If you’ve ever wondered about the difference between a brand and a logo, or between branding and brand identity, you’re not alone. Today, I’m talking about the different modules of branding design, and how each contributes to the formation of a corporate brand.
Branding design is a phrase that’s tossed around in various circles, but how many of us really know what it means? Today, I’m dissecting the various components of branding design, in the hopes that you will not only become more comfortable using these terms, but so that you can make educated decisions when the time comes to hire a branding design professional.
Branding Design, from Inception to Brand Awareness
The best way to tackle the branding design conundrum head-on is to define its components, so let’s dive in:
- Brand: A brand is not a tangible, visible thing – nor is it what the brand’s founder or marketing department says it is. A brand is the public’s perception of a business or organisation. As any successful branding design agency will tell you, the concept of brand reaches far beyond fonts, colours, lines, words, images…and touches on the immaterial in a way that can be described as “as feeling.” It can also be compared to reputation, in that it takes a considerable amount of time to earn, and once experiential memories are in place, they’re hard to shake. Everything a company does – from branding design to logo design to brand marketing – works to build (or deplete) its brand.
- Logo: A logo can be defined as the face of a brand, in that when someone sees it, all the associations they’ve made with (and about) that brand come quickly to mind. It’s a shortcut of sorts – like a person’s face that we recognise before we say “Hello again.” Contrary to popular branding design belief, the purpose of a logo is not to enlighten onlookers about a brand; it is about calling to mind a brand that people have already experienced. The logo should always accompany all brand experiences, so that those associations can be built and relied upon in the future.
- Brand Identity: Brand identity is not a logo; however, it does include a logo, plus other visual elements like stationery, website design, corporate gifts, apparel, signage, social media page design, and more. Loosely defined, a brand identity encompasses all things visual that are associated with a brand. A coherent brand identity can only be established of all touchpoints are accompanied by a brand’s consistent visual elements (e.g. colours, lines, fonts).
An experienced branding design professional will recognise and elucidate the difference between brand, logo, and identity – and this is just one method you can use to determine if the branding design professional you’ve chosen is up to the job. For more on the criteria successful brands have used to choose a branding design expert, or to learn more about how you should start your branding design journey, contact How to Build a Brand.
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