A logo is not your brand, nor does it act as your identity. Logo design, identity design and branding go hand in hand but all play their different roles and together they form an image for a business or a product.
In essence – A brand is how you are perceived as a whole. An identity is the visual part that helps form part of the overall brand and tone of voice. A logo is an identifier of your brand through the use of an icon or wordmark.
To explain this further, I’ll start with a brand.
What is branding?
Branding, in a nutshell, is an organisation, service or produce which has a personality that has been shaped by its audience. This is important because many people mistake this and think a graphic designer ‘creates’ a brand, which is not true. Graphic designers help lay the foundations on which a brand can grow, the audience is what creates a brand.
You could say a brand is the ‘corporate image’, whatever the business does, owns and produces should portray the values and aims of the business.
It is the consistency that makes the company, growing it, showing what it stands for and why they exist.
To take Apple as an example. Apple, as a company projects a strong corporate ethic – supporting of good causes and involvement in the community. These values of the business are shown through everything they do, from their products and advertising, right through to their customer service.
Another point to make is that Apple connects with people. When customers buy Apple products, they are buying into the brand. They want to be part of it. You’ll notice the divide when Android and Apple users meet – they have chosen which ‘group’ they want to be associated with. It is this emotional connection that creates the brand, not their products or logo.
What is Identity Design?
Identity design revolves around the visual devices that a company uses, usually put together through the aid of a brand guideline. These guidelines help the company stay coherent across all mediums. This is achieved by using a guideline which contains the brands’ colour palette, fonts, layouts, asset placement etc. Keeping a consistent brand allows it to be more recognisable.
Below are a few of the visual devices a company can use to create their ‘identity’:
What is a Logo?
A logo is an identifier. It identifies the company through the use of a mark, symbol or signature. They are the face of any business, product or service. Many people think a logo sells the company and/or describes the business, it doesn’t. Think of a logo as a rough sketch. By adding finer details is its marketing and identity design. The more detail you add, the more it becomes distinguishable, recognisable and memorable.
When you picture any business, you immediately picture the logo. When you see a logo that you’re familiar with, as you do with Nike and Apple, you associate them with your own personal experiences, memories and interactions with that brand.
The logo identifies a business or product in its simplest form.
A brand is emotional interaction. The identity is the visual aspect that forms the brand. A logo is the identifier of the business.