Do I need a logo, an identity or a brand?
Actually you need all three!
Businesses and organisations are often swept up in deciding upon new logo designs, often asking if they need to create or develop a whole new identity or do I need new branding.
Of course a brand isn’t just a logo or an identity... it’s both of them and more, much more. Many different elements including a logo help to form the brand, but do you actually know what the difference is between them? Surprisingly, many don’t know. We are often asked just for a logo by a client and they seemed surprised that it is exactly just what they get – an image that is representative of their business.
Unless you work in the creative or marketing industry chances are you won’t know the difference, indeed why would you want to know? Well, if you are the one that is either in charge of your business, marketing a business or particularly if you are setting up a new business – you have to know in order to use it to your advantage.
Here‘s a brief explanation of what each one is:
• A Logo identifies a business in it's simplest form such as a mark or icon.
• An Identity consists of the visual aspects that form part of the overall brand.
• The Brand is the perceived emotional corporate Image as a whole.
Let's explain this in a little more detail starting with the logo:
A logo identifies a company or product in it's simplest form, perhaps as a mark, icon, symbol, flag or signature. It doesn't directly sell the company and usually doesn't describe it either, unless accompanied by a strap line or descriptor. A logo is not a brand, it is only one of many parts of it and is intended to identify, not necessarily explain what the company or organisation is or does.
What a logo means is more important than what it looks like. It is important to remember that it will take time for your logo to be recognised and it is only when this happens that it then begins to work in the way in which it was intended.
The identity of a company or organisation consists of several visual elements that come from it, usually contained within a set of guidelines like approved colour palettes, layouts, fonts, images etc... These ensure that the brand is represented in a coherent and fluid way, in turn aiding in brand recognition.
The identity is made up of many differing visual formats such as; a logo, stationery, marketing collateral, signage, packaging, email marketing, advertising and much more. These all combine to help make up the overall identity of a brand with the logo being the identifiable overall mark.
There are many thoughts on what a brand is, something that we could spend a long time on as it is a huge topic! You could describe a ‘brand’ as an organisation, service or product with a ‘personality’ that is shaped by the perceptions and emotive response of it's audience. It is at this point that it should be noted that a designer cannot “make” a brand – only the audience can do this. A designer helps create the framework and foundations of the brand.
A brand is not just a logo, some colours, fonts imagery, strap lines etc... a brand is how all of that is perceived and experienced by those it is targeted at at each customer touch point. Of course all of those things done well can help shape the brand and enable it to grow, however, ultimately a successful brand is one that is built through the recognition it shares with its target audience. When people buy or use their products or services they feel part of the brand, perhaps a feeling of belonging to it or even a feeling of part ownership. It's the emotional connection that helps to form and create their brand – not purely their products or a logo.
It's important to be thinking and planning where you want your business or organisation to be in a few years time, rather than just where it is now, particularly if you are just beginning. A logo is a good starting point, it helps people to take you seriously as well as begin to recognise you. However, creating a brand that is recogniseable and successful takes time and thought about how you are perceived and what the emotive experience is for your customers. Taking time at the start to get something that is well thought-out will help you to build a brand that suits you and your business or organisation perfectly, it should also help it to stand the test of time.
Need a logo? Thinking of rebranding? Need a website but not sure where to start? Or just need some thought provoking expert advice on your marketing materials?
No pressure. After all it’s always good to get an ‘outside in’ perspective on your marketing challenges isn’t it?
If you would like further information on our design services or would like to book a FREE design health check please contact us on 01273 964065 or email email@example.com
Posted 12th March 2016 by Richard Excell
Logo Design Identity Design Branding