Everyone likes a trier, so the theory goes, but there is such a thing as trying too hard, and then finding yourself in a real mess. With issues to do with design and your brand, taking your own, idiosyncratic approach to it may have unforeseen, and undesirable, consequences.

Enthusiasm and Expertise
Communicating your brand values to the wider world and your intended audience can feel like the beginning of something really exciting, but don?t let your enthusiasm and a sense of euphoria get in the way of the effectiveness of your communication.

You may well feel you have certain unique qualities that you want to share with your potential customer-base, and you may have a particular way of doing what you do that you feel will really resonate with people. However, expressing this outwardly, in such a way as to make it work, is not necessarily going to be straightforward.

Think of it this way: when you want a new extension to your house, you might have some really fresh, innovative ideas about how it should look, but unless you have the right experience, putting your concepts into practice would best be left in the hands of building professionals.

Design is no different. The basic digital tools might be universally accessible, but using them effectively, and devising the correct branding strategy to underpin your design, requires a specialised approach.

Things That Can Go Wrong
Good design and branding is not simply about taste. It is about effective communication with your intended audience. This includes all aspects of design, from the colours and fonts you use, to the images you display and the tone of voice present in your written content.

Here are some things that can adversely affect your brand:

  • Images ? choosing bland, generic images will do nothing for your brand. Choosing inappropriate images will actively work against it.
  • Words ? grammatical errors such as basic spelling mistakes and misplaced apostrophes stand out like a sore thumb and can damage your professional credibility, regardless of the substance of your message.
  • Layout ? your communications must be easy to follow. A badly laid-out website or brochure that your potential customers find hard to navigate through will reflect badly on your brand, and hamper your ability to make sales.
  • Overall tone ? how you position your brand is vital to its success and to how your business may, or may not, thrive. Design should be a logical extension of your brand values and your strategic business development plan. It should not be a bolted-on afterthought.

Design as Distillation
Even something as outwardly simple as a logo should actually be a distillation of your brand values. This is the speciality of a professional designer or design agency.

Our job is to make your brand work in the marketplace, and to ensure that it appeals to your customers while representing everything that is positive and right about your business.

That computer or laptop on your desk might tempt you into doing your own design, but its accessibility is deceptive. Just as anyone can go and buy a set of power tools from a DIY store without having the right skill level to make the best use of them, while risking serious damage in the process, so design works best for business in the hands of design experts.

Reform Creative is a Manchester-based design agency and while we specialise in design we?re also experts in listening to our clients. We?ll get under your skin, to the heart of what your business is about, and that way we?ll ensure that the design of your brand and your communications meets your business needs and that of your intended audience.

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