Logo. Brand. Identity

So what’s really the difference?

I’m going to start this whole bog post by saying this is no way a complete look into this topic. It’s merely a brief look into the meaning behind each of these ideas. If your looking for a more in depth look I’d suggest you start here.

Let’s Start with a logo

The word logo is short for logotype, which is defined as “a graphic representation or symbol of a company name, trademark, abbreviation, etc., often uniquely designed for ready recognition.” Logos are either purely graphic (symbols/icons) or are composed of the name of the organization (a logotype or wordmark). So essentially a logo is a picture that represents the collection of experiences that forms a perception in the mind of those who encounter an organization. Got it? Yah, kind of technical, isn’t it.


So, what’s a Brand?

Now that you have learned about a logo, let’s take a look at a brand. When you look at the actual definition of the word it’s “a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.” Well kind of, but it’s more detailed than just one sentence. A brand can take many forms from a name, symbol, color palette or even a slogan. The word has continued to evolve and now encompasses the word identity. Why? Well because it affects the personality of a product, company or service and is defined by a perception, good or bad, that your customers have about your business. Essentially, your brand helps to shape your identity.

Let’s try and look at this again but this time lets look at the concept visually.

Logo and Brand iceberg image from Brand Identity Essentials.

See how the logo is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s the only visual clue above the water showing passer-by’s that there’s something here.
Now look at how much mass is below the water. This is what the entire brand represents. A visual structure of everything associated with a business.


Well then, what’s an Identity?

Identity is something that’s different from a logo but, unfortunately is commonly mistaken as one. An identity is something that encompasses more than just logo. Its a culmination of all the visual and non-visual elements that make up a company, business or individual. Everything from their name to their logo, business cards, website design, packaging or even in-store experiences. It encompasses the entire experience as a whole.

Let’s look at it this way. Say you like Apple products. Apple’s logo is not their identity, it’s just a visual representation of their company. The Apple logo is just one part of the well-designed identity system that set up to keep customer experiences consistent, from in-store to online.

For more information about this check out:
Brand Identity Essentials , Peopledesign or Project 83