If you’re here, it means you’d like to build a luxe, premium brand, that attracts the ideal client (with serious budget & attitude to their business) and sets the right price expectations.

You’ve probably had to either do it yourself, or hire an affordable designer. When you start a business you obviously don’t have a big budget to spend on design. But now your business really took off and you know you give tremendous value to your clients.

You’d like to level up, offer even more value, maybe partner with someone to give your clients even better experience.

Is that right? Then read on!

That all sounds amazing and it’s the very firs and basic step to build a better, luxe brand. Have you thought about your visual identity though? Will it reflect the value you offer?

5 signs your brand looks unprofessional (and not so premium)

1. No clear direction and vision.

Before you design your brand, you need to think about the foundations:

– what’s your vision, mission?
why did you start your business?
– who exactly is your perfect client?
– what stage of business are they on?
– what’s their most burning problem and how are YOU going to solve it in your unique way?

Grab my Brand Clarity Workbook below and work through it. It will help you understand all this, so you can enter the deceasing process with a clear vision.

2. Wrong colours / too many colours.
Your brand colours speak louder than words. They are even more important than your copy.

Why?

Because we all understand colours on a subconscious level. Before people are even able to read your copy, they can be put off by your brand colours that do not resonate with your message. Check out my blog post about Colour Psychology and learn how to choose colours to communicate your brand message to clients in a sneaky way! (It’s honest, just sneaky! )

Remember, that your favourite colour might not be the perfect colour for your brand. Be smart, choose not only with your heart but with your head as well.

I mentioned about using correct colours for your brand above, but another mistake I often see on people’s websites is not deciding on one, simple colour palette, or choosing colour that are not working well together.

It’s hard to choose a cohesive colour palette that’s going to communicate your message and you have to have a sense of certain aesthetic and knowledge about colour to do it professionally.

However if you want to do it yourself, there are tools you could use that could help you.

Adobe Color CC is a great tool to choose colours that work well together, or come from the same colour palette – so if you choose yellow as your main colours and lighter yellow as your supporting colour, they have the same amount of primary colours in them (red, blue and yellow) and do not look like they have been taken out of totally different colour palettes.

 

You can also use Canva’s tool to learn more about colors and how you can use them for your brand. This is a great tool they created recently. Not only can you read about colors, but also see great combinations and tips for use.

It’s easy to make a mistake here, so always use professional tools and compare you chosen colours to other colours in their palette.

3. Too many fonts, too small line height.

If you can’t decide on which fonts to stick with, or love every new script font you see on Creative Market, let me just tell you: I’m guilty of that too! They are so cool, aren’t they?

Unfortunately, for your designs to look professional, you need to decide on maximum of 3 fonts and stick with them.

What’s important with fonts, is the contrast: choose fonts that are contrasting with each other, for the biggest impact and most beautiful outcome. Remember to apply the contrast to your fonts size as well: use a bigger size for headers and smaller for paragraph text.

For example:

On the left: Playfair Display + Georgia = wrong combination, because fonts are too similar to each other, there’s not enough white space and contrast (both size and font type contrast I mean!).

On the right: Playfair Display Black + Open Sans Light = beautiful, editorial style combination of fonts, with just enough contrast and white space around.

Let me explain what a line height is: this is the space between each of the text lines.

As you can see on the example above, the one on the left looks very cluttered and it’s difficult to read. It doesn’t give you this elegant, luxurious feeling and it won’t make your brand communicate this.

Now have a look at the example on the right: it’s easy to read, has enough space around and looks elegant and simple. That’s what you want for your premium brand, isn’t it?


4. Lack of white space.

I see that problem A LOT.

White space is pretty much an empty space around your design elements. White space is like the air you’re breathing: you don’t realise it’s there and you don’t treat it like it’s an object, but its absolutely crucial!

Don’t be afraid to add white space around your text, images and columns. It’s absolutely necessary element to make your designs look premium and professional.

Every single luxury fashion brand I worked for respects the white space in their designs because they understand it adds breath, reduces clutter and makes them look elegant.

5. Low-quality images.

It’s a lot easier to find high-quality images than it was before, so you don’t have to be a photographer. Use sites like Unsplash.com or Death To Stock Photo (my 2 absolute faves) and find images that will represent your brand. Those are all high quality, great shots and all free to use.

Remember though: you need to optimise your images for the web, so they are not too heavy and your website doesn’t load for 3657 seconds. Use Photoshop Save for Web Tool (Cmnd + Alt + Shift + S on Mac and Ctrl + Alt + Shift + S on Windows), and use JPEG high quality settings available in the dropdown at the top.

Remember about retina screens as well: those are screens that are the same size as other ones, but they contain twice as many pixels, which means your photos will look blurry on them if they’re not optimised correctly. When you can, save your images as twice as big for your website and your website will scale them them down to adjust to your screen.

Those are 5 most often mistakes beginners make with theirs brands and if you avoid them, your brand will look better than most of brand out there already.

But what I’ve learned over the years is that for your design to look professional, it needs to be designed by a professional. Unfortunately solely Photoshop knowledge does not equal with the skills, experience and talent professional designers have.

And if you treat your business seriously, you need to invest in it, simples. And if you hire the right person, this investment will bring a return and you will land better clients and finally charge what you’re worth.

What is your brand story? Share it in the comments below!

I’m a branding & web designer based
in Bristol, UK.

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