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Common Design Mistakes That Can Make Your Business Look Unprofessional

Posted: 1 April, 2022

It’s no surprise that launching a business is a long and challenging process. On top of logistics, branding is an important element that helps to communicate your company's core values.  Branding in the shape of logos, design, copy, and slogans can influence potential customers.  So, there are many common design processes to be aware of when marketing your business. Let’s dive into five of the most common design mistakes to avoid.  

1. Inconsistent branding

Perhaps you made a logo in Canva, hired someone for your website, and a different person for print? Naturally, each will have different designs and style qualities. Are there colours on your website that don’t work with the logo?  Is the photography displaying different styles and emotions?  Is the font on your print different from your website?  If so, the inconsistent branding could confuse a potential customer. 

One way to avoid this is through a brand guideline. A brand guideline or brand style guide is a manual for the communication of your brand. It is more than a logo or icon. A brand guideline instructs the designer on all brand details, such as fonts, composition, colour, photography, and all visual details. It also aims to express your business ideology and tonality through these differing aspects. This means that no matter who updates your website copy or places an ad on behalf of your business, a brand guideline will ensure continuity within every aspect of your brand.  

2. Using low-quality images

A quick giveaway, no matter how good the design, is the use of poor quality, pixelated graphics. This includes images that are stretched past their ratio, warping the image. The photos and graphics you use should represent your brand and emphasise your business message. Investing in a professional photographer will be able to deliver authentic, on-brand images, meaning you can build an image bank of readily available images. You can also supplement this with stock photos - resources like IStock have massive databases of images. Just make sure that the images used are high resolution!

If you insist on using a certain image but the quality is not great, designers usually have a couple of tools at their disposal to make an average image stand out. Things like new AI imaging can double the resolution of your image or using halftone effects for a grungy, urban design. This is always situational and can’t be used very often. Hiring a professional photographer is usually your best bet!

3. A logo isn't a brand

A unique brand is something with a lot of depth to it. A logo is the most visible part of that, but it isn’t all there is to a brand. You can’t neglect the other aspects of your brand and only utilise a logo. Take every viable branding opportunity. Even something small, like an email signature, is a building block that makes up part of a brand.

With a thorough design cache, a business presents visual unity to its preferred audience. A brand, and not just a logo, is what defines a business. The golden McDonald's arches might be the most prevalent image of the brand, but they aren’t what characterises the service that McDonald's provides. The whole brand shows the audience what to expect.

4. Bad copy

With most marketing now web and social media-based, visually interesting images and designs are used to captivate an audience's attention. This does not mean, however, that written content has no place in today’s marketing. Print designs such as brochures and posters are used to capture audience interest in specific places. Websites use written content more often than visuals as a place to inform an audience. The important thing is that the copy is to the point, attention-grabbing, and well written. It seems obvious, but grammatical errors and spelling mistakes stick out like a sore thumb and can make a business seem childish and unprofessional. 

Always proofread to prevent typos and update your copy regularly, so information remains factual and up to date. Multiple sets of eyes are good for this. Utilising a copy-writers experience can make sure your written content is as good as possible, but that is often situational.

These examples are just a few of the potential inconsistencies we see day to day within a business's branding. TBD’s experience and expertise in these fields make us a helpful resource and creative partner for your business, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us! 

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