tips & tricks
One of the biggest misconceptions about branding is that your brand is just your logo. But the truth is, just because you may have a logo, does NOT mean that you have a brand. And I don’t know about you, but no one is talking about “This amazing logo is changing the industry!” Logos don’t do that. Brands do. So what is a brand vs. a logo?
“I just need a quick logo,” is a common phrase that may have good intentions, but is similar to saying you only need a lead singer and you’ll have a rock band. Sure, the lead singer may be the face and personality of the band, but what about the bassist? What about the guitarist, the pianist, the drummer, the sound engineer, the songwriter, the producer…. you get the point. Without these other key roles, all you’d be left with is another pretty face.
This begs the question – well then, What exactly is a brand? There are 3 key parts to a brand, and we often get them mixed up. A brand is how the world perceives your company. As Jeff Bezos put it –
Seth Godin elaborates, “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”
Branding is the actions you take to properly portray your company to the public. Your brand identity is the collection of elements, visual and non-visual, that you use to form your brand image. This is where your logo comes in. However, a logo isn’t the only piece of your brand identity. Well established brands include other elements such as brand strategy, color palette, icons, typography, patterns, photography, brand voice, logo variations, and more.
Each of the elements of your brand identity work together to help you stand out from the crowd, create brand recognition, communicate brand values, and connect with your ideal clients.
Now that you know the difference between a brand vs. logo, let’s talk specifics. There are 6 main elements you need to create a successful brand identity, all of which you receive in a Katie & Co. Design Branding Package.
Logo – Your logo is a graphic symbol that represents your company. Think of it as the face of your brand. As this is the first impression most customers will have with you, a logo design should not be taken lightly.
Logo Variations – Though your logo should be used most consistently, it’s important to have logo variations, based on placement and usage. For example, having a horizontal logo lockup is best for stationery or the top of a website, while a square lockup would work best for social media.
Color Palette – Having a set group of brand colors is vital. I recommend using from 2-6 colors in your brand identity. Understanding color psychology is very important when choosing your colors palette.
Typography – Typography is the choice and use of certain fonts in association with your brand. Usually, you’ll have a set of fonts that are used in your logo, and another (compatible) set used for documents and website.
Graphic Elements – This can include brand patterns, visual elements, icons, and other elements that come together to set your brand apart. Think of how Anthropologie always uses some type of realistic texture in their branding – ripped paper, embroidery, stitching, fabric, etc. The handmade/boho vibe is key to their brand and its identity, and they use visual elements to portray that feeling of creativity and individuality.
Brand Personality – If your brand were a person, what would they be like? How would they talk? What stance does your brand take in the world? Is it loud or supportive? Is it soft & elegant or spicy & opinionated? Your brand personality, sometimes known as the brand voice, will help you clarify how your brand interacts with the world.
I highly recommend hiring a designer to help you navigate creating your brand and identity. Good design may be an investment, but I can’t emphasize enough how much bad design will cost you. Professional designers understand the difference between brand vs logo and can help lead you down the right path that will serve you long-term. A designer will be able to help you articulate the vision you have for your brand and execute it skillfully.
Contact me today if you have any questions or would like to discuss your brand design!