Kelly Zugay, Co-Founder of With Grace and Gold®
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As a small business owner, your brand design plays a crucial role in how your expertise is communicated, how your business is perceived, and how your audience connects with you. Put simply, your brand design lays a visual foundation to represent your business — and it has the power to form connections with prospective clients, or nudge visitors to continue to their search. This week, we’re excited to share common brand design mistakes to avoid – common brand design errors we’ve observed, which can make a meaningful difference for your small business success.
Common Brand Design Mistakes to Avoid
Welcome to Episode 164 of The Brand It, Build It Podcast: Common Brand Design Mistakes to Avoid.
Before we dive in, when we refer to your brand design, we’re referring to the foundational visual details you or your designer has created to communicate on behalf of your business – details like your primary logo design, your secondary logo designs or submarks, your pattern or texture designs, your color palette, and your font styles. All of these foundational visual details make up your brand design – and once created, they can work effectively on behalf of your business in varying mediums like your web design, your social media marketing, printed marketing materials, and beyond.
Now, let’s explore common brand design mistakes to avoid:
Mistake #1: Approaching Brand Design with Only Your Preferences in Mind
Something we can’t emphasize enough is: Your brand design should be created with your preferred clients and customers in mind. Oftentimes, small business owners believe their brand design should solely be a reflection of their unique preferences. However, we wholeheartedly believe your brand design should be a blend of what you love and feel connected to, what your preferred clients and customers love and feel connected to, and what is forward-thinking in your unique field. After all, your prospective clients and customers need to connect with your brand and business so they can confidently choose to pursue your services or products.
Mistake #2: An Overcomplicated Brand Design
Sometimes, in brand design, simplicity is key. Excessive details, though creative and engaging when viewed alone, can sometimes be too busy or too detailed when paired with your web design, products, and services. We believe your brand design should complement and not compete with the more meaningful details of your business – such as the photography, videography, or products you’re showcasing.
Mistake #3: Inconsistent Visual Elements
One of the most common mistakes we’ve observed is using inconsistent visual elements throughout your brand. Your brand’s details should align with your brand personality (Something we discuss in Episode 163: What is your brand’s personality?) and be applied consistently across all mediums. Inconsistency within your brand design, and within the marketing materials you create on behalf of your business, can lead to confusion and even dilute your brand’s effectiveness. So, ensure your brand details are cohesive, and then use your brand details cohesively wherever they can be found – your web design, your newsletter marketing, your social media marketing, and beyond.
Mistake #4: Misaligned Typography Choices
Typography – also known as your font styles or font selections – plays a meaningful role in brand design. Certain font styles capture certain feelings, communicate about the caliber of your business and work, and should be chosen strategically on behalf of your business. Though you may love a particular font style, it’s essential for your brand’s font styles to be chosen with purpose. Further, font styles should be curated; using too many font style scan create a cluttered and even unprofessional look and feel. Lastly, it’s essential to use font styles correctly; details like sizing, spacing, or kerning – the space between characters – matter, too. One common error we see is adding kerning to script fonts – font styles where characters should always be connected. Summed up, choose typography with purpose, or equip your professional designer to share their typography recommendations. With so much to consider, typography choices can make all the difference.
Mistake #5: Not Using Brand Details Comprehensively
Something we pride ourselves on at With Grace and Gold is using brand details comprehensively and thoroughly – so web designs created by With Grace and Gold feel detailed, experience-driven, and beautifully-branded. Brand details should be used with purpose, so every detail of your business – from your web design to your printed marketing materials and beyond – feels well-aligned, comprehensive, and representative of your business. So, rather than simply using your primary logo within your web design, consider the ways your secondary logo designs, pattern or texture designs, or additional brand details can be used to strengthen your business overall.
Now that we’ve explored common brand design mistakes, here are the key takeaways:
- Approach your brand design with your preferred clients and customers in mind. Their perception of your brand and business matters – and can make all the difference for your business success.
- Remember less is more – and a more minimal brand design can allow your photography, videography, products, and services to shine.
- Use your brand details consistently and cohesively throughout every area of your business, building brand recognition and creating a polished, professional look and feel no matter where or how someone comes upon your business.
- Choose typography wisely, knowing each font style communicates a specific feeling and can communicate about the quality and caliber of your work.
- Use your brand details comprehensively, so you can lay a foundation for long-term success.
Whether you create your brand design independently, or you hire a professional designer to create your brand – something we recommend so you can have a fresh perspective on what makes your business and brand unique – we are hopeful you feel equipped to approach your brand design with purpose.
About Brand It, Build It Podcast, Hosted by Kelly Zugay
Hosted by Kelly Zugay, co-founder of With Grace and Gold, The Brand It, Build It Podcast is a leading small business marketing podcast for small business owners, creatives, and founders. Weekly, brief, actionable episodes will equip you to build a successful, sustainable small business. Since 2014, With Grace and Gold has provided award-winning custom brand and Showit web design and completely customizable Showit website templates for small businesses worldwide.