As is known, a business starts with an idea. But how can you transmit this same idea to the world? Typically, the first step for many entrepreneurs is to create a logo that effectively represents their brand. Although this is, in fact, a characteristic visual element of a brand, the truth is that it is just part of something much bigger – a visual identity, that is, a set of elements that allows a given brand to be identified.
Many people confuse these three concepts – brand, logo and visual identity. However, it is important to understand that there are several differences between them, but that deep down, they all allow you to establish the representation of a brand. In this article, we explain everything you need to know about these concepts.
Brand, logo and visual identity – what are the differences?
Most people think that creating a logo is the only step needed to establish a brand and create a visual identity. However, this visual creation process is being carried out in reverse. The right order would be to first think about the look you want to give your brand, and only then create the elements that can make your idea come true.
First of all, it is necessary to clarify that brand, logo and visual identity are not the same thing. Next, we present a brief explanation of each of these concepts for a better understanding.
What is a brand?
Simply put, a brand is how your business is perceived by the public. It is a set of perceptions, ideas and feelings that people associate with your company. For example, when we talk about furniture stores with modern, stylish and affordable pieces, most consumers would probably think of the Swedish brand IKEA. Therefore, a brand is what the public thinks about it.
What is a logo?
A logo, or logo, is a symbol composed of text and/or images that allow the public to identify brands. For example, when we think of big brands like Nike, Apple or Amazon, we know exactly which logo is associated with each one of them. There is no single formula for creating an effective logo. Some use the company name, an abbreviation, or a combination of both. However, the most important thing is to create something that is true to the essence of your company and the message you want to convey.
What is the visual identity?
Before explaining what visual identity consists of, it is important to reflect on another related concept: branding. Branding can be seen as the actions taken to build a certain image for your company. So it’s all about the steps taken to build awareness and reputation about your company.
It is through the branding process that you can build a visual identity, a collection of tangible expressions of your company, such as your logo, colors, typography and type of language used. The more specific and cohesive these elements are, the greater the chances of highlighting your brand from the competition and allowing the public to really understand what it represents.
It is extremely important to show consistency and harmony on all platforms where you present your brand. For example, if your website uses more neutral colors and informal language, the same should happen on other digital platforms. Otherwise, it could cause some confusion in the mind of the public, who will not understand your brand position.
What is the relationship between these three concepts?
Therefore, as it was possible to observe, brand, logo and visual identity are three different concepts. However, you may have noticed that, in a way, they are closely related. To make it easier for you to understand, let’s think of this process as a three-layer pyramid. At the base, there is the logo, in the middle the visual identity and at the top the brand.
The logo can be understood as a component of the visual identity, as it is, in fact, an element that constitutes a set of characteristics associated with the visual identity, together with colors, typography, images, etc. Therefore, while the logo is a crucial component of the visual identity, it is made up of several other elements that allow a brand to be recognized. In other words, one fits into the other.
But where does the brand come in in the middle of all this? As mentioned earlier, the brand is how a company is perceived by the public. In other words, they are elements such as the logo, colors, fonts, type of language, products or services, which constitute a brand and allow it to be recognized by consumers. Without a well-constructed and transparent visual identity, it is not possible to establish a brand and, consequently, make it easily perceived by the public.
Therefore, it is possible to conclude that all these concepts are related. Gradually, elements such as the logo establish a visual identity, which will consequently allow the creation and establishment of a brand.