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Is a Logo the Same as a Brand Identity?

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You know that branding is important. You’ve even heard that branding is one of the most vital aspects of establishing and growing a company. And you’ve decided that you’re going to design the perfect logo.

Photo by Jess Bailey Designs from Pexels

That takes care of your branding, right?

Well, no. If you’re wondering whether a logo is the same thing as your brand identity, the simple answer is, “Nope!”

But branding is important, as we’ve just established. So you can’t afford to leave it at that.

What Is The Difference Between A Logo And Brand Identity?

Your logo and your brand identity are certainly closely related. Simply put, you can define each term in the following way.

  • A logo is the small, simple piece of graphic design that identifies a brand.
  • Brand identity is the grouping of visuals that are used by the brand.

It’s easy to get these two confused because we tend to think of “branding” as consisting primarily of the logo. Logos are the most commonly seen aspects of branding, it’s true. They are also often the very first visual encounter that a potential customer has with a brand, and they are the pieces of graphic design that are most closely associated with the brand.

However, logos are really only one piece of the puzzle. They’re an important piece, but they’re not the whole thing.

It may be helpful to think of it in practical terms, such as packaging. Packaging for an item will likely have the company logo on it, but there will be plenty of other elements as well, including fonts and colors that are all part of the company’s branding and style guide.

The other elements included on the packaging are part of the brand identity.

You can also look at it from a web design perspective. On your company site, you will likely use your logo on each page, probably locating it in the top left corner, as this provides maximum brand recall. But the other visual elements on the pages belong to your brand identity.

Why Is It Important To Have Both?

Visual content is important. Let’s say that you used a restaurant logo maker to create the ideal brand identity for your new culinary venture. But now that you have that perfect little graphic, you’ve decided that you’re going to stop there.

Every piece of branding that you put together from now on consists entirely of the logo!

On your menu, on your signage, your wallpaper, everything — just that logo, repeated over and over.

Obviously, that’s an extreme example, but it illustrates why it’s important to have more pieces of visual branding in your tool kit than just your logo. Your logo is vital, it’s true — it will help your customers to identify you. Your logo is a piece of your brand identity, but it isn’t the entirety.

Your brand identity includes all the aspects that help you to keep your marketing, products, website design, and everything else adequately branded so that even if your customer doesn’t see your logo right away, they will still be able to recognize your products based on the visuals that can be seen.

Ideally, your logo and your brand identity should work hand in hand. Designing a logo that doesn’t harmonize with your brand identity will result in mixed messaging and likely in confused customers.

How Can You Align Your Logo With Your Brand Identity

Here’s a “chicken and egg” question for you — which came first, the logo or the brand identity?

There are no hard and fast rules about which has to be designed first. Some new ventures happen before thorough branding occurs, and only have a logo to work with. Obviously, the brand identity has to come afterwards.

On the other hand, some branding starts with a style guide, including colors, graphics, and fonts, and those elements are used to dictate the design of the logo.

Either way, the important thing is to ensure that both logo and overall brand identity send the right message. You need all elements of your branding to harmonize in order to be fully effective.

You can align your logo and your brand identity by carefully choosing your design elements to harmonize in appearance, tone, and style.

At times, you may perceive that it’s time to update or redesign your logo. Or it could be time for a complete rebrand, overhauling all of your visuals.

In those cases, it’s still important to make sure that your visuals match up as the redesign is being completed. Even for a company that is well-established, mixed messaging is problematic and can result in losing your audience.

On the other hand, a well-designed brand identity, including an excellent logo, can build loyalty among your customer base, and give your company its best chance of continued success.

About Veronica Johnson

Veronica likes reading, writing and exploring through her travel. With her freelance guest writing, she hopes to achieve both her passion and career in online content marketing. She writes on topics like business, advertising and digital marketing.

 

What’s your image? Use adjectives to describe your desired business image.

Eg. Highly corporate, professional, friendly, high tech, serious, established, fun, family, business, elite, expensive, inexpensive, exclusive, trendy, big, small etc.
Who do you want to reach? Please segment these groups if there is more than one.
Eg. Blue Chip Companies, Small Business Managers. Tell us about their age, sex, income, occupation, education, lifestyle and purchasing habits.
Do you have any colours in mind for your logo?
(If so, why?) If there’s any colours you don’t like, please also tell us.

Once the questions have been asked and the research has been done you should expect these 10 things when getting a logo designed…

1. Initial Meeting & Discussion: This is a vital stage with any project a designer may undertake for you. Throughout any process open communication must be maintained. The initial meeting will help both the client and designer is clear of how to move things forward.

2. Whats the time frame: How long will the design(s) take. How soon do you need it? There may have to be an agreement around time frames. The designer may allocate a set amount of time in general but it will depend on the number of concepts are offered or that you require. Which leads on to the next one.

3. Quantity: How many designs will you be getting for the cost. Or how many would you like to see. There maybe different packages that the designer offers so make sure you know what to expect and they are clear of your expectations.

4 Feedback & changes: Once the first concepts have been produced explanation of the designs will be presented and your feedback will be required. Changes may need to be made. You should be listened to and come to mutual understanding of the next stages in the design process.

5. Revisions: How many revisions will you get with your chosen design before the final concept is produced. This should be specified by the agency or designer, however the price would naturally increase if more than what has been agreed to is required as this will effect the overall time frame to get the finished design.

6. File formats: Once you have the finished design it should be supplied in various file formats. These should include, ai. png. Jpeg eps. And any others that maybe relevant to what you may need the designs for.

 

 

7. Colour palette: You will need to know the colours that have been used in your design. Having the colours (RGB, CMYK, HEX) are needed as you will want them to be consistent when used with other branded elements of your business. Make sure you have this information.

8. Font use: It could be that certain fonts have been used in the creation of your logo. If not supplied make sure you ask what has been used as the fonts can be used across other printed and web material, again keeping your brands identity as consistent as possible.

The above examples are from branding guidelines which can be part of the natural progression from a logo design.

 

9. Brand Development: A natural progression of a logo design is putting in place Branding Guidelines as this will help your visual identity be applied across all digital and printed media. The agency or designer should be able to offer doing this once the logo is complete or to encompass this as part of a package.

10: Cost: I almost forgot this one, if they have a package for you to choose or need specifics before you get a quote make sure you know the price. A deposit should be required before beginning the process.

I hope these points have helped if you are looking for an agency or designer to produce a logo design for your business. Any other points that come to mind I will certainly add in the future. Please get in touch with me should you need these services or require branding, a website or other cool stuff to promote your brand.   Save Save Save Save

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