First impressions matter, especially when it comes to your brand.
It might sound shallow, but people really do judge a book by its cover and you can bet that people will judge your business based on appearances. What impression does an amateur logo or a cluttered website leave?
If you’re a small business owner, you might not have the budget to completely outsource your branding to a creative agency. But if you steer clear of these four design mistakes, your branding will go from amateur hour to full-blown pro.
Nobody likes two-faced people, and nobody likes two-faced businesses. Your brand should look, feel and act the same on all platforms, including your website, social media and print. If your branding isn’t consistent, it can appear unprofessional at best and untrustworthy at worst. Managing your brand’s consistency isn’t just an option, it’s a necessity.
A great way to ensure your brand’s consistency is by using a style guide. This is a document where you store all the dos and don’ts for your brand: how you speak, look and interact on all media. It includes everything from the colour scheme to the tone of voice you use in your written content.
2. Font Overload
There might not be a hard and fast rule on how many fonts you can use in your design, but there is definitely such a thing as over-kill. Having too many fonts distracts from your design. If you’re in doubt, the best idea is to keep it simple. Across your website and marketing collateral, you should try to keep it to 2 to 3 fonts.
Your website is not an episode of TLC’s Hoarders, so don’t design it that way. We’ve all had that moment where you’ve clicked on a site only to be linked to a bombardment of images, text, and a colour scheme of eighteen different shades. As soon as you open that website, it takes about two seconds for you to shut it back down.
In all your visual branding, keep it simple. Have one main central focus so people know where to look. This makes your branding more effective and gets your message across. Steer away from visually overloading your site.
4. A Plain Jane Logo
In a globalised economy, it’s easy for your business to get lost in the masses of brands out there. And if you have a generic logo you really aren’t doing your business any favours. It’s difficult to get noticed if you look exactly like everyone else.
Unless you are a graphic designer, save your time and energy and hire a professional to design your logo. This is an investment you are unlikely to regret. A strong logo sets the tone for your entire brand. If you are just starting your company or if you’re in the early days, set yourself up well with a quality logo that won’t go out of vogue in six months’ time.