Your branding and your identity is a crucial part of your business success. You need to be seen, recognised and remembered!

There are common mistakes I see in business branding, often as a result of not working with a professional or experienced graphic design and branding specialist. I’ve shared the three most common, and their solutions, below!

1. Incorrect Logo Files:

I cannot even begin to tell you the number of times that I have been asked to assist with a design, whether it’s a brochure or a billboard, only to be given a logo that is fuzzy or in the incorrect format on solid background for example. Using a logo that is unclear or one with a big white block around it for instance is not best practice and it will not represent your business as a professional organisation.

So why does my logo look like this?

If your logo is fuzzy it’s because it is pixelated, because on the low resolution of your logo. Without getting overly technical, the simplest explanation is that the logo has been created or converted into an “image” made essentially of a number of dots per inch or pixels per inch (or the official term: dpi or ppi). Once created, you cannot add more dots. If you need to use your logo any bigger than you have it, you are simply stretching these tiny dots beyond their capacity. This effect is typically found in the common file formats – jpegs and png.

There are several ways you can avoid this but my number one tip is to have your logo supplied in a VECTOR format – this format is not made up of dots as explained above. A professional and experienced design specialist would be able to supply a vector file, most commonly in .ai, .eps or .pdf file formatsA word of caution, these file formats can contain image files and it’s best to have a professional review them to ensure they are true vector.

If you have a logo with a white block around it, there’s a good chance that it was supplied as a jpeg. While this is certainly a good file type to have within your branding suite, it should not be the only one. This results in limited use both in application (with a white background) and size (it cannot be stretch as it is an image file.

2. No Branding Guide:

A branding guide is a rulebook, or a recipe book as my one client so fondly calls it, that explains how an organisation presents itself to the world through various aspects including your logos, font and colour selections, photography as well as brand foundational aspects like your main brand pillars and brand blueprint. Simply put, it’s a reference tool that helps maintain consistency in what your brand looks, feels and sounds like.

Using a brand guide (aka style guide or corporate identity manual) ensures that your brand looks and feels the same, even when you have different people working on customer service, marketing, design and sales. A branding guide is important because it helps your business communicate in a consistent way across all teams and channels. Consistency is imperative for your brand as these are the elements that people will come to recognise and remember.

3. Use of Generic Templates:

It’s easy to get caught up in fad trends and fancy templates that circulate, especially when your branding is not clearly defined – which often leads to business owners feeling uncertain of how to represent themselves. Generic templates are readily available and many businesses use them, making your posts, brochures, presentations and dare I even say gasp logos, look like a multitude of others. Resulting in your business simply getting lost in the noise. Most of the time these templates do not align with your business and brand – which leads to inconsistency. This also means that you are not building brand recognition or awareness, which could lead to missed opportunities.

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