1. Whatever business your in – don’t use a chess set or a puzzle piece to illustrate anything. It's only been done 100 gazillion times.
2. A photo on a web site of a handshake is equal to smelling architecture – it doesn’t do much.
3. Write fewer and better words.
4. Original artwork is just that–original. Stock imagery = commodity.
5. Less is usually more, usually.
6. Bigger isn’t always better. If everything is big, nothing is important.
7. Design for your audience, not your peer group.
8. Hire someone who cares. Pay them appropriately. They will do the best work.
9. Ask a lot of questions.
10. Typography matters.
11. White space is underrated.