Amateur VS Professional branding
(2 minute read)
There’s one thing we can all do very well, whether we’re design professionals or not, and that’s recognise a cheaply designed logo.
A common trend among start-ups and growing businesses is the creation of amateur branding to save money. Sure, it’s cheaper to use a low-cost freelancer, or even have a crack at branding yourself if you’re familiar with design software, but that doesn’t make it the best option.
Here we explore the true cost of amateur branding, and the reasons why you shouldn’t take the risk.
We’ll start with the obvious:
Bad design looks… bad
While being able to create a professional brand is a learned art form and a highly developed skill, it doesn’t take an expert to spot a DIY job when it comes to logos. They stand out a mile, and for all the wrong reasons.
Take the two logo examples above. You can discern immediately which has been designed by a professional, and which has likely been designed by an amateur on a home PC.
Everything from composition and colour scheme to the choice of typeface and the message conveyed needs to be very carefully considered when designing a logo and building a brand. The quality of these considerations differs wildly in these two logos, and if you don’t know what you’re doing you risk missing the mark as catastrophically as the Detail Doctor has. After all, nothing communicates ‘detail’ less than a very basic, incomplete line drawing.
Ultimately? The strength of this first impression could mean the difference between customers choosing to make a purchase from your company or not, so it’s got to hit the spot.
But what about the savings we could make on a cheaper option? Aren’t they worth it?
No. Saving money can cost money
The main pull of going down the amateur branding route is, of course, the attractively low cost. And, while using a low-cost freelancer or Fiverr.com to knock up a logo might seem to make sense in the short term, it could end up damaging your business in the long term.
Remember, your logo and branding including all fonts, colour schemes and styles, are often the first point of reference for your customers, so poor design along with any design inconsistencies weaken that first impression beyond repair.
In the minds of the customers, a cheap-looking logo and inconsistent brand equals a cheap and inconsistent business, and this can cause potential clients not to consider you in future.
Books are judged by covers, after all. So cover your business well.
Easy on the eye, easy on the wallet
We know you’re probably still thinking this is all well and good, but you’re on a budget all the same. Unfortunately, having a professionally crafted brand is perceived to be “expensive”, which is why so many business owners opt for the DIY or cheap freelancer option.
The reality is that professional small business branding is an investment in your business, much like a well laid business plan or an eager new employee. Once you understand the long term benefits and ROI of branding it becomes less of a cost and more of a necessary investment.