Logo, Brand, or Identity

Is it a Logo, Brand, or Identity?

May 15, 2014 Lia

When creating your brand identity and logo design, it is important to fully understand the role and necessity for these main cornerstones of your business and company. Logo, brand, and identity formulate the communication tools you seek in advertising and standing out to your target audience. These elements are not one and the same, and you need to know the differences of each and just how they can communicate to the public about the services your business offers.


What is a logo?

So, you are designing a logo for your company, and you are not entirely certain of where to start in logo designing. A simple definition is a good starting place. A logo is the symbol used to represent your business, company or organization. It can consist of a combination of words and a graphic, or just one of these items. The logo is the most simplistic form of advertising and communication and creates the basis for your company’s future advertising and brand identity. Your logo can trigger strong reactions from your customers, catching their eye and moving them to use your service or product. When beginning the process of logo design, it is important that you remember that you create the logo for your customers – not for you. You should take into consideration mixture of font style, colors, graphics or vectors and layouts you think properly communicates your brand’s identity in a simplistic but memorable format – eye-catching and unique, yet easy to pick out among numerous other logo designs.
Consider the Nike swoosh. No matter where you see it or whether you participate in athletics, you will always recognize that any item bearing a Nike swoosh is a product of Nike, even if the product does not bear the Nike name. Therefore, Nike’s logo design prepares a greater outreach for its identity. You might be thinking what makes a brand’s identity?


What is a brand identity?

You can define brand identity as the larger outreach and communication of your company’s visuals and aesthetics to your target audience. Picture a small circle representing your logo. Now, picture a larger circle surrounding that smaller circle. This large circle represents your brand’s identity. The logo forms the basis for your brand’s identity, but the brand identity creates the larger image of your product or service. Examples of brand’s identity include letterhead, usage of your selected logo colors on other materials, accessories bearing your logo design, and other selected marketing designs and venues. Netflix, for example, uses red and white colors on its website and the envelopes it sends to its customers. So, when you see a red and white advertisement, you immediately associate it with Netflix, even if you do not see the Netflix logo. This creates Netflix’s identity.
Now, it is important to remember that two different elements create an identity of brand; brand and identity! The identity simply consists of the variety of aesthetics (colors, graphics, phrases, etc.) you use to get your target audience to associate these items with your company. You can communicate these aesthetics through business cards, websites, and even the uniforms you might require your employees to wear when servicing customers. The brand is the foundation of your company’s concept, and does not necessarily consist of the physical representations of your company. The main element that the brand consists of is your company’s reputation.
For example, a customer’s experience with the employees and how well the product or service served its purpose make up the brand. Remember the small circle for logo design within the large circle of identity of brand? Well, picture an even larger circle around brand’s identity, and you have a visual of the key role brand plays along with logo design and brand identity. So when you get started on logo designing, remember that your logo is not the only element of importance – it is merely a visual. Before you begin logo design, consider what aesthetics you want associated with the logo itself. Then, think about the reputation you want to create around these two elements. Once you make up comprehensive lists of these elements, you are well on your way to marketing your company’s brand to your target audience!

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