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7 ways to make your DIY brand appear more professional
So you’re DIYing your brand, but you just can’t seem to get it looking, well, like you didn’t design it yourself.
I get it!
Sometimes when you are just starting out you have to be scrappy and create these things yourself.
First, let me say, there is no shame in that.
And second, you are brave and bold, and a serious go-getter who knows that you must move forward and bring your dreams to life even if you’re on a budget — so good for you!
But there are a few things you can do to give your brand a more professional appearance even though you aren’t a designer.
1. Do the foundational work
You might hate me for saying this, but you can’t just dive into the fun stuff like your logo and color palette before laying the groundwork.
You have to have a solid understanding of who your dream client is first.
I’m sure you already know their physical characteristics, like, are they male/female, their age range, are they married, do they have kids, etc.
But what about their deepest fears? Do you know what keeps them up at night worrying?
Before designing anything, you’ve got to uncover the root of your dream client’s problem because everything you create for your branding must start here.
2. Pay attention to psychology
The next thing you should do is take the information you’ve uncovered in your foundational work and use it when it comes to designing for your business.
Because how your dream client feels about your brand has more pull than what they think about your brand.
So how do you want to make them feel?
Colors, shapes, and symbols all have built-in associations that can impact the way your brand is perceived, so do your research on the elements you use and be sure that they align with the specific emotions you want to evoke.
3. Don’t follow trends
This is one of the easiest mistakes to make, but following the latest trends will make your brand blend in rather than stand out. And the last thing you want to do is look like everyone else!
The other problem with trends is that they often don’t fit with your business. If your business does fit with the latest trend though, before moving forward ask yourself what spin you could put on it to be a bit more unique.
4. Don’t over complicate it
There’s no denying that we’re bombarded with information and distractions all day long. So much so, that having less clutter and more white space actually makes you stand out more. It is what our eyes and minds crave amongst all the noise we’re surrounded by. Because of this, avoid using too many colors, shapes, patterns, and fonts.
Look at your brand and ask yourself, “What else can I take away?”
Being as simple as possible will greatly improve the legibility and recognition of your brand.
5. Pay attention to alignment and spacing
As humans, we are drawn to things that are balanced. So, as you’re designing, look at the balance and alignment of the colors, fonts, and shapes that you use.
And be sure to leave enough breathing space between your elements.
Keep in mind that while a specific element may be a focal point, you don’t want one object to draw your eye so much that you can’t see your logo as a whole unit. You want it to appear seamless so that one thing doesn’t overpower another.
A good trick is what I like to call the squint test. So you can squint your eyes and see if one thing stands out more than another. Trust me and give it a try — it works!
6. Include variety
Be sure to create variations in your logo for use on different mediums. Horizontal logos work really well on a website, but a more square or compact version is great for use on social media.
So when designing your logo, set it up for a variety of uses. It is helpful to have a primary version, an alternate version, and a simple icon to cover all the bases from the start.
The final (and most important) thing you can do to make your brand appear more professional is…
7. Be consistent
It’s important that all of the materials you create to represent your brand are cohesive and that you show up with consistency so that your audience knows what to expect from you and so that they can recognize your brand when they see it.
So remember this — consistency equals trust. And people buy from those they trust.
Inconsistency, on the other hand, creates confusion and will make you appear untrustworthy and you DON’T want that!
A great place to start when it comes to creating consistency with your brand is knowing your brand’s personality.
So, if you’re wondering what’s brand personality and how do I find mine, check out my post where I’ll teach you the 4 steps to find your brand personality.
Hi, I'm Alli McAuley.
I help passionate entrepreneurs, like you, create a standout brand and website so you can run a successful business online.
My ultimate goal?
To make change happen for other go-getters in pursuit of living their dream life by doing what they love.