5 Visual Branding Mistakes to Avoid (And How to Fix Them)

When we say “branding,” what comes to mind? Is it your logo? Your color palette? Your fonts? 

The answer? It’s all of the above — and more. Branding is a complex term that encompasses everything about your business. From your offers to your voice, your visuals, and even your client experience, your brand is all about what your business offers, what it stands for, and who it serves. 

One of the best ways to build a strong business is to create a consistent visual brand. One of the easiest ways to hurt your growth potential? Being inconsistent with your visual brand. 

When you start to veer away from your brand standards, it confuses your target audience. While it might seem like it’s “just a graphic,” any inconsistency can make your audience question what you’re really about, what you value, who you serve, and what you offer. 

If you want to ensure your brand stays consistent and continues to showcase what makes your business stand out, keep reading. We are sharing five visual branding mistakes we see all the time — plus how to fix them!

Visual Branding Mistake #1: You’re Using Too Many Fonts

We get it: Fonts are fun to play with and there are so many to choose from. But using too many can get confusing for your audience. 

For one, designs with too many fonts can be hard to read. If your audience can’t read what you’re sharing, they’re just going to keep scrolling or bounce away from your site. You need to choose two to three fonts that are easily readable and can be used in a variety of settings. 

When choosing your 2-3 fonts, remember: They don’t have to be completely separate fonts! They can be different within the same family (Bold, Normal, Light, etc.) or they can be complimentary fonts. Whichever fonts you choose, find ones you like and stick with them.

Styled Stock Society Brand Fonts

Visual Branding Mistake #2: You Won’t Commit to a Color Palette

There’s a literal rainbow of colors to choose from for your brand — but that doesn’t mean you should use each one of them. Like fonts, keep color choices to a minimum and stick with the same ones for visual consistencyThink about large brands, such as Canva or Coca-Cola. They’re recognizable not just for their logos, but also because of how they use their colors. 

On Canva, you’ll only find hues of blue. And Coca-Cola is that signature red and white. You’d be confused if they decided to add a neon green color palette, right? It just wouldn’t fit. 

The same applies to your business. A big part of visual consistency and brand recognition is sticking with a few color options. That doesn’t mean you can’t ever use a splash of another color in any of your designs, but it does mean you should pick a palette and stick with it!

We recommend using about five colors to start out with that allow you the flexibility to play with hues and add contrast when needed. 

Styled Stock Society Brand Colors

Visual Branding Mistake #3: Your Design Style is Inconsistent

What’s your design style? What is the overall “vibe” of your brand’s visuals?

If your answer is “Whatever template I can find that day,” we need to talk. Your design style is essentially the “composition” of your designs.. It’s like what your brand has in its closet. 

Do you use a lot of simple shapes and symmetrical designs? Do you favor more “retro” shapes and neon layers? Which elements do you find yourself drawn to?

That’s your design style. 

And just like fonts and colors, your brand’s design style needs to stay consistent if you want your audience to go from discovery to loyal brand fan. 

It’s also important that your design style aligns with your brand standards and mission. For example, brands with bold, vibrant colors are usually brands that want to differentiate themselves in their industry. Like Betty’s Co, for example:

A brand with a simpler color palette and straightforward shapes lends itself to a calmer, more professional design style, like Hootsuite:

Your brand’s design style says a lot about your business — and it has the power to draw people in. Make sure it’s consistent (and defined) so you’re drawing in the right people.

Visual Branding Mistake #4: You’re Forgetting About Brand Voice

Many businesses make the mistake of thinking that “branding” is just about the visuals. We have news for you, though: Your brand voice influences your brand’s perception just as much as your colors, fonts, and design style.

Just like the example above, a bold brand has bold colors. But you probably won’t find a soft-spoken, laid-back brand voice with bold colors, neon designs, etc. — it’s too jarring. 

Your brand voice can change a lot about the way your visuals look, so don’t overlook it. If you want to change your brand voice and the way you speak to your audience, you might want to consider elevating your design to match. 

If you need to define your brand voice, write down three things:

  • How your brand voice “sounds.” You may even want to pick a celebrity or fictional character to give your brand an actual voice.
  • How your brand voice “feels.” This is how you want people to feel when they consume your brand’s content (in any medium). 
  • How your brand voice is delivered. Do you serve a high-end audience? You might need a brand voice that uses luxury or industry terms. Do you want your brand to feel approachable? Casual language helps. 

Brand voice advises so much of your brand visuals — because there is still so much text in everything you create. Knowing your brand voice can also help you define your brand style!

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Visual Branding Mistake #5: Your Images + Videos Are Too Generic

Speaking of all the visuals you’ll create for your brand…

Any time you’re using footage for a Reel, posting a picture in your email, or sharing a carousel on Instagram, it needs to match your brand

If you have a bubbly, upbeat brand with lots of pinks and blues, using a stock photo of someone deep in thought or looking sad may not fit. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you have a more serious brand, pictures of people smiling might be too much

Videos of people playing football while you’re talking about your therapy services or business coaching will also jar people out of their scroll (and not in a good way). 

Your visuals — whether that’s images, videos, or graphics — need to fit the vibe of your brand. Which leads us to our next point…

Need Help Finding On-Brand Visuals? Join Styled Stock Society

Believe it or not, defining and maintaining your brand’s visual standards won’t make your brand boring. It’ll make it consistent in the eyes of the people who matter: Your audience. 

If you want to share your message, build connections, and establish trust, it helps to be consistent with colors, fonts, templates, images, and more. But creating those consistent visuals? It’s not always so easy. Especially when you’re running the show (mostly) by yourself. 

You deserve a simple, fast way to find on-brand design templates, photos, and videos that help your brand put its best foot forward.

Our Styled Stock Society membership offers you THOUSANDS of stock photos and videos, fully-customizable Canva templates, monthly caption guides, and more — all with the intention of helping you stay on brand (without the decision fatigue)!