Two Articles to Help You Avoid Design Clichés

TypeTalk: Script Typeface Dos & Don’ts

Using script typefaces (a.k.a. fonts) can be so tempting to use, especially if you have a feminine design aesthetic. As described by Ilene Strizver, owner and founder of The Type Studio,” script typefaces can be expressive and eye-catching, but if you are not careful, they can be misused, leading to unattractive, unreadable type.” Strizver has compiled the “dos” and “don’t” of the application of script typefaces on (click to read the full article). Read the article to see if you agree. Here are some of Strizver’s tips:

  • Script Typefaces Do/Don'tDO
    Do pay attention to point size.
    Do adjust letter spacing as necessary when setting scripts on a curve.
    Do combine with care.
  • DO NOT
    Do not set all caps.
    Do not use too many swashes and alternate characters.
    Do not track out connecting scripts.

To read more tips, read the full article “TypeTalk: Script Typeface Dos & Don’ts” here.

Examining The Design Process: Clichés and Idea Generation

Dan Mayer of Smashing Magazine explores various design clichés, and also examples of successful visual solutions created by well-known designers. Rather than moving forward with an obvious visual solution, Mayer explains that in each of the successful solutions, “we see that the solution did not arrive as a sudden flash of inspiration from out of the blue; rather, a good idea emerged methodically out of a sensible analysis of readily-available ideas and impressions.”

The article also focuses on the dual role played by clichés in design.  “While clichés can derail the creative process, for seasoned designers they can act as the building blocks for effective solutions by telling them what not to do,” says Mayer. Some examples of what NOT to do are below.

Explore the entire article Examining The Design Process: Clichés and Idea Generation here.


A designer rookie mistake to avoid: creating a visual solution that has no connection to the message.


Above: Avoid using predictable typefaces to provide a sense of ethnicity.



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Author: Mani O'Brien

Mani O’Brien is the Online Editor for the FIDMDigitalArts Blog and the Social Media Marketing Manager for FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in print journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism & Mass Communications at Arizona State University in 2006, and Associate of Arts degree in Graphic Design (Professional Designation) at FIDM in 2010. When she’s not brainstorming social media marketing ideas or writing about the graphic design and digital media, she enjoys practicing yoga, reading magazines, and hanging out with friends and family in Los Angeles.

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