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It’s a fact—design is everywhere. Yet, bad design is everywhere too!

The quality of your brand design determines how professional you look. With great design, you’ll look more trustworthy. You’ll look like you truly care about your business. You’ll look like you know what you’re doing, and that your business will be around for more than a few months down the road!

Plain and simple, if the “look and feel” of your brand design isn’t consistent, professional, and aligned with your unique positioning, then your prospects will go elsewhere (so may your customers).

Don’t be that guy!

Don’t be that business owner who cuts corners on your brand design. Don’t get your cousin’s friend’s sister’s monkey do design a logo for you. It may end up looking like this:

bad logo design

This designer seems to have a different definition of the word “detail.”


Small businesses aren’t the only one’s that fall victim to bad brand design. Check out these blunders from the big boys:


Arby's bad logo design

Look's like something my 3D techno-dog puked up.


Gap's bad logo design

Seriously… this was supposed to be an improvement?

Are you a designer or a wanna-be designer?

Do you think that the more fonts you use, the better?

Does your design have every little empty space occupied by something?

Do you think gradients and drop shadows are the shit?

Sorry to be the one to break it to you, but when it comes to effective brand design, less really is more, subtlety is key, and white space is your friend. One or two fonts is optimal (sometimes three, if you know what you’re doing). Gradients are trendy. And if you notice the drop shadows in your design, then they’re too big or too dark.

These are the things that graphic designers learn in school, from their peers, their communities, and their own experiences. They’re not arbitrary rules set in stone, they’re flexible guidelines born from decades of real world applications and user testing. Every design problem is a unique case that requires a unique solution. Experienced designers know what works and what doesn’t work regarding each specific case.

Why should you use a professional designer?

Where do people turn when they need contracts drawn up? Lawyers, of course! They certainly don’t look to their cousin’s friend’s sister’s monkey. Why? (Do I even have to answer that question?!) Because Lawyers know what they’re doing when it comes to legal issues. They’ve studied. They’ve trained. They know the ins and outs. They keep up to date with happenings in the industry. They’ll save you time, money, and certainly some headaches.

There’s a great quote I love by Red Adair: “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”

You’ll only have to spend more time and money to get the job done right.

Think ahead before hiring anyone

That being said, give your design lots of thought before hiring anyone. Do your research. Look at what your (successful) competitors are doing. Look at the design in other industries too. Identify the needs of your audience, and what attracts them. Brainstorm the kind of brand design that may effectively reflect your brand’s positioning and personality.

Once you have all these wonderful ideas, images, and concepts in your head, be sure to put them on paper. These are the ideas you can communicate to your designer during the project briefing. He or she will probably give you some initial guidance on what will work, what won’t work, and what’s worth a try.

So when it’s time to get yourself a snazzy logo, some hot printed materials, funky web graphics, or a killer mobile app design, just go ahead and make the investment. If you’re not a designer, then hire a designer. You’ll receive more value than can imagine moving your business brand into the future.