typefaces and sizes only slow your readers down in understanding the message. A general rule of thumb in the industry is to use three or lesser fonts – one for the title and the other for the copy – for each creative, you roll out.

You can also experiment with a typeface with various subsets of font blocks to create your ideal consistent visual hierarchy. Also, make sure the choice of your font reflects your brands’ identity.

Right Social Media colors

Social media is not just creative copy and striking images. Colors play a very important role too. A good designer needs to give a fair share of thought for the proper usage colors before starting with any design. It should reflect the persona of the brand and vary depending on the target audience as well as the social media platform it is being made for.

Placement of the logo

Consistency is an important factor a designer should always keep in mind. Try to place your brand’s logo always consistent across all your social media posts and platforms. It should preferably be right, left or center aligned. In case of its size, always make sure that the logo doesn’t overpower your design content nor it’s too subtle to be missed.

placement of logologo placement

For example, above are the Hungry Bells creatives from its social media platforms. You can see that the logo of the mobile app has been consistently placed throughout the images.

Stock Photos

The stock photo revolution has fundamentally changed the world for designers. However, this multi-billion dollar industry has its own boon and bane. Your designs and clients will always want striking images but, paying for a photography session may not be viable always.

Here, the stock photography comes to your rescue to populate your creative space with arresting images. With this evolution, however, audiences too have learned to tell apart the genuine from the deceitful. Your solution?

Encourage custom photography. If not, bring out all your skills and customize the photos to blend with the design and reflect your brand’s identity.

Reusable Templates

Design needs to be customized into different sizes for different social media platforms as each platform has its own optimized image dimensions. Therefore, instead of creating individual creative each time you want to share something in various these platforms, create and make use of reusable templates for your regular posts. This can save a lot of energy and time that will be otherwise consumed.

Less is Always More.

Make sure to keep your designs simple, crisp and clean. Over-crowding your creative space with designs and data will only confuse your audience. After all, being a communicator that’s one important factor a designer needs to avoid.


Avoid the trodden path

Avoid trends and over-exploited subjects to think something out of the box for your brand. A creative soul always tends to take a less trodden path, which for sure will stand out from the crowd and gets desired attention too.

creative formula design

Keep a note.

A graphic designer may not be a pen and paper person, but you never know when inspiration strikes. Always have this pair of wonder and keep observing and noting or drawing your ideas and inspirations. You can also put your tablets and smartphones to use. It for sure will come in handy.

At the end of the day, we are all here to break the rules of the game. But to break them, you first need to understand them.

So, keep learning and innovating. Push yourself until you quench your thirst. And meanwhile, when you desire for a tea break with some weird creative rebels, you know where to find us.