11 Common Brand Design Mistakes That Brands Should Avoid

Last updated
September 15, 2022
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Read time
10 min

Many businesses still underestimate the importance of brand design. They focus on creating products and selling them to their audience but what they sometimes forget is that brand design mistakes can significantly undermine all their marketing and sales efforts.

Whether you’re a new business just about to launch or a well-established one, a well-planned and executed brand design will ensure you clearly communicate the mission and vision of your company to your target audience. And that will help you to become a reputable, trustworthy brand that your customers will love interacting with.

Though, getting brand design right is not easy and even the most famous brands can make mistakes during the process. We don’t want to get you worried, just want to show you some common brand design mistakes to help you avoid them.

But first, let’s clearly understand what brand design is.

Table of Contents

What is Brand Design?

Brand design is the process of creating the visual identity of a brand. Brand design includes all the visual elements that define a brand such as logos, website design, colours, fonts, illustrations, email newsletter designs, packaging, etc.

Your brand design represents your brand. It shows your target audience, what’s unique about you and why people should choose you.

The difficulty with the brand design is that it’s subjective. Some people may like colourful rainbows while others won’t. But there are some general rules that good designers know. And we are going to explore the brand design mistakes that companies make by not paying attention to these rules.

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The Most Common Brand Design Mistakes

Neglecting Your Target Audience

You might be surprised but this one is actually pretty common. Some brands forget that their business exists to satisfy the needs of their target audience. The brand design should live up to the audience’s expectations.

Many designers tend to go beyond imagination and create unique and innovative designs. But your business might not need that. If your target audience is conservative people who don’t like trendy things, then you don’t need to be trendy. Just check what your audience likes and prefers and create your design accordingly.

It’s also crucial to remember that you don’t need to appeal to everyone. If you create a logo and design that’s too generic, people will be left confused and you’ll lose your customers. You mainly need to think about what your target audience will think about your design.

Yellow and green darts with target arrows

Underestimating the Power of Branding

Think about it: who will have more chances to succeed – a well-developed business that has a consistent brand image and is recognised as an authority, or the one that doesn’t have a professional brand image and has a confusing design? Of course, it will be the first one.

When your company undergoes professional branding, it’s going to be a long-term investment for your company which will ensure higher financial gains, and increased brand worth.

A strong brand makes a memorable impression on everyone interacting with it and creates loyalty among customers. Only good branding and brand design can help you to build an emotional connection with your customers and gain their trust.

Focusing on Trends Too Much

Design trends change constantly and you don’t have to follow them all the time, especially when it refers to your brand design. You don’t want to do rebranding every year right? Trends can come and go, but your brand should represent something more permanent and long-lasting.

Don’t focus only on trends, focus on your brand, what story it tells people, and what impression you want to make on your audience. This will help you create a much more unique design that is evergreen.

Of course, I’m not telling you not to pay attention to the news and trends. You need to be aware of what’s trendy today. You don’t want to seem like someone who still lives in the 90s. What I’m saying is that if you create something that is purely based on a current trend, you will become outdated very soon. Your popularity will not last long.

So, try to find the golden middle between trends and your brand’s history and create a design based on them.

Making it Too Sophisticated

Do you know the saying “less is more”? Well, it’s definitely about brand design. I understand that you want to be different from the competition and be creative. But, don’t make your design too complex. If there’s too much going on, people won’t understand your brand and won’t trust you.

This refers to all the elements of your design. If you can show it in a simpler way, don’t add anything that is unnecessary. Don’t use too complex fonts or too many colours. Declutter your website and app from unnecessary elements. Look at these famous social media brand logos. They are very simple and yet everyone recognizes them.

Social media logos

Making it Too Simple

This is another trap that you can fall into. Creating an overly complex design can be as damaging as creating one that’s too simple. When there’s too little going on and your design is very minimalistic, you will leave too much to the imagination of your audience and they will not be able to understand what your brand is about.

Yes, minimalism is in trend, but you need to do it correctly. The perfect design is one that is balanced and shows just enough to raise the interest of your potential customers. The brand design reflects your company, your story and what you’re doing. And visitors should be able to understand what brand you are by your design.

Copying Others

When you don’t want to spend too much time on your brand design, you might end up copying others. And I’m not even talking about plagiarism, which is a huge mistake that can ruin your reputation and good name.

No matter how much you like others’ design and how well it suits your brand, do not ever copy them. It’s natural to research, analyse your competitors, and look at a lot of different designs to find inspiration, but you shouldn’t copy them.

At the same time, with so many brands in the market, it can be hard to create something distinctive. You can hardly invent some new feature that hasn’t been used before. But it’s possible to use existing design elements and create a unique style with them. So, just focus on your brand and audience and don’t copy, especially from your competitors.

Being Inconsistent

One of the key things in brand design is consistency. You need to have a consistent image across all the platforms. For example, when you choose primary and secondary colours, you are going to use these colours on your website, on social media and everywhere else. The same is true about typography. You can’t use too many distinctive fonts on different platforms. If not the same, they should be similar.

But to choose the right colours and style, you need to understand the psychology associated with it. That’s why it’s very important to hire professional designers or an experienced design agency. They don’t seem like a big thing, but every tiny detail of your design can have an impact on your audience.

Forgetting Their Roots

If you’re a brand that has been operating for quite a long time, this point is for you. As you already have customers who trust you and recognise your logo and brand, then you shouldn’t completely change your branding (unless you have solid reasons for that).

Of course, you need to refresh from time to time to show that you pay attention to your branding and you’re not outdated. But you don’t have to change everything. There may be some features of your brand that your customers like, and things that make you recognizable, and if you change them, your sales may drop and you may face criticism and dissatisfaction from your customers.

Do not alienate yourself from your origins. I think you’ve heard about the brand GAP. You may not know it, but some years ago, they changed their logo and people didn’t like it, so the brand had to apologize and return to the old logo. So, be careful there.

Being Outdated

This one is a reminder for those who think that they can do the brand design and forget about it for many years. Well, the truth is, in our fast-changing world you need to check your design on a regular basis, like every 2 years.

This will make sure that you won’t seem outdated to people. Would you trust a brand that reflects a 10-year-old trend? I’m sure you won’t. Many things have changed in the past 10 years so you always need to keep your eye on things and adapt to these changes.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that you need a new logo every year. No, you still need to be remembered. But, changing little things, improving your website, and removing outdated elements will significantly help you to look professional, consistent and trustworthy.

Forgetting About Copy

Of course, brand design is all about the visuals of your brand, but it’s also important not to forget about the text. If you want to make an impression on people interacting with your brand, then you need to take good care of your copy. Mission statements, the right CTAs, tag lines, descriptions, all of this matter a lot if you want to attract new customers.

Say something wrong, or put your CTAs in the wrong place and you’re losing many of your potential customers. Great copy helps not only in attracting new customers but also in creating a certain image of your brand in the eyes of the audience and building your reputation and authority.

Not Getting Professional Help

As a result of underestimating the importance of brand design, you might end up doing it all by yourself and failing. There is a lot more to brand design than just creating a fancy logo. And you need to be careful if you want to get a high-quality design.

If you don’t have professional designers in your team who can handle all of this, it would be better to hire a professional design agency that can deliver high-quality results.

Final Thoughts

As you see there are a lot of mistakes brands can make while creating their brand design. And by paying attention to what we’ve talked about, you can easily avoid them. The best way to fix the mistakes is to avoid them.

But remember that everyone can make mistakes, even the most famous and reputable brands. What’s more important is to understand your mistakes and take every possible action to fix them.

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General FAQ

Branding is the process of creating the visual identity of the brand. It includes all the visual elements representing a brand, such as a logo, colours, fonts, illustrations, website design, packaging, product design, etc.

Branding is the process of creating the brand name, its visual identity, its personality and its qualities. Contrary to the popular belief, branding is not only about the visual identity of the brand, but also includes marketing, PR and in general the impression it makes on people.

About Passionate

Passionate is a full service design agency specialising in providing branding, graphic design, web design and WordPress, Shopify and Webflow services.

We pride ourselves on our meticulous attention to detail, speed of delivery and the genuine advice we provide throughout the process. Last but not least, we try to be as flexible as possible, within your budget and deadlines. So if there is something you think we can help with, feel free to just book a call and we’ll walk you through the rest! 

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