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You're Going To Screw Up — Learn From It

I used to be terrified of making mistakes on the job and when I did, I'd beat myself up for days.

Why didn't I do this? I should have done that. Hindsight is 20/20, but the reality is, blaming myself only made matters worse and added to the overall stress.

The solution? Don't be afraid to make mistakes.

As I gained experience, I realized making mistakes ultimately comes with hard work and taking chances. Learning from a design misstep makes you want to work even harder.

Since launching Angelo Montilla Graphic Design in early 2018, I have continued to push myself and learn new aspects of graphic design. Studying and drawing inspiration from work of other amazing designers as well as experimenting with various projects are just a couple of things I do to evolve. But there will always be mistakes to deal with along the way.

From a design standpoint, there are many steps that can be taken to reduce mistakes. Here are just a few simple — yet effective — ways designers can cut down on inaccuracies.

1. Get out of your comfort zone

Designers should think outside the box, not always resorting to the same old, same old approach when working on various projects. I get it, you've probably mastered how to create a perfect monoline logo, but this style does not work for every brand, so trying something different is always a wise decision. Using your favourite Helvetica Neue typeface is also fine, but if you're using it for one client or in any other case, try to vary your font selection in future projects.

2. Attention to detail

If there's one rule in graphic design that should not be broken, it's attention to detail. Often times non-designers probably won't notice that two objects aren't aligned or that a word is not kerned properly. However, it'll never get by past a seasoned designer or art director with a keen eye. You've spent countless hours in the early stages of the creative process, it's crucial to make sure the little things count as well.

3. Don't get too caught up with trends

Who doesn't like a good trend? Whether it's a modern sans serif typeface or an abstract pattern, designers can't help but get caught up in the trend craze. That is just fine, so long as it fits the brand you're designing for and you wholeheartedly believe it will be memorable and stand the test of time. The danger, of course, is running the risk of over using these elements.


Angelo Montilla is a graphic designer based in Windsor, Ontario.

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