Brand Design Terms Demystified

Ever found yourself in a situation where someone was casually throwing around industry jargon as if it were the most natural thing in the world? I experienced that recently at the hairdresser’s. As she explained various hair dye techniques using insider terminology, I found myself nodding along, pretending to understand, when in reality, I was completely lost.

It got me thinking: do I do the same thing when talking about brand design? Do I assume everyone understands terms like “visual identity” or “branding,” when in fact, they might be as confused as I was at the hairdresser’s?

That’s why I’ve put together a quick cheat sheet to explain the basic branding terminology. Whether you’re a small business owner, a creative entrepreneur, or simply curious about the world of branding, this guide is for you. Let’s demystify those terms together!

Logo: Think of your logo as the face of your brand. It’s a graphical representation that serves as a visual symbol for your business. It typically consists of an icon, emblem, or wordmark (text-based logo), or a combination of these elements.

Visual Identity: Your visual identity encompasses all the visual elements that represent your brand. This includes your logo, color palette, typography (fonts), imagery style, and any graphical elements used consistently across your branding materials.

Brand Identity: While your visual identity focuses on the visual aspects, your brand identity is broader. It encompasses the overall personality, values, and promise of your brand. It’s how you want your audience to perceive your business. This includes your brand’s mission, values, voice (tone of communication), and the emotional connection you aim to establish with your audience.

Branding: Branding is the process of creating and managing your brand identity. It involves strategically shaping how your brand is perceived by your target audience. This includes everything from designing your visual identity to crafting your brand messaging and developing marketing strategies to communicate your brand effectively.

Now, let’s put it all together with an example:

Imagine you’re opening a cozy cafe called “Sunny Brews.” Your logo might feature a cheerful sun icon along with the name of your cafe in a friendly font. This logo represents your visual identity. Your brand identity might emphasize values such as warmth, community, and quality coffee. Your branding efforts would then focus on consistently communicating these values through your cafe’s ambiance, customer service, social media presence, and marketing materials.

legs of a man wearing black trousers and boots holding white tote bag with logo of a bar called NAO, the letters of a logo are modern and square and colors are olive green, yellow, orange and brown

In summary, while terms like logo, visual identity, brand identity, and branding may seem intimidating at first, they’re simply different aspects of creating a strong and memorable brand for your business. By understanding these concepts and how they work together, you can effectively shape the identity of your brand and connect with your audience in meaningful ways.

Let’s make your brand the talk of the town