Brand versus Logo? These days the two are often mixed-up, even by designers, with the word ‘brand’ incorrectly used for a few different meanings, we’ll try to set the record straight.
A new business enquiry that we often receive here at Toast is “I’m looking for a branding agency to create a brand for me” which is fine, as a brand design agency we can ‘help’ you to do that. But quite often the enquiry really should be “I’m looking for an agency to create a logo for my business.” and these are two very different things
A lot more goes into creating a brand, and it’s much more than just a logo, a brand is less tangible and something that involves more in the way of time, planning, strategy, insight, research, collaboration and brainstorming. We can bring a lot of these elements together in one of our brand workshops, which are often a very useful forum to get everything out in the open, defined and agreed.
A brand isn’t defined by one thing, and certainly not just something that is visual, or even tangible. It’s usually looked on now as been a provider or a service or a maker of a product, think Apple or Nike.
Generally speaking, a brand is what people think of when they hear your ‘brand name” everything that they believe they know about it, it belongs in the public’s conscience. What defines this is influenced by the products a brand provides, the service they receive, visual elements such as a logo, imagery, straplines, tone of voice, even down to packaging, think Apple and their well-considered packaging. So as you can see, creating a brand is a much bigger task.
All organisations and businesses need a logo or icon that represents them but a logo cannot do everything. A logo is an identifier that people use to recognise the business and even what it does, a logo is often the first thing that people engage with when it comes to a brand, so it’s important to get it right.
Of course, a logo is an advertisement in itself when seen on vehicle livery, signage, uniforms or packaging and therefore it’s a very powerful tool in the brand toolbox. It’s vital that the style, application, usage and quality is consistent across the board and that’s where well thought-through brand guidelines are essential in achieving consistency.
A logo can be simple and typographic, icon-based or complicated and elaborate, but it has to represent what you want people to understand about the business, what it stands for, what it does, what its purpose is and this is where the craft comes in. The process that we follow at Toast means that we always treat logo projects as stand-alone projects and not about brand creation as a whole, as outlined above which is something entirely different. We expect that the brand and its purpose etc. is defined before we’re thinking about creating a logo to represent the brand if not one of our brand workshops would be ideal.
For each logo design project that we work on, we ask lots of questions, and the answers provided allow us to think about the purpose of the logo, what type of brand is the logo to represent? What it’s foundations are. Then we can design with conviction around the individual requirements, rather than jumping straight onto a Mac and creating something that looks great but has no substance or thought. All of this means that we’re creating a logo that is correct for the brand and a vital piece of the brand jigsaw is designed to fit.
If you’re looking for the correct logo for your brand, speak to Toast, and we will talk you through the process and how that benefits you.