A logo is not a brand, nor is it an identity. Logo design, identity design and branding all have different meanings. Together, they form an image for a business.
- Brand: The perceived corporate image as a whole.
- Identity: The visual aspects that form part of the overall brand such as business colors, shapes, and logo
- Logo: A logo identifies a business in its simplest form via the use of a mark or icon.
What is branding?
Branding is not a light topic. Many publications & hundreds of books have been written on the topic. To put this in a nutshell, you could describe a ‘brand’ as an organisation, service or product with a ‘personality’ that is assumed by the perceptions of the audience. On that note, it should also be stated that a designer cannot “make” a brand. Business reputation is part of a brand and only a business can create its own reputation. A designer only forms the foundation of the brand.
Lot of people believe a brand only consists of a few elements such as some colors, some fonts, a logo, some slogans, corporate website design and may be even some musical pieces added into it. In reality, it is much more complicated than that. You might say that a brand is a ‘business image’.
The fundamental idea and core concept behind having a ‘business image’ is that everything a business does, everything it owns and everything it produces should reflect the values and aims of the business and forms a brand.
What is identity design?
One major role in the business image of a business is its identity. Mostly, identity design is based around the visual aspects used within a business, usually assembled within a set of guidelines. These guidelines that make up an identity usually decides how the identity is applied throughout a variety of medias, using approved color palettes, fonts, layouts, measurements and so forth. These guidelines ensure that the identity of the business is kept coherent, which in turn, allows the brand as a whole, to be recognisable.
The identity of a business is made up of many visual aspects:
- A Logo (The symbol of the brand)
- Stationery (Letterhead + business card + envelopes, etc. reflects brand)
- Marketing Collateral (Flyers, brochures, books, websites, etc.)
- Products & Packaging (Products sold and the packaging in which they come in)
- Apparel Design (Tangible clothing items that are worn by employees)
- Signage (Interior & exterior design)
- Messages & Actions (Messages conveyed via indirect or direct modes of communication)
- Other Communication (Audio, smell, touch, etc.)
Anything visual that represents the business.
All of these things make up an identity and supports the brand in its entirety. The logo however, is the corporate identity and brand all wrapped up into one identifiable mark.
What is a logo?
A logo identifies a business or product via the use of a mark, flag, symbol or signature. A logo does not sell the business directly. Logo reveals the quality of the things it symbolises. What a logo “means” is more important than what it “looks” like.
It is important to note that only after a logo becomes familiar, does it function the way it is intended to do much like how we must learn people’s names to identify them.
The logo identifies a business or product in its simplest form. Now, if your business is located in the Greater Toronto area, let these Toronto Designers help you with the graphical aspects of your brand identity.