Brand, logo and Identity… it’s all the same thing right?

The short answer is no. This is a rather large and complicated topic, so we’ll deal with the basics!

Brand, logo and identity all serve different purposes in the overall marketing strategy, however these terms are often interchanged with each other.

So, lets start with the idea of a “brand”. A brand is constructed from the overall perception people build of a business or product. Brand is not limited to a specific element as such, but more an overall view of the entire sum of parts. In other words, a brand could easily be described as the personality of a business or organisation, and as such each element of the brand should somehow reflect the values and aims of the business. It’s also important to understand that the role of design is not to create a brand, but to build the foundation and steer the audience in the right direction of how they are supposed to perceive a business or product. This can be done through a variety of ways, some of which might include tone of voice and visual cues.

A logo shouldn’t attempt to describe what your business does. It should be used to only identify it.

A logo is certainly an important element to any brand. In the simplest terms, it is the visual representation of your business and consequently your target audience associate it with a set of emotions, values and perceptions. The primary purpose of a logo however, is identification. It allows consumers to identify your business amongst the thousands of other visual cues they are receiving. This is something that a designer does have complete control over, and a creatively designed logo provides a good platform to launch other elements of brand interaction. A logo shouldn’t attempt to describe what your business does. It should be used to only identify it.

Think of your logo like someone’s name. We wouldn’t refer to someone as “the skinny woman with blonde hair and big eyes”. We’d rather refer to her as Jessica, or Sarah, or Claire… you get the idea. So a logo is simply a device to help us remember and recognise a business.

And then we come to identity. The identity of a business is essentially made of a various touch points, most of which are visual. This could include corporate stationery, packaging, collateral, website and of course the logo. Identity can even stretch as far as smells and sounds. Mercedes Benz have famously patented a smell that they put in all of their new vehicles as they roll off the production line.

So there you have it. My interpretation of brand, logo and identity. Of course, if you have anything to add feel free to comment below.

Chris Horgan

Chris Horgan

Chris Horgan is a Graphic Designer at horgancreative. When he's not designing, you'll either find him clad in lycra on a bike, on a basketball court or in front of the TV.

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