Graphic design for small business: how to stand out and save money

store opening illustration cartoon

I’m sure you’ve heard of the saying “Fake it ‘til you make it”.

Did it work for you?

I’ve got an aunt who only bought branded clothes and bags. I once bought a fake Lacoste shirt to wear when we were supposed to meet because I wanted to impress her. I couldn’t afford the real thing, so I bought a knockoff for a quarter of the price.

When we finally met, she didn’t say anything about my fake top. But after a week, she sent me a gift: an authentic Lacoste polo shirt.

I’ve never worn imitation brands since. I learned the hard way that in order to impress “big” people, you must be authentic – not just in your clothes, but also in your intentions.

When a business owner is feeling small, they will try to manifest growth by surrounding themselves with luxury. 

This is a common mistake made by entrepreneurs. Even if they can’t afford a lavish lifestyle, they’ll try so hard that they end up in court. #InventingAnna

Is this to say that small businesses will always be small?

Of course not. With the right design, even small businesses can appear to be big. You don’t have to fake your way to the top if you create high-quality designs. 

If you hire the right team, your brand will look like a million dollars without costing a million dollars.

Now, out of all the materials that could be designed, which one should you prioritize?

Have a spectacular logo

All businesses must have a logo. There are numerous types of logos from which to choose. When it comes to designing a logo, there are countless factors to consider, which can be overwhelming for a small business owner like you.

You can make the process easier by delegating it to your design team; simply create a design brief and include inspiration.

Remember that a potential client should be able to tell what products or services you offer simply by looking at your logo.

Use a colour palette

To a non-designer, a brand is just associated with a primary colour. To the untrained eye, Pepsi is blue, Twitter is blue, and Facebook is also blue. However, trained design professionals know that big brands work with different shades in a colour palette.

Get inspired by the big brands’ best design practices and have your design team create a colour palette for you. This palette is an investment. It will be used for the rest of your marketing and advertising designs.

colour palette sample

Maintain consistency

Once you’ve decided on a corporate image or brand, stick to it and make sure it’s consistent across all of your designs. Use the same look and feel throughout all platforms, and avoid changing it every week or so.

For a potential client to remember you, it takes 7 interactions with your brand. If you change your branding and messaging too frequently, you’re not giving them enough chances to remember you.

Yes, you can eventually rebrand. Big businesses do it once every 7-10 years to keep the brand fresh. If you do, make sure you get a professional designer to have it done right.

Invest in a professional design team

Design and branding do not come cheap. Don’t fall into the trap of getting cheap ones. Remember my t-shirt story? Legitimate customers can tell if you’re faking it.

Cheap designs almost always fail. You’d spend more time directing amateur designers than they’d spend helping you.

On the other hand, you don’t want to overspend on a digital agency or an in-house senior designer.

Deer Designer has been the solution to this problem. With a flat monthly fee, you can get the high-quality designs you require without breaking the bank.

target market illustration cartoon

Empathize with the target market

Study whatever data you have about clients who may be interested in your offers. But remember to look beyond the numbers. If you can, talk to them and really understand their pain points.

Design visuals for that specific audience, address their issues and show that you have a solution. Intentional design will bring you more high-quality clients.

Like a fisherman, you can adjust the size of the net (or use a specific one) to capture a particular fish. Knowing your audience allows you to determine whether a particular message or design will entertain or repel them.

Even if you only create one or two designs per week, they will have an impact because your target market will be able to relate to them.

Think BIG

There is no doubt that graphic design is critical for small businesses. The web and social media are visual mediums, and if you want your small business to succeed, all of your designs must be appealing, consistent, and simple to use.

To make it in the big leagues of graphic design, you don’t have to fake it. You can subscribe to an on-demand design team that is guaranteed to create high designs comparable to those produced by expensive agencies and designers.

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