In this short series of articles, I will explain what the difference between logo, identity and brand is. This piece will focus branding identity.
There is so much confusion regarding the varying meanings of logo, identity and brand – and how they connect. Many designers, authors and bloggers have had their say about what’s what…so I thought I’d have mine!
An identity (visual identity or branding identity) is…
…the package of your organisation’s individual visual devices, which work together to communicate your brand.
Another way to describe it is as a reflection of the look and feel of your organisation.
Your identity includes your logo, brand stationery, marketing materials, website, social media, email signature, newsletters, signage, package design, uniforms (amongst many other
items!) – basically, all customer touch-points.
Very often your graphic or creative designer will devise branding guidelines in relation to your identity to ensure your logo, typefaces and colour palettes are used consistently across all online and offline artwork, documents and communications. This consistency can help build brand recognition with customers.
Conversely, for example, if your logo is used in many different colours for various items of marketing collateral, signage and on your website, potential customers may not realise all of these elements are from the same organisation. This negatively impacts the building of your brand.
A cohesive, holistic approach is best. Using branding guidelines not only provides you with consistency but also a common theme to run through your marketing materials, newsletters and website.
A brand board (like the one shown as the featured image) is often included within these guildelines, which offers a visual snapshot of branding elements.
Whilst I did identify branding identity with just visuals, I also include written communication within identity.
I believe the same type of language should be used, with the same message and tone to create an interconnection between all online and offline communications. Fragmentation within design or language gives the impression that your organisation is not in sync. Your customers need to feel that your organisation runs as a whole, believing in the same ethos, aiming to achieve the same goals. This will foster trust and loyalty.
I would advise that the management of your brand identity is by one designated person, department, designer or agency in order to maintain its strength. Your identity will be diluted should a skewed version of your logo appear on your invoices or if your old logo features on distributed letters on headed paper. And, as a designer, there’s not much worse for us to see! We will cringe on your behalf!
So, think of branding identity as the visual design of your business. When working together, consistently and integrated, your brand awareness and recognition can be built by using business cards, marketing collateral and package design.
If you’d like me to design a branding identity for you, from scratch or a rebrand, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’d love to hear from you! Please email: