Logo Design, Identity and Branding, Oh My!

Are you confused  about the differences between logo design, identity and branding?  Is a logo your brand?  Is a company identity the same as your logo?  Does my brand have an identity? If you are confused already, do not fret as you are probably not alone; even professional logo designers often do not understand the difference. To start with, “identity” and “branding” may just sound like fancy buzz terms for “logo design”, probably made up by a Don Draper-like salesman on his third scotch, in reality they are not and I will explain below.

A “logo” or “logo design” is the visual representation of an organization in its most simplest form; often as an emblem, icon or mascot.  Think the Nike swoosh or Ronald McDonald. A well designed logo should trigger immediate feelings from a consumer and describe who that organization is and what they are all about without needing any context or needing to read anything.  This reaction is critical for a logo to become an instantly recognizable trademark for individual consumers and why having a well developed logo is so important.

Company “Identity” on the other hand, are all the various physical and virtual elements working together to form a whole experience.  These elements includes anything an existing customer or potential consumer would come into contact with when with detailing with an organization or business. So a companies business card design, email signature, website design, ads, marketing materials, storefront look, packaging, employee uniforms, etc are all excellent examples.  All of these visual elements taken together form an overall impression that encompasses an organization is what we call the “identity”.

The word “brand” or “branding” is derived from the Old Norse “brandr” meaning “to burn” which harkens back the practice of burning a mark (or brand) onto a product created by a craftsmen; The practice of cattle-branding would be in the same vain as this.  Today a “brand” represents how an organization is viewed by a consumer or the public as a whole and serves as the foundation for an entire marketing strategy.  Essentially the emotional and psychological relationship between a company and its consumers is what we call the “brand”.

To be fair there is some overlapping between all three terms and one would not be way off in left-field if they referred to a logo design as a brand, a brand as an identity and an identity as a logo; but now you know the difference and can sound like a pro. Regardless, the important thing to remember is that your logo is the “seed” for all marketing because it is always front-and-center, be it on a business card, web design or signage. This is why having a unique and creative logo design is a must. The Rusty Pixel has been creating custom logo designs in Florida and around the world for years.  We do not use clipart in our custom designs or logo templates to ensure that your identity is truly unique.  Contact us today to learn more.