Top 5 digital branding blunders


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The design landscape for businesses with digital presence has become increasingly complex. It’s no wonder we spot many digital branding blunders across the web. Not only do brands have to convey an attention-grabbing and noise-canceling message, but a brand must also continue to produce content relevant to its specialty. Core branding, along with use of visuals and captivating messages, is a cacophony of different objects that need to come together. Here are the most common digital brand blunders and how you can avoid them. If you have already committed one of these offenses, ZAMARTZ can help you create a strategy to rectify them.

Fonts, make them work for you:

Choosing a font is not only an important part of conveying your message verbally, but also visually. Your message will be most effectively communicated when you choose a typeface family or font that is clear, simple and fitting for your design. Choose no more than 2 fonts, and avoid effects like dropshadow, or using all caps, too much bold and/or italics.

– Cheryl Sheeler

The most common downfall for digital business is not considering usage for print and web. Some fonts look completely different online and when printed. Fonts also have limitations in emails. You want to have fallbacks to all of your fonts as some email providers remove custom fonts and replace them with a standard.

Web & Email Safe Fonts:

  • Arial
  • Verdana
  • Helvetica
  • Georgia
  • Tahoma
  • Lucida
  • Trebuchet
  • Times

Color, speak for your brand and prints:

Color is also an essential element of visual communication. Keep in mind that certain colors can evoke certain feelings or emotions. For example, red can call to mind anger, green can signify go, and blue can be serene. Saturation, or intensity (bright vs. subdued), of a color also can shape your message. Equally as important is choosing colors that are complementary to each other and your overall design. Match your colors; and like fonts, keep it simple—two colors can be plenty.

– Cheryl Sheeler

When using colors digitally, you have to take into consideration how they will appear in print. Even if you have no plans to make printed material, your logo or content may be printed for sponsorship opportunities or even an “old-fashioned” business card. Most affordable services use CMYK when printing, so you’ll want to make sure your colors are in CMYK and translate them to RGB/HEX or pay the extra expense to have a Pantone color printed in offset.

Example ZAMARTZ Medium Blue

Web RBG: 29, 85, 255

Web HEX: #1d55ff

Print Pantone: 2175 C

Print CMYK: 97,51,0,0

Visuals, For today and tomorrow

Because a picture is worth a thousand words, choosing good and appropriate visuals is vital to your message.  Make sure your imagery is relative to your message, that all imagery is in the same style, and it blends well with the overall feel and color of your design. Also check your image pixels—pixelated, blurry images will ruin the best of designs.

– Cheryl Sheeler

One of the most common issues we have seen our clients run into has to do with under-producing assets that can be used in presentation or as flourishes in accompanying applications. This could be in promotional material or for letterheads, invoices, or proposals. Having a variety of additional assets that are on-brand help you keep work fresh, have professional production, and keep clients engaged. This also applies to images used in professional social posts or blog articles. Do not overuse the same images, and if possible, produce something new for every published piece.

Space, Give it some

It’s important to give the elements of your design room to breathe.  When it comes to space, leave plenty of negative (blank) space.  Avoid overcrowding your elements, which can lead to a cluttered design and confusion about your message. Keep it simple.

– Cheryl Sheeler

This also applies to applications of your logo. Sometimes you will need to have your logo with a margin already part of the .png or .jpg. Other times you may need the logo cropped tight against the design. My favorite got-cha happens when you try to apply your logo mark to a social media profile image. Many times this is a circular space but it can also be square, so it is important to make sure that the space around the mark allows it to apply in both situations.

Message, talk to them

Your central core branding should have a voice that represents your company to a T. By using targeted keywords and consistent phrasing, brand recognition and brand trust will follow. This helps attract, maintain and grow your client base who will know to expect this ethos and messaging from your brand across all channels or platforms.

– Brinley Knopf

Your message needs to carry through all of your customer touchpoints and channels. Rarely should you ever change your core messaging to suit a channel, but rather adapt it to the format. This strategy is not only effective in capturing and maintaining your client-base’s attention, but it also provides your brand SEO and Social-Network activity, which increase your visibility.