Starting a Business? Build Your Brand the Right Way

The key to fantastic branding is to be consistent in your design and consistent in your message. Your visual identity is one of the most important parts of your brand. In the business world you want to make the right first impression.
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I always like to share the wealth and hand the torch to budding entrepreneurs and bold businesspeople. This design expert reached out to me via Twitter, and I couldn't resist. He was bold, and he did the one thing that most people won't - he asked. That's my lesson for the week. Now check out this guest post, by the founder of Creator Design Sydney, about how to establish killer online presence!

The key to fantastic branding is to be consistent in your design and consistent in your message. Your visual identity is one of the most important parts of your brand. In the business world you want to make the right first impression. Oftentimes, if a business gives the wrong first impression they don't get a second chance, so it is imperative to pay extra close attention to how your business presents itself visually. When starting a new venture your business's online presence can make or break your success, here are some practical tips and tricks to ensure your design is on point.

Logo Design

Your logo is a reflection of your business, it is a tool that connects your business to the world. Logo design should be viewed as an investment in your business. An investment that provides ROI's such as instant recognition, trust, loyalty and credibility.

A professional polished logo is a necessity for any business. Depending on your budget there are many different avenues you can take when having a logo designed.

Free- There are plenty of free online tools that can generate a logo for you, these are a short-term, quick-fix strategy, often tied with a lot of unexpected baggage down the line. Eg. Copyright issues, poor design, stolen artwork, many brands using the same design, etc.

$5 to $50- There are plenty of freelance websites offering logo designs, from Fiverr to Upwork You will find most of these logos to be of a similar quality as the free logo designs.

$200 to $2000- This price range is more or less the sweet spot for professional logo design. At this price you can expect to see a few custom design options to choose from, 100% copyright ownership, the logo delivered in a variety of file types & a professional, polished final logo. Creato Design Sydney can help provide everything you need to start your business the right way.

The main thing to keep in mind: Do it right the first time.

When brainstorming ideas and during the creative design process you will want to learn as much as possible about logo design, here are some tips and design inspiration:

18 tips to improve your logo design skills
- An actionable article that explores ways to create a better logo, brilliant tips for designers and business owners alike.

2016 logo design trends
- This article explores what what's working and what's not in logo design trends for 2016.

7 psychology principles & laws to apply to your designs
- An interesting look at how you can implement psychology principles into your visual identity.

Website Design

When getting started with your online business the first question to answer is what platform is right for my business?' Wordpress, Shopify, Squarespace, Wix, etc.

On Website Builder Expert you can compare a vast range of ecommerce platform options and decide which platform will best serve your business's needs.

Once you have decided on a platform the next step is to explore your design options. There are many great looking free themes available which are a perfect way to showcase your business. Theme installation is quick and easy, you can be up and running in a matter of minutes. Check out this fantastic guide to setting up your store in less than 15 minutes!

Customization is the part that will separate your business from the crowd. Be consistent throughout your website, keep to the same color palette, fonts and styles. This will give your website a professional and polished look, which will in turn generate a sense of trust in your audience.

When designing your website, it is important to understand conversion rate optimization. Conversion rate optimization is simply tweaking your website so that you have a greater chance of turning a visitor into a customer. There are many design elements that can affect your conversion rate: Is your call to action clear and easy to locate? Do you have customer testimonials displayed? Is your website easy to navigate? These are the practical elements of design and should be considered as the cornerstones for website creation.

When designing the overall look of your website follow the 'less is more' concept. Be sure not to bombard your audience with pop ups, clutter and text-heavy pages. Examples of clean minimal design and good UX can be found here:

30 bold and clean web designs for inspiration

- Here you will find some amazing design work, both practical and beautiful.

Minimalist design: Beautiful examples and practical tips
- If you are looking for minimalist design tips, look no further, this post outlines everything you need to know about keeping things simple.

Perhaps the biggest piece of advice I can offer is to be yourself. When first starting out many entrepreneurs and small business owners feel the need to try and emulate the look and feel of big corporate America companies, instead, use your size to your advantage and add a personal touch to your brand. This personal touch will leave a positive impact on your customer, leaving them feeling that they are dealing with a person and not a 'business'.

Callum is a graphic designer, entrepreneur and writer based in Sydney, Australia. He is the owner of Creato Design Sydney, who have helped over 100 businesses with their logo design and branding. Follow Callum on the Creato Blog.

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