The Difference Between a Logo, Identity, and Branding

When we talk about logo design, sometimes the words “logos”, “Identity”, and “brand” or “branding” are all used interchangeably. They all do deal with the same basic topic, but there are differences among these three things.

What is a Logo?

The difference between a Logo, identity, and branding

A logo is a mark that identifies a brand at first glance.

We all know Nike at a glance. Or Apple. Or Starbucks. We even know what this mark represents without words associated with it.

Sometimes it’s a symbol, sometimes it’s words (LogoType), sometimes it’s a symbol with words.

What is an Identity?

When considering logos for your business, and thinking about your branding, you want to take into consideration what the whole package is communicating to your target audience. 

Your logos and other branding must communicate accurately what you are all about.

Identity usually refers to all the ways the logo is used to represent the company, plus considerations for using fonts, colors, and so forth in representing a brand.

Sometimes this is called a “branding guide” or “branding usage guide”.  This sets the standards for how the logo and other brand-specific items should be used.

Usually, when a good designer (and not just some logo factory website selling $20 “logos”) is creating a logo for a company or organization, they also take into account how it will be used, and develop a guide for the company or organization for how to best use the logo. Sometimes this also involves simplified versions of the logo for different applications. For example, creating a simplified version of logos to serve as the icon in the address bar of the website (the favicon).

A prominent example of logo and identity that work really well are the “Speak Life” memes that Toby Mac shares. They all are unique, but yet you know in an instant that these came from Mac.

What is Branding?

When considering logos for your business, and thinking about your branding, you want to take into consideration what the whole package is communicating to your target audience. 

Your logos and other branding must communicate accurately what you are all about.

Branding is regarding how other people think about and feel about your company or organization.  Sometimes you’ll hear business people talk about what is “hurting a brand” or “building a brand”. If you are doing something that makes the public think negatively of you, that is going to hurt your brand.

For example, I once had someone who hired me to create a brochure and a website for an ebook editing and publishing service they had started for fan fiction. The problem was that they wanted me to create this using the logo they had created — an animated graphic of books burning in an enormous pile.

Now, the animation of the fire was cool, but the association was anything but.

Burning books is symbolic in our culture of censorship, not promoting the creation of fan fiction. I tried to explain this to my client, but they just wouldn’t hear it. They loved their logo and refused to change. They also didn’t do well when they tried to solicit business at a fan convention of some sort.

In fact, many people who were there though, at first glance, that they were some kind of religious sect promoting censorship based on the graphic.

Yikes.

The Bottom Line in Logos, Identity, and Branding

When considering logos for your business, and thinking about your branding, you want to take into consideration what this is communicating with your target audience. You want logos to communicate accurately what you are all about.

You also want all of your communication, professionally, to reflect accurately what you and your business are all about.

If you are in need of logo design services, I offer some affordable design packages, and I’m happy to help. 

10 thoughts on “The Difference Between a Logo, Identity, and Branding”

  1. Today, I went to the beachfront with my children. I found a sea shell and
    gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off
    topic but I had to tell someone! 0mniartist asmr

  2. I got this web page from my buddy who told me regarding this website and now this time
    I am browsing this website and reading very informative content at this
    time. 0mniartist asmr

  3. It is perfect time to make a few plans for the future and it
    is time to be happy. I have learn this put up and if I may I wish to recommend you some fascinating things
    or suggestions. Perhaps you could write next articles relating to this article.
    I desire to read even more things approximately it! asmr 0mniartist

  4. I have learn some excellent stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for revisiting.
    I surprise how so much attempt you set to create the sort of fantastic informative web site.
    asmr 0mniartist

  5. Hi there are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m
    trying to get started and create my own. Do you require any coding expertise to make your own blog?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  6. Hey there, I think your site might be having
    browser compatibility issues. When I look at your blog in Ie, it looks
    fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some
    overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Other then that, wonderful blog!

  7. Great beat ! I wish to apprentice at the same time as you amend your site, how can i subscribe for a blog website?
    The account helped me a applicable deal. I have been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered
    bright clear concept

  8. I got this site from my buddy who told me regarding this site and
    at the moment this time I am visiting this website and reading very informative articles here.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top