The Meaning of Branding, Identity and Logo Design
As a market continues to mature, different voices with different opinions emerge. The following post is all about how to successfully differentiate between a Logo design, identity design, and branding. Marketing your business, brand, and products is an art and therefore, ensure to lay a strong foundation for your business.
People are found often confused when dealing with these terms as all the three end up forming a perceived image for a business or product in the eyes of the end users. In fact, you may have encountered several sorts of discussions on the web about this topic, about your logo not being your brand. Branding is certainly not a light topic; where several publications and books have been written on the topic. However, if you ask me to explain it in short, think of a ‘brand’ as an organization, service, or product; all featured with a ‘personality’ that is shaped by the perceptions of the audience. Also, it is imperative for you to know that a designer cannot “make” a brand- only it’s your target audience that can do this.
Brand vs. Identity vs. Logo
Now I have come across several of you who believe in the fact that a brand only comprises of a few elements including colors, fonts, a logo, a slogan and maybe some music. Whereas in reality, it is much more complicated than that; yes, a brand is a ‘corporate image’- the whole and sole voice of your business. Everything, right from what your company does to what all it owns and everything it produces must be reflected the values and aims of the businesses as a whole. Let me explain you this with the help of an example of a renowned company Apple. With a strong corporate ethic, the company projects a humanistic corporate culture; all at once. Being heavily characterized by volunteerism, support of good causes & involvement in the community are at its core. Right from their range of innovative products and advertising to their customer service, these values of the business are evident throughout everything they do. In addition to this, Apple is an emotionally humanist brand that really connects with people. I mean whenever you buy or use their products or services; nothing can stop you from feeling the part of the brand. Somewhat like a tribe or iPhone fanboys. It is this emotional connection that creates their brand instead of purely their products and a bite-sized logo.
Usually being assembled within a set of guidelines, Identity design is mainly about the visual devices used within a company. Successfully being applied throughout a variety of mediums, using approved color palettes, fonts, layouts, measurements, and so forth, these guidelines help in creating an identity like never before. It may even interest you to know that they also ensure that the identity of the company is kept coherent, which, in turn, allows the brand as a whole, to be recognizable. Basically, anything visual that represents the business.
- A Logo (The symbol of the entire identity & brand)
- Marketing Collateral (Flyers, brochures, books, websites, etc.)
- Products & Packaging (Products sold and the packaging in which they come in)
- Stationery (Letterhead + business card + envelopes, etc.)
- Messages & Actions (Messages conveyed via indirect or direct modes of communication)
- Apparel Design (Tangible clothing items that are worn by employees)
- Signage (Interior & exterior design)
- Other Communication (Audio, smell, touch, etc.)
Last but certainly not the least, a logo. In order to understand what a logo is, we often misunderstand what it is meant to be. Call it a mark, flag, symbol, or signature, a logo does not sell the company directly, nor rarely does it describe a business. In general, a logo is derived from the quality of the thing it symbolizes, and not the other way around. A logo is created in regards to an identity, not to explain. In a nutshell, what a logo means is more important than what it looks like.
For instance, think of logos like people. Let’s give it a name- James, a guy who always wears pink and has blonde hair. Similarly, it should not describe on a literal basis what a business does but rather, identify the business in a way that is recognizable and memorable. After a while, when a logo becomes familiar, make sure it functions well. After all, the logo identifies a business or product in its purest form.
Brand- The perceived emotional corporate image as a whole.
Identity- The visual aspects that form part of the overall brand.
Logo- A logo identifies a business in its purest form via the use of a mark or icon.
Stephanie Donahole is working as a Business Analyst at Tatvasoft Australia, a custom software development company in Melbourne, Australia. She loves to write about technology innovation and emergence. Follow Her on Twitter.