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May 1st 2017

Logo is Not Brand Identity

When we started to concoct the idea of wanting to create a design agency, it was all ego. There’s no reason at all besides having a steady cash flow and making a profit through what we love to do, which is designing identity for businesses.

If you’re a designer, you’ll relate to this: an old friend reached out to you and said “Hey! I need a logo for my business. Can you make me one?”. If you’re on the other end of the line, you might’ve done this when you start your very first business.

But what is a logo, actually? Well, for some, it is the embodiment of the promises that a brand has—a catalyst to immediately transfer values from the brand to the customers through liminal and subliminal means by using colors and shapes with its psychological essence.

Some just think it is a font, shape, or colors too overrated.

These two opinions are not entirely wrong. Many logos became phenomenal and it turns the brand into a cult. Take Coca-Cola for example. When they changed their logo, people rioted while some of them complained through the customer service hotline as what psychiatrist describe as “incredibly similar as someone explaining the death and loss of a member of the family”. Now, while this is a fact, a logo is a mere element of the whole brand experience itself.

Everything regarding a brand is designed for a specific purpose. Logo is an element in the whole universe of a brand and it can be as big or small as needed. A logo would not be a cult if not for the quality of the product given, the brand experience through all sensory organs, an emotional connection to the target market, and the correct brand strategy. After all, a logo can just be a tick mark and it could still spark up the world (Nike, anyone?).

What you are actually after is called brand identity. The process for it is called the brand identity design and it involves both visual and strategic thinking. What is brand identity, you ask? Well, it is that feeling you get when you think about brand (thinking being in the brain and feeling in our hearts). Try this: imagine yourself in a Nike store. Done? If you can point out the elements that makes it a Nike store, then that’s their brand identity. Now imagine yourself ordering a fat stack of Big Mac at a McDonalds. How’s the packaging? Can you just smell the aroma of their French Fries? Isn’t it awesome that I could take you to those brand stores even without physically taking you there? That’s powerful brand identity.

Back to that conversation on the first paragraph, I personally think that the best request would be: “Can you do brand identity design? Can you design one for me?” because truly, a logo, however good in its simplicity or its erraticism, is nothing without a whole package of brand identity experience that comes with it.