As a designer, it drives me crazy seeing really silly little mistakes that are made all too often. Sometimes purely because people don’t realise that they’re doing anything wrong. I strongly recommend to anyone taking on their design themselves to take a look at our DIY Design area (http://fraserandcodesign.co.uk/all-access-area/). You will find a ton of helpful design guides to walk you through the process and avoid these mistakes.
Anyway, back to the things that I see all too often.
Using too many fonts – We all love to be creative, we all love a little bit of variety (note the ‘little’) but, when I say little, I mean little. Don’t send your readers crazy using ten different fonts in the space of 20 words. It’s not pretty, it’s not practical and its nor readable. You are losing your message and distracting them from the reason they are there. My advice, pull it all back, look at using two or three fonts. I recommend using only one script font and keeping the other one or two to something a little clearer or simpler. This will be so much more effective than over whelming your audience with a page full of fonts. Trust me!
Using too many colours – This is super similar to using too many fonts. Colour is a beautiful thing but, using twenty colours is just not appropriate. Take some time prior to commencing your branding design and consider what will appeal to your audience. Choose three complimenting colours and throw in a contrast to dot around the place. Use this as your colour pallet and be consistent about it. Pinterest is a really useful place to head if your looking for colour inspiration!
Over complicating things – Think about everything I have said above. It all comes down to making your branding far too complicated and moving away from the initial message you were intending to spread thus, weakening your brand.
Thinking branding isn’t important – URGH, who said branding was important anyway? ME!!! Branding is SO important (I even wrote a blog post about it: http://fraserandcodesign.co.uk/all-access-area/). Branding is the base, the foundations to your business/ blog. Think about it, without the foundations to your house it would collapse, right? Well, it exactly the same with your brand.
Poor visuals – We have all been there, taking a photo, a little blurry and just hoping for the best when its blown up even larger. Yes, it looks awful. I have done it too (as much as I hate to admit it!!) The reality is that if you don’t show quality your audience will think you just don’t care. In actual fact you really do so, put that extra fifteen minutes in to re-taking the photo to show them that they are worth the time.
Thinking about you rather than your target audience – In some cases, you are your target audience but, in most cases you’re not. So, when designing think about it from your audiences perspective. You might love watercolour, but your audience is a 60 year old male in to cars.
They wouldn’t be the first two things you would pair together. Get their opinions on things and get them involved. Confirm that they are appreciating what you are putting out there. This applies to more than just your design and is also a really good way to build relationships with your audience.
Being shortsighted – Think about the future, consider where you want to take your business and blog and how you are going to achieve that. Maybe you’re just starting up and don’t have the finances to fund a professional logo. You’re not alone!! So, when DIYing your branding, put time in to it. Drop a designer an email, ask for advice, pop over to our forum where you can talk to other likeminded people and professional designers (http://fraserandcodesign.co.uk/all-access-area/). There will always be people there to help and give you advice and guidance. Think about the big picture, think about where your brand will be in five years and how you can show that through your branding elements to convey that to your audience.
Finally, being vague – There is nothing worse that reading an article, hoping to achieve something from it and left asking yourself the same questions as when you began. Get to the point. When designing your branding don’t forget the importance of the message you are sending to your audience. Who are you and what do you do? They shouldn’t need to ask if you’ve done this successfully and I totally have the belief that YOU CAN ACHIEVE THIS!
Have confidence in yourself, know what you’re doing is right and don’t be affraid to ask for help. All anyone can do is say no (but, the chances are they won’t). Don’t let these silly mistakes drive people away from what you are trying to build!
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