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What to do when your client’s stuff looks bad – and you’re not a graphic designer

I’m talking about a common headache for service providers: What to do when your client’s stuff looks bad and you’re not a graphic designer.

Whether you’re creating social media content, videos, podcasts, product packaging, presentations, launch graphics, or email campaigns for your clients, it’s crucial to address any issues with branding or assets to ensure it reflects well on both of you.

Why design matters

How your client’s assets look can significantly impact how their business is perceived. Design plays a crucial role in communicating professionalism, credibility, and brand identity. When your client’s stuff looks bad, it can create a negative impression, leading to a loss of trust and potential customers – for both you and your client.

Before we talk about how to address bad client design, let’s talk about why it might look bad.

6 reasons why your client’s stuff looks bad

1. Misalignment with brand identity

If your client’s stuff looks bad, it might be because it doesn’t align with their brand’s personality or values. If the design elements, like colors, fonts, and imagery, don’t resonate with their target audience, it can be a miss.

Not sure what your client’s brand personality is? Try coming up with 5 brand descriptors. I have some examples in my free quiz.

2. Inconsistency in branding

Another reason for bad design is inconsistency in branding across different platforms. If your client’s website, social media, and marketing materials look different, it can confuse customers and weaken their brand identity.

Here’s an example I use a lot: Let’s say you put something in your cart to purchase and you go to checkout. The checkout page looks a little different from the rest of the website. The colors and alignment are just a bit off, which sends up some red flags. What are you likely to do? Exit out and not purchase that thing.

3. Lack of design know-how

Some clients may not grasp the basics of design, like how to choose colors, fonts, or shapes based on their brand personality. Many business owners start out DIY-ing their branding by choosing their favorite fonts or colors. This is okay at first, but it can lead to designs that are visually unappealing or hard to read.

If you or your client wants to learn how to create their own premium branding based on which fonts and colors will sell for their brand, check out DIY to Deluxe: Branding Course.

4. Overdoing it with design elements

On the flip side, some clients may go overboard with design elements, like using too many colors, fonts, or graphics, resulting in cluttered designs.

Less is more. Simplicity and consistency aren’t boring, but make for good design.

5. Low-quality assets

Using low-quality images or graphics can make your client’s work appear unprofessional and sloppy. It can lessen the value of their business, which means clients are less likely to pay a premium for their services or products.

How to talk to your clients when their branding look bad

Understand your client’s brand

Before offering suggestions, take the time to understand your client’s brand identity, values, and target audience. This will help you provide more targeted solutions.

Provide constructive feedback

When discussing aesthetics, offer constructive feedback. Instead of just saying what looks bad, suggest improvements based on design principles and their brand identity.

Offer solutions

Depending on the issues, you may need to offer different solutions. This could include redesigning their branding, updating their website, or creating new marketing materials.

Educate your client

If your client lacks design knowledge, consider educating them on basic design principles. This can help them make better design decisions in the future.

Collaborate with a graphic designer

If the aesthetics are beyond your expertise, consider collaborating with a graphic designer. They can help create professional-looking designs that align with your client’s brand.

If your client is interested in getting feedback from me on their branding, send them my 5-Minute Online Brand Presence Audit. They can apply to get 3 actionable branding tips to achieve their business goals.

Or if they want me to refresh their branding for them, send them my Custom Branding. I’ll create branding and redesign assets for them that will attract and convert their ideal person with ease.

If your own stuff looks bad

Addressing poor aesthetics in your own work is crucial for maintaining a professional image and attracting your target audience. By understanding your brand identity, you can improve the aesthetics of your assets and achieve your business goals.

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