7 Nightmares of Graphic Designers

Graphic design can be frustrating. It’s especially frustrating working with folks who know very little about the field of design. Unfortunately, that leads to some pretty horrible situations. We thought it would be fun to put together a list of seven big nightmares that face graphic designers in their craft. And perhaps, through the humor and absurdity, we can find healing. Or maybe we’ll just laugh. Whatever works for you.


Churches are notorious for giving graphic designers huge blocks of text and tiny cards to print them on. It ends up leaving you 20 total pixels of white space and 10 pixels of design area.


It seems like the “most important” projects come with the lowest resolution photos. And contrary to popular belief, you can’t just make the picture bigger in Photoshop. It doesn’t work that way.


If a ministry head or pastor sends you their logo in a Word doc, you can be almost certain your problems are just beginning. Oh, the mysteries and frustrations that await you when you double-click that document.


Basically, when someone wants something to pop more, they actually asking for this. “Make the graphic seem like it’s yelling obscene words at me.”


Unfortunately, Photoshop and Illustrator are nothing like Excel. I can’t help you figure out spreadsheets. They make books for that.


I’m not sure the logo can ever be large enough for some people. “Until it dwarfs my 50″ plasma television, I’m gonna need that logo bigger.”


Using PowerPoint to design a graphic is like using a hammer to screw in a lightbulb. You can do it, but only if you want shards in your eye.


Your turn. What are some of the nightmares you’ve encountered as a graphic designer?


  1. When they send me Microsoft Publisher files of “brochures” to use when all I use is Macs. Forcing me to boot into windows, save as a different format, reboot into OSX. Actually, Microsoft Publisher in general.

  2. Time is my nightmare. While people have gotten better at communicating their graphic design needs to me, it is still difficult to have them think about what they want well in advance of the required date. Our norm for design production is fast out of the gate all the way to the finish line, with little time for recovery until the next race!

    • Oh Nancy, you are singing my song! I dream of the day when a year’s worth of events are planned out so I can create promotion pieces in a timely manner, instead of screaming into the finish line a half hour before the piece needs to be in the mail.

  3. Time is a huge issue:

    When the Leadership team or Pastor comes up with that great idea for Sunday, when its Friday at noon! and I guess they think that we graphic designers work over the weekends by regulations and that we pull magical graphics from our graphic designers magical hat!

    When they give you that project, that will only take you a few minutes to make!!!! >=@ really??? do they realize or understand that it takes half of your time for the creative Mojo to kick in just to come up with the one great idea that will make the project awesome, then we have to spend the next half of the time just creating it!!

    When they just pile up the idea on top of idea, not realizing that you have a huge and demanding agenda for that week!!

    Pastors and Leader that Doubt!!

    When you present a final product and they approve it! now you have checked it of your list and are ready to move to the next project. or so you think that your done, but wait one day before it goes public they want to make changes to that final product, because the deacon or elder or leader(s) didn’t like something!!!

    When they think we graphic designers, are psychics and we have the gift of reading their minds!!!!

    When they ask you to come up with 3 or more ideas for a project!! ummm don’t they release that each concept is like a new project!! and it takes time to develop, once again the graphic designer’s magic hat is in play!!!

    when the design you present its not inspired in the Holy Spirit!!!! Really? because it has no cross in it or a flying white dove!! hahahaha that is the worst one!!!

  4. This is my #1
    The nicolaitans of the church put someone in charge of the graphic design team… and this person has NO TALENT or any CREATIVITY, yet they get to tell the designers their ideas.

    When a Pastor wont meet with the design team uses puppet proxies.

  5. When someone says – there’s too much white space, lets pop a picture in there, or even better lets put a watermark photo in the background to cover the white space!

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