Difference Between Brand, Identity and Logo
A graphic designer must understand the difference between brand, identity and logo. They look similar, but they are very different. Understanding the difference will help designers creating the right branding strategy, using the perfect logo and visual identities to communicate the message of a company or business.
Some designers often use these three terms interchangeably, muddling the actual meaning behind them. If you want to be a good designer, you must understand the difference between three concepts.
Brand, Identity, Logo: The Definitions
Here are the definitions of brand, identity, and logo, based on their usage in a company:
The logo is a specific mark, icon, or logotype that becomes the main visual representation of a company. An iconic logo will serve as an identification tool for public, and representation of a brand. The most famous businesses, products, organizations, and companies in the world have iconic logos that people immediately associate with the brand.
Identity is also a visual identity of a brand, but more complicated. Identity consists of various visual elements arranged based on certain guidelines. The logo is just one part of the identity and is perceived together with theme colors, employee’s uniforms, packages, brochures, building designs, and other visual aspects.
The brand is a combination of various elements that create the perception of a certain image in the eyes of the public. For example, a modern soda beverage company may combine logo with theme color, fonts, promotional items, uniforms, packages, jingles, and voluntary activities to create its brand. The goal is to create the impression that the company is youth-centered, trendy, responsible, and having positive work ethics.
If you put them in the group, a logo is a part of visual identity, and identity is just one part of overall branding system.
Popular Examples of Logo, Identity, and Brand
To explain the concepts more clearly, look at how the most famous companies, organizations, and businesses communicate their messages through the logo, identity, and brand.
Logo: Twitter uses a simple bird with blue color. The bird signals messages such as simplicity, popularity, and the fact that active Twitter users use it to deliver short messages (“tweets”).
Identity: Twitter uses blue and white as its primary colors. The simple logo makes it easier to promote through websites, blogs, printed media, t-shirts, hats, and much more. Twitter also has specific features that enter popular languages, such as “hashtag” symbol (#) and “Trending Topic.”
Brand: the overall brand of Twitter is “connecting the world and creating dialogue”. It is shown in the simple design and use, various features for spreading ideas and images, and constant engagement with its users, which are reflected in the logo and identity.
Logo: Red Cross features a red cross on white background, an inversion of Switzerland flag. It is based on the fact that Switzerland is a neutral country, which also contributed in Geneva Convention, a pact created to save wounded people neutrally. The logo was made as simple as possible to be quickly recognized.
Identity: Red Cross logo is plastered on equipment used by helpers, such as ambulances, cars, boats, helmets, armbands, and much more. It also appears on learning materials officially provided by the organization. Since the misuse of the logo and name during armed conflicts can lead to war crimes, their use is regulated strictly.
Brand: the whole idea of Red Cross is neutrality in helping wounded people, including in armed conflicts. People will immediately know that the bearer of this symbol is safe to approach if they need help.
Logo: Nike uses a simple curved logo that is associated with things such as “Whoosh” sound (made by something that moves very fast). Or check mark (usually associated with a job well done). The shape also resembles wings on the feet of god and goddess associated with swiftness, such as Hermes and the eponymous Nike.
Identity: Nike plays with simplicity and flows, which appears from its sportswear, shoes, and even website. Nike products, designs, and website are relatively free from embellishments, putting more emphasis in function than decoration.
Brand: Nike is associated with sports products anyone can wear. With an emphasis on functionality, Nike brings the image of excellence and success on anyone who does sport while wearing its product. The simple, timeless logo also reflects freshness, which makes Nike appeals for all generations.
Recognizing the difference between brand, identity and logo is essential for graphic designers. Make sure you understand it before creating every commercial design project.