orange carI sat shocked; I couldn’t believe my eyes and wanted to drive off, immediately. A great impression!

The stream of girls at the school gate with fake tan looked terrible and didn’t reflect well on the school. Haven’t you ever wondered about the way people dress and drawn inference?

The boys were no better, scruffy blazers half hanging around their waists and dragging along the floor…..not what I expected from a modern school that prides itself on high standards. My view of the school dropped, my heart sank.

Have you ever made judgements like that on a first impression? What about when you’re pulling up at the traffic lights, you have a choice to sit behind one car, or the other. You choose which to park behind – ever been tempted to think one will pull away faster, or is more likely to be a safer driver?

Have you seen a particular type of car behind you and thought “uh oh”?

hyundaiHumans will always judge

No matter how hard we try not to, we judge. It’s inbuilt and it’s a tremendous time saver, in fact life saver! In the caveman days was really useful, a split second reaction based on some small, almost interminable detail could make a life or death difference.

As a business coach I’m trained not to, but I still do! Maybe I’m better at realising it and overriding these hunter/gatherer responses, maybe you are too. But, we still make snap judgements based on what we see. It’s something we’ve been doing for millennia.

Ideas for designing your brand.

People will make a judgement on what they first see of your brand. To get over that will take time and resources. Make that first judgement one you want!

Design rules

Some designs work better than others, some are more likely to get a good – that’s what designers learn. They can’t say you’ll like design, but they can say if it’s more likely to work for more people.

This website teaches you some of those rules, so you can make decisions yourself – do I design it myself, how can I choose between designers, or just a more educated perspective on a business card you’re given.

What about my branding?

  • Email address: Many new start businesses use gmail or hotmail addresses, nothing wrong with that – but many make a judgement when they see a business with a “” email address. If you want to show you’re new, or a freelancer, maybe it’s a good thing. Other wise spend £10 a year and get one with your brand name.
  • Logo and printing: Your logo represents you and your offer at an almost instant reactionary level, that’s what pictures do for us. If you’re designing your own, learn some design rules, don’t just go on what you like or don’t! Don’t ask friends what they think, ask trusted business colleagues!
  • Business cards: Should I save money and have very cheap ones, should I bother with a logo, should I…….

It’s your decision, you need to balance what you think, versus what other people’s reactions are and what you want to achieve.

Remember the school I parked outside? I was going to meet the head-teacher and consider bringing my child there. I’m already in two minds and I hadn’t got out of the car! I can be persuaded, but the head-teacher has more work to do…

What do you think, what examples of design have you seen that give the wrong image?


Thank you to Jon Baker for his great guest blog – if you would like to read more interesting and useful advice find him at the links below!

of venture-Now is the 5-50 Coach, who helps professionals take a different look their firms from 5 to 50 employees, in order to grow sustainably, profitably, while still having fun.