Graphic design can be pretty subjective, getting different views and opinions from everyone. Why they do or don’t like it is always a difference, so it is actually pretty hard to pick the good designs from the bad designs. Although, there are a few things you can keep in mind when judging if something is good or bad, but it will mainly be a personal choice.
Too much or not enough
Some designs give you so much information you are left unsure of what you just saw, while other designs leave out some of the most important information! I find it extremely confusing when the non-important words are emphasized, or when billboards forget that they need to be quick. I can’t read, talk, write, look, and drive all at once!
The audience that the design targets is very crucial. So think about putting yourself in their shoes and see if everything appeals to you or not. How about the colors, imagery, and text? Is it clear to you and do you get the message? If it is not motivating, then it is probably not working.
The alignment of type is so important in design, and it drives me crazy when centered type is used, or type that is too condensed or too far apart. Centered type is just a bad case of an amateur designer, and right alignments hurt my eyes. I know at times it must be used, but I hate the jagged edges it creates. Or when type is justified to fit to a box and it creates these weird blank rivers to go through. It is like a maze in the block of text. I want to know what I am reading in an advertisement! If a c and an l are touching each other I am going to mistake clam for a dam! May not be the best example of words that someone can receive a different message from, but as you can see this can cause some problems!
Imagery is so essential in deciphering something that works and something that doesn’t. Or even on deciding if one person will like it and one won’t. And sometimes, if they are offended by it then it is obviously working! Make sure the images are clear and crisp. I don’t know how many times they just come out in bad quality and weaken the entire design. Just awful! And make sure the photo is relevant to the message, don’t just slap something on because it looks cool. The colors should also reflect the overall message, make sure the colors stay in a good color palette and it is working for the design. And this leads me to my next thought, color.
Colors are so vital to design. They can help or hurt a design in a matter of seconds. I’ve seen so many kiddish designs with these serious colors and it just does nothing to help. You need to keep in mind how the colors make you feel, and the connection of your color choice and message. Do they harmoniously combine with one another?
So when your deciding if a design is good or bad, keep all of these things in mind. Try not to pull the amateur card, and also try use bad colors, or image quality. All of these things should hopefully help clear the air for noticing the fine differences between good and bad designs.