Top 20 branding mistakes

Here’s some of the BS you have been thinking (or maybe heard) about branding. These are 20 branding mistakes that you should avoid. It’s not too late, you can still fix it if you’ve done one or three of these.

  1. Going to Fiverr gets me a unique logo. — Wrong! Logos made on Fiverr may be stolen or at least partially from something or someone else.
  2. Doing my own logo with no outside input saves me money. — You’ll probably end up having to do it over again because it wasn’t attracting the right crowd.
  3. I took a design class back in college so I can do my own logo. — Stick to what you know best and stay in your passion. Let other people use their design passions to help you.
  4. I took a course on designing my own logo so I know what I’m doing. — Again, if this isn’t your specialty you can still make mistakes that will give it away that it’s not as professional as it could be. This could mean you aren’t as professional in the service you offer.
  5. I know what my customers like/are attracted to without talking to them. — You should always take your customers into account and not just blindly create your business. I get it, you are your business, but you still have to attract clients. What do they like? What will they pay for?
  6. I know fonts and what they say about my brand. — Ug! Sans serif and serif fonts say different things about your personality. If you don’t even know what “serif” means that’s a good indicator to get help.
  7. Comic Sans is ok to use because it’s cute. Papyrus is cool because it’s distressed and looks old. — Just delete these fonts from your library for if you use them professional people roll their eyes in disgust.
  8. My favorite mentor uses pink in her branding so I must as well! — Pink should not be used in all brands by all people. It’s a color that should be evaluated for your business. There are also many different shades of a color to be used. Copying is not the best way to achieve your own unique brand.
  9. I know what colors mean. — Colors and color combinations mean different things and attract different feelings.
  10. Black and red go really well on top of one another. — This is a bad color combination that becomes unreadable for certain people with color blindness. It’s also hard to read for people without color blindness because the hues are closer together than other color combinations.
  11. I can use any photo I want off the internet. — You can not use any photo you find online because there are copyright laws. Beware of free download sites that say for personal use only. This means you cannot use it for your commercial business. Plus, grabbing something online may not be the best quality for your use, especially if you plan to print something.
  12. I have to be on all social media channels. — You don’t need to be on social media at all if you don’t want to be. I would pick the channel that your customers use and/or the channel where you like to hang out and don’t worry about the rest. It’s a lot of work to properly maintain just one social channel.
  13. I love that website so much I want to send it to my designer to copy for my own site. — Be yourself, this includes your website, logo, business cards etc. You can imitate other elements but don’t just copy something. It’s bad form.
  14. Making my logo bigger makes it more noticeable. — Making your logo bigger doesn’t mean it’s better.
  15. I need to have a special font for everything I want to emphasize. — A good rule of thumb is to use no more than three font variations on a piece. This includes bold, italic, semibold, regular and multiple fonts.
  16. Making all my elements in one color makes it a cohesive brand. — Just making things your shade of blue does not mean it goes with your brand. Your brand should all say the same things. Convey the same feelings to your audience. It’s about more than just color.
  17. I can have a logo without my business name. (If it didn’t work out for Prince, what makes you think you can pull it off?) — You need to have your business name in your logo when you start a business. I don’t care how cool your symbol is. Without a name a person has nothing to lookup and reference. You are just a cool looking symbol and nothing else. Don’t do it. I think Nike waited at least 30 years before they did this.
  18. My designer sent me a jpeg, that’s good enough! — No, this is not good enough. You need a vector file for anything you plan to print. Plus, depending on how big this jpeg is it won’t work to make it bigger. There won’t be enough pixels.
  19. I can make a logo in Photoshop. — No. For the same reasons above. You need something that is going to scale for all your brand elements and anything where your logo will be. If you have a Photoshop file it won’t be as versatile as an Illustrator or InDesign logo.
  20. Adding more stuff (fonts, lines, colors, graphics) makes it more interesting. — Less is better. White space is a thing of beauty. Don’t fill every nook and cranny with stuff, it just looks ameteur.

BONUS TIP: I should crowd source my logo. No. You should not. If they aren’t in your target market they aren’t the best judge. If you go to a bunch of designers, we don’t know your business so we’ll just critique it from the technical standpoint. This can be good for your logo but maybe not the answers you need to attract the right audience.

I want to teach you no bullshit branding. That’s why I’m here. Let me know how I can help you get a better brand one on one or in a group course. I don’t want anyone to make branding mistakes. Your brand is so important to your business success.

I want to make the world a more beautiful place one design at a time….even if we don’t work together. I hope this helps you!

I have a free exercise I’d love to have you do with your current brand. Send me a note and I’ll send you the worksheets.