Steer issue 21 APRIL 2019 - Page 24

Can design be done on your own? Can you cut
out the professional designer?
The DIY option is appealing for many reasons, its cheaper for
one, but is doing it without any guidance a good idea?
When it comes to start ups, many first time business owners go it alone. With little or no knowledge of colour, fonts,
layout or pre-production, they “give-it-a-go” when designing
their logos, business cards and leaflets. – with costly mistakes.
I’ve even seen larger SME’s trust their brand to their sales
personnel instead of getting a professional designer to understand and build their brand, therefore appealing to the right
audience crucial for new business.
I would like to shed a little light on the technicalities behind
design. Helping you to make informed choices when you
design your logo or advert for yourself.
Lets begin with your logo. Logos are very personal. They
are a reflection of you, your business and your values, likes
and dislikes. Its usually in colours you like, contains an icon
you like or signifies your type of business.
Stick to that. It’s the face of your business. Secondly make
it simple. Simple logos stand out more, are easier to remember and easier to reproduce when you need to print it on
complex items like clothing or the odd pen. It will also be
easier to make print ready – when the time comes to print
business cards or anything like that. Your printer will have
someone who can do that for you, a bit cheaper than if you
had a very complex logo that needs to be redrawn into high
resolution for print.
Colours are a matter of choice, but there is a unwritten rule
with colours in a logo, keep to a maximum of 3 colours and
at least one of those colours needs to be dark, not necessarily black, but dark, like navy blue, dark purple or charcoal.
This makes it easier to connect visually to your brand when it
comes to other collateral, where your logo is not always present. The text in adverts, leaflets and brochures can be in the
darker colour to emphasize the branding, therefore increasing
the brand awareness. The more your branding is recognized,
the more credibility it gains.
You also don’t necessarily need an icon on your logo. Some
of the best logos are simply one name in an interesting font. –
consider that if you are not very creative, but still want a logo
that looks professional.
When advertising – be it an advert or leaflet, remember that
this is a “call to action” not a brochure. Try not to add reams
and reams of text. Let your images tell the story. It needs to
grab the attention of the reader firstly, and text is not an
attention grabber. People notice colour and images. The major
types of images that are most likely to be noticed is one that
evokes an emotion, ie: sadness, fear, anger, curiosity – if you
can link your company to an image that evokes a reaction,
that’s powerful - you’ve just grabbed the attention of the
reader, he will then read further either to find out why that
image is there, and what to do about the response he’s just
experienced. – the call to action is to contact you for more info
or a quote… viola! Your foot in the door.
These are just two of the most common DIY design projects
undertaken, and with a little help, you can make it look like
you spent hundreds on a designer to get that professional
look. But bear in mind, as your company grows so should your
branding, and investing in a good, reliable graphic designer
who can carry your brand though all your collateral is
actually a good investment into
your brand.
Kathy Marchant-Nel is owner of GraphicKat Uk Ltd,
a graphic design studio based in Kent. She can be
contacted on Tel: 07399 712 721 or Email:


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