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Bad Design Habits That'll Trash Your Career

Bad Design Habits That'll Trash Your Career

Elisha-Rio Apilado

Cue in sobs Why don’t they like my designs?!

The bad design habits that could potentially ruin your design career and reputation!

We all know the traditionally bad work habits that can ruin your career, your relationship with your boss and coworkers, as well as any chance of ever getting a good recommendation. Things like, being late for work, being disrespectful, not meeting your deadlines, not having proper email etiquette; these are all obvious offenders.

But did you know there’s a whole other realm of bad design habits that can destroy your career? Yes, it’s those things your professors tirelessly repeated, sometimes even remarking, “Yeah, try doing that in the real world and see what happens…” (Ok, maybe in a less sinister tone, but you get the point).

It’s these habits that we may have had when first starting design school; complete newbies to the design indusrty and it’s rules. The purpose of art school was not only to be trained on design software but also to give us “eye for design” wisdom, and steer us away from bad (bad!) habits. The kind of habits that make other graphic designers cringe, like, for example, using Comic Sans…

Now, I realize that one designer’s bad habit, is another designer’s way of doing things. These are merely the opinions of my professors, my colleagues and myself. Every designer sees things their own way and it is not the purpose of this list to offend, only help. If you have a differing opinion, or more bad habits to add — please do so in the comment section below!

Constructive Criticism Hurts Your Feelings

Don’t ever think that the critiques and feedback you receive from co-workers, bosses, and clients is meant to hurt you. They haven’t ganged up with the sole mission of making you feel like a bad designer. Why would they even hire you to do the job if they didn’t think you had potential…or were any good?

It’s just like class critiques in design school. Now back then, your design ego might have been a little more inflated — after all you’re much better than your peers, right? Seriously though, at work you’re probably working with people who have been in the business for years. They’re experienced and know what they’re talking about. They’ve not only earned the big title, but also the big office next to the windows overseeing the city.

Clients know their business and what they want their customers to see. So take their feedback and make it work. You’re a professional, so work within the given restrictions and feedback and do your best job. Getting hurt over criticism affects your mood — towards your job and even how you treat your co-workers and boss. Be respectful. Everyone is entailed an opinion. Handle it professionally and with style; That means your mood and your work.

Clean Up Your Act

Like I previously stated in another article: Know your company’s organizational system! If you have a pigsty for a desktop, clean up your act! Folders are your friends. Have a system in place for naming your files, and keep track of every version each time your make changes according to clients’ wishes.

You must keep original files for back up and to compare past and present designs; Clients are probably the most indecisive people you’ll ever meet. Keeping all these changes and having them at hand shows you’re on top of your game. And never, ever overwrite a file and permanently lose all the information you may need for the final result of the design! That’s a (BIG) no-no and can cost you your boss’ trust. This act shows utter irresponsibility. Yes I know, accidents happen. On occasion, designers can be tired, hung-over, over-worked, etc…. so what I must say next is….

Next: Command+Save all the time! →


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