I have to say, in the designer's world this is like a law, you have to know the differences between the logo, identity and brand. But in the company where I love to work, Hashdog, I learned that there isn't so clear this concepts in the programmers world, obviesly, they don't have to!
Even for me, I should know this years ago, but I used to said "It's the same thing", "Never mind, a logo is the brand or identity of the company"... Yeah sure Franco, that is terribly wrong, mate!
I will try to explain the differences between Logo, Identity and Brand.
Let's go first with the simplest but not less important. In most cases, in a colloquial definition, "a logo is an icon that must express what the company is dedicated or the product offers"... this statement isn't so true. The logo of a company doesn't always describe what the company does, we'll find abstract and simple logos with a deep meaning inside, and that is the goal!
A logo needs to have a strong meaning itself more than a complex appearance. In few words, a logo is used to identify easily the company or product that is offered.
In psychology exist a theory, the human has two kinds of personalities. The internal and external personality, the first is the essence which you was born and the second one it's about how you want to show yourself in public. The external personality is totally created in our minds and, with time, we make this external personality evolve.
The Identity works similar to an external personality, it wants your attention. Identity has one single task, get the attention of the public. It makes you think "Look that office, I want to know more about that company" or "This product it is amazing, I want to know more about the company".
Glassdoor reciently release their list of "The best place to Work", take a look of the style and the combination of colors, that's what I mean. The company like Google or Apple has this Identity to show up to the world; even they take care the health of their employees, physically and mentally. This generates a unique identity of the company.
Now, as I said, Identity has to get your attention and there is to many ways to do that:
- A Logo (The symbol of the company)
- Stationery (Letterhead, Flyers, Personal and Business card, Envelopes)
- Digital Marketing (online brochures, digital books, websites, open source projects, emails)
- Apparel Design (clothing related to the company for the staff)
- Office Ornamentation (Interior & exterior design, vinils)
- Other Communication (Audio, video, etc.)
In other words, anything visual that represents the business or the product it is called Identity.
Now, we already know that the Identity going to get our attention with that whole of things, and there's where the Brand born!
Our mind accepts the theory and starts to be a lover of that, we start to enjoy everytime more with their services.
Google, for example, they have one of the most powerful Identity than I never knew, like Apple as well. But not only Identity cares here, we know that Google tries hard to cultivate a fun and stimulating working environment. Thinking of the offices instantly conjures up images of games rooms, floor-to-ceiling whiteboards, and helter-skelters between floors... That makes me remember an old phrase:
Only matter what your eyes see!
The perception of the people about the company or product is the Brand. We can not create a Brand, this born with a hard identity work. Just like that, simple and complex at same time.
Okay... maybe the company get some extreme fanatics, but it's okay, because this is a reflect of the hard work of Identity.
There are companies who create a solid ethic and a commitment in every way that we know. The people loves Apple, Coca Cola, Nike, Peugeot, and much much more. Beyond their faultless services, they made a hard identity work and they never stopped doing it, and that's the most awesome of this companies.
To end, a Logo isn't a Brand and a Brand isn't the Identity of a company or product. Summary:
- Logo: Identifies a company in its simplest form via the use of a mark or icon.
- Identity: The visual aspects that form part of the overall brand.
- Brand: The perceived emotional corporate image as a whole.