What is Branding?

Branding is not just your name, sign, symbol, logo design, slogan or identity. These have different roles but when they come together, they form a perceived image for a business product or service.

Branding is the collective emotionally perceived corporate image that your clients view you as a whole.

What is Corporate Identity?

The visual aspects that form part of the overall brand.

What is a Logo?

A logo identifies a business in its simplest form via the use of a mark or icon.

Now lets look at these a little closer and in more detail.


What is Branding?

There has been much written on the subject. In the old days he word branding began simply as a way to tell one person's cattle from another by means of a hot iron stamp, it was a way to identify ownership. Today, a brand has evolved to not only include identity, a name or logo brand but the company, product or service actually has a ‘personality’ so to speak that is shaped by the emotional perceptions of the audience.

As designers, when we discuss your overall package we are talking about this emotional image personality that is created in your audiences’ mind, we do not ‘make’ a brand, the audience does that, and we help you form the foundation of that brand through planning and strategy.

Your ‘corporate image’ is the core concept behind branding. It is the whole of what your company does. Consistency in everything that your company produces or owns is reflected in the company’s values and aims. It’s not just a design, a logo, a color or a slogan but your whole personality or image.

Let’s take a look at my favorite well-known IT Company, Apple. As a company, Apple has a reputation of helping schools; supports good causes, supports volunteerism, and is involved in the community. These values of this business project this humanistic corporate culture in everything they do. They have an awesome customer service and some pretty cool advertising campaigns as well as the absolute best and innovative products on the market (yep, I’am a Mac fanatic). Apple really connects with people that way because they are an emotionally humanist brand. When I buy their product or service, I feel like I’am part of the tribe, I’am emotionally connected to their brand, not just their product or a little apple logo with a bite out of it.


What is Identity Design?

As part of the whole branding corporate image, identity design plays a major role, its basis is the visual aspects that the company uses throughout its marketing strategy backed up by the company’s goals, mission and guidelines.

These guidelines ensure that the company keeps a coherent and consistent identity throughout the whole process and into each medium they are applied to such as layout, fonts, color pallets used, measurements and so on. When all of these are used together, they make up the whole identity.

There are several visuals used to make up the identity or image of a company, they include:

  • A Logo (The symbol of the entire identity and brand)
  • Stationery (Letterhead, business cards, envelopes, etc.)
  • Marketing Collateral (Flyers, brochures, books, web sites, etc.)
  • Products and Packaging (Products sold and the packaging in which they come in)
  • Apparel Design (Tangible clothing items that are worn by employees or marketed for sale to the public)
  • Signage (Interior and exterior design)
  • Messages and Actions (Messages conveyed via indirect or direct modes of communication)
  • Other Communications (Audio, smell, touch, etc.)
  • Anything visual that represents the business.

All of these make up the identity and should support the brand as a whole. The logo however, is the corporate identity and brand all wrapped up into one identifiable mark. This mark is the avatar and symbol of the business as a whole.


What is a Logo?

So, lets take a look at what a logo is for in order to understand what it is. It is for identification.

A companies’ logo is identified by the use of a signature, mark, flag or symbol. It rarely describes a business and does not sell the company directly. Logos symbolize the quality of the company and what the company means, it is an identifiable mark or symbol that portrays the essence or meaning of the company as a whole. What a logo means is more important than what it looks like, it does not explain, it identifies.

A good example of a logo’s meaning is found in the logo of Allstate Insurance, the logo is a pair of hands, which immediately reminds you of their slogan “You’re in Good Hands with Allstate”. It portrays in a visual aspect the essence of what the insurance company as a whole is all about and that is, that it identify's the company that will be there for you when you need it most after some unfortunate happening.


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