The Seven Sins of Design

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As designers, we can often find ourselves approaching difficult situations without realising. Being aware of the seven sins of design can help us be mindful of the choices we make to avoid these tricky situations.


We tend to find ourselves lusting over fellow designers’ work. We endlessly scroll through websites saving our favourite finds, reading countless magazines and ripping out the best pages, and visiting tons of exhibitions to take hundreds of photos. You should always find motivation from somewhere, but we must remember there is a balance between plagiarism and inspiration.

Before you start your project, make sure you have a clear head – imagine your own ideas before anyone else’s –  that way you are less likely to mirror someone else’s design.


We receive various briefs on a daily basis and look for inspiration to help us create projects. As mentioned above, it’s easy to become almost obsessed with certain designs. Finding lots of inspiration and coming up with lots of ideas is good, but sometimes there can be too many. Don’t be greedy and don’t try and cram all of your ideas into one design – less is always more. Balance your ideas – there will be a time and place for it all.


Although not common, greed can happen in the world of design. Some will take on way too much work and not spend enough time on each project. All creatives should take pride in their own work and allow themselves the time needed to create something they’re proud of.


Every job is unique. If you find you are lacking in creativity, look for something new or take yourself away from the project and focus on something else. Wait until you are ready to approach the task with a fresh set of eyes and create a design that you love – make every job its own.


Losing your cool is not the way to complete a job. Take pride in your work, and love your own designs and ideas, but take feedback and criticism onboard and adapt your work until the client is happy.

Design is very personal. What you may like, someone else may not, it doesn’t mean the design is bad! Briefs can also be interpreted differently by different people and sometimes the client doesn’t really know what they want until they see something. Stay cool, calm and collected and work your magic!


We will sometimes envy other work so much that we will start to push out designs in the same direction and compromise our own creative intelligence.

If you find yourself doing this, look at their work and identify what it is that appeals to you – decide what it is you are drawn to, add your own creative flair and make the work your own – embrace your style.


Always be proud of your creativity, your work, and your ideas, but never let it come at the expense of delivering a project to meet a brief.

Some designers can get sucked into a massive sense of pride. The outcome of the design or project will be about them and not what is best for the client. When you see a design, unless it is in an exhibition, the designer will usually remain anonymous – the design should speak for itself and portray a clever outcome. Don’t let your ego get the better of you or your work.

Awareness is key – you may find you never meet any of these – but being vigilant of these seven sins will help you in the future!

To find out more about how we can support your next design project, drop us a line on 01635 887707 or email us on

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