5 min read

5 Common Layout Design Mistakes to Avoid

Published on
March 10, 2023
Blue lightbulb in a white frame against a pink background
Leah Camps
Marketing Executive
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What is layout design?

Layout design refers to the organisation of different elements in a piece of design. It includes elements like spacing, colours, fonts, shapes and images. Layout design is something to consider whether you’re designing a social media post or a set of new banners for your website. In fact, it's a key part of pretty much any graphic design task. 

Why is layout design important?

Layout design is important because the way information is displayed has a direct impact on how the viewer responds to it. Content that is laid out in a confusing or unclear way is much less likely to drive the viewer to the desired action, whereas a clear layout can help to educate and engage your audience. Each different target demographic will have various needs when it comes to layout design, but there are some common layout design mistakes to avoid regardless of what you’re designing…

1. Lack of whitespace

The term ‘whitespace’, also sometimes referred to as ‘negative space’ basically means the empty space around a design element. It’s arguably one of the most important aspects of good graphic design, and will majorly improve how understandable and aesthetically pleasing the design is. Adequate whitespace is crucial to improve readability, and to improve the impact of every visual element in the design. A lack of whitespace results in a cluttered design that is hard to understand and visually jarring, so make sure to always include a balanced amount of whitespace in each layout design. 

2. Bad use of typography

Typography includes things like the font you choose as well as kerning, boldness and size. When choosing a font for a piece of content, you need to consider much more than just what looks good. You’ll need to bear in mind how readable the font is from where the content will be viewed along with other elements like the colour of the font and how contrasting it is to the background. Among those practical things, the typography choice should fit with your overall brand identity. 

3. Ignoring visual hierarchy 

Visual hierarchy plays a really big role in directing the viewers eyes around your content and highlighting key points. It includes elements like a clear contrast between the font size of a heading and body copy, as well as the colour and contrast of different design elements. Pay close attention to visual hierarchy to improve the readability of the content and make your layout design more effective.

4. Uneven spacing 

To make your layout design more professional, make sure that spacing between elements is all even. This is especially true when designing the layout of landing pages. You can really elevate a design by having set padding around design elements between the different pages on a site, meaning that the user experience is consistent across each page. 

5. Poor alignment

Before finalising a layout design, make sure that each body of text has been aligned properly either to the centre, left or right. This is a small task that makes a huge difference to the overall feel of professionalism and attention to detail of a design. 

In this article, we've covered the practical steps you can take to avoid really common layout design mistakes. From the amount of whitespace in a design to the alignment of text, every detail in a design matters. For more tips and tricks to elevate your graphic design, head over to the full Design Cloud blog now.