Graphic design is a profession were you need to keep current, know your typography, and have an astounding aesthetic sense to deliver the best possible product for your client. The following list is a compilation of bad practices a current, well trained graphic designer would never do. If your current graphic designer does any of these run for the hills! Please enjoy!
Double Returns for Paragraphs
This is were you hit enter twice in a text based document. This is a good sign that the designer does not know how to properly format text. A good graphic designer will know how to set different spacing after paragraphs without double returns.
Double Space After a Sentence
This is an extremely old school practice which is not completely out dated.
No Text Hierarchy
Lengthy text documents such as annual reports and booklets should always be well structured with Headlines, Sub-Headings, Footnotes and so on. If your text is all in 12pt and has not headlines in sight you may need a new graphic designer.
Use Comic Sans
These fonts will usually repulse graphic designers. If your graphic designer is not repulsed you should be worried.
This is the first thing that graphic design students usually play around with when they learn Photoshop for the first time. Immediately After that initial experimentation embossed text should be avoided like the plague.
No Leading Added to Text
Default text will usually not have enough leading. Not adjusting the leading often results in the text appearing to crammed together and make is hard to read.
Absence of a Grid
You can spot the absence of a grid when elements in a layout do not line up with anything. They may appear scattered and unorganized.
Poorly Justified Text
Out of all of these this is my biggest pet peeve. I’ve witnessed many graphic designers fall victim to this one. Poorly justified text is apparent when the spaces between words form giant gaps or cramped space. Yikes!
If you have a sign of a bad graphic design please post a comment!