6 Ways to Combat Shiny Design Syndrome

Have you ever opened a website so gorgeous that you suddenly wanted to change everything about your own?

Have you ever looked at a competitor's Instagram graphics and immediately jumped in Canva to tweak your templates?

Are you constantly making changes to your fonts, colors or web theme — only to change things again when you see something you like better?

Sounds like you suffer from Shiny Design Syndrome (SDS). While it's not fatal, it can cause temporary loss of clients, time and sanity.

How to Combat Shiny Design Syndrome

Side Effects Include:

  • Loss of brand recognition due to ever-changing graphics, fonts & colors
  • Client confusion & dizziness over the mixed messages you send
  • Weakness of brand messaging & foundation
  • Blurred vision from the hodgepodge of various styles
  • Reduction of professionalism
  • Loss of precious time spent on updating graphics
  • Absence of clients due to a non-strategic approach to your graphics
  • Risk of looking like everyone else instead of creating an impactful, standout brand

You may think that constantly updating your graphics is strengthening your brand, but it's probably hurting more than it's helping.

Don't be disheartened, while there may not be a cure, it's definitely treatable.

Here are 6 ways to combat SDS:

1. Stop comparing yourself to everyone around you. You can't move forward if you're busy looking sideways.

While you may like what someone else is doing, who knows if it’s actually driving their success! You may be copying something that leads your clients astray. Or, worse yet, your brand will end up cluttered or seen as a copy-cat, leaving you in the dust.

2.  Build your brand foundation. Make sure you're super clear on who you serve, what you do, and why you do it.

When you know your mission and values, you’re able to speak to your ideal clients more directly. This will have a bigger impact long-term.

3.  Hire a designer to give you a professional, outsider's look at your brand to show you what needs improvement.

Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know. Getting a second set of eyes on your website and branding (that doesn’t come from your mom), can help you determine the next steps to take to reach your ideal clients.


We'll review your website and branding to show you what steps you can take towards a cohesive and strategic brand, with beautiful graphics. Get a firm foundation so you can stop tweaking your designs and move on to impacting the world, doing what you do best.

4.  Take your brand foundation and the feedback from your brand audit and create graphics that represent your brand.

While you could DIY these or hire a VA, if you go through a designer, you'll have a better chance at curing your SDS & preventing a relapse. A professional designer, who does this for a living, can create beautiful graphics in half the time of a VA or doing them yourself, saving you time and money in the long run!

5.  Stick to your chosen look and feel. Remind yourself every day of why you made those design choices and why they represent your brand.

It’s tempting to change your designs every time you see something you like, but if you stay true to your brand, you’ll develop consistency and recognition that will ultimately show you as more professional

6.    Re-evaluate every 6 months to a year.

We get it, brands change and evolve as you work with more clients and decide who you like to work with and what services/products work best for you. It’s good to also keep up with the trends (to an extent) so you look relevant. So do an audit of your brand every 6 months and decide what needs to be updated to keep you on track for success.