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You know how sometimes a group of words are thrown around together so much their meaning becomes blurry? If you don’t understand what I mean, think about how you understand brand, identity, and logo. Almost any article about logo design will intrinsically link these three words together without clarifying where the line between each one is. I’m as guilty of this as anyone else.

Jacob Cass from Just Creative noticed this and put it upon himself to clarify the differences between brand, identity, and logo, and what each does. Breaking it down simply:

  • Brand is the “perceived emotional corporate image” of the business all together.
  • Identity combines all of the visual aspects that form a brand.
  • Logos identify a business in the simplest form by using icons.
It is a heirarchy in which a logo is part of the visual identity of a company, which helps mold the brand as a whole.

Branding

It is hard to write shortly about branding, as Cass even points out, but to summarize the concept, it is the audience’s idea of a service, product, or organization. Visual aspects of the brand including its marketing and logo can help mold it, but ultimately, the audience decides the shared perception overall. “A designer can’t make a brand […] a designer forms the foundation of the brand”, which the audience then builds upon with their reception of the product and marketing as a whole.

Identity Design

That foundation the brand is built on is it’s identity, or its image. Every business creates sets of visual devices they use to interact with their audience including color palettes, fonts, layouts, etc. Every visual aspect is considered part of the identity, even things like a web page design, and especially the logo.

Logos

I’ve talked quite a bit about logos before, but when it comes down to it, a logo identifies your brand. It becomes one of the most prevalent aspects of the image, and shapes how customers perceive your brand.
According to Cass, a logo doesn’t sell or describe a company, but that is the only aspect of his article with which I don’t completely agree. Once a business is established, their logo is understood by the quality of the company and product it represents. However, for young businesses trying to establish themselves, a quality logo is important in attracting companies by letting them quickly know what that company does and showing they care about how their audience feels about them.

Conclusion

The three are absolutely linked, but when writing about them we often make it unclear what each seperate part really is. Logos affect identities, which set the floor for a brand. All are important, but they are all unique to each other

Do you ever find yourself wondering how to achieve that perfect design you see in your mind? You can get it. You just need a design brief. If you are a designer or a client, the design brief will be the largest determining factor in deciding the success of a project.

This guide will help you understand the benefits of a design brief as well how to create an effective one.

What is a Design Brief?

A design brief provides your designer wth all of the information needed to reach or exceed your expectations. It should focus on the results and outcomes of the design you would like to achieve. Business objectives and goals are important to make sure your designer knows what to strive for. A design brief however shouldn’t deal with aesthetics. That is the role of the designer.

How To Write an Effective Brief?

Jacob Cass, writer for Just Creative, has a list of great questions that will help you make a great brief. If you can answer the questions I’ve compiled here, you will be 90% done. Don’t try to think of one sentence answers, but think of the questions as jumping off points.

What does your business do? Your designer will not necessarily know anything about your business. Avoid jargon, and address what your company does, as well as its history.

What are your goals? Why are you hoping to achieve those goals? The designer needs to know what you are trying to communicate, as well as your motive to decide how the design should address these issues. Let them know what makes you different from competitors. A good idea is to also provide old promotional materials to give them an idea of your promotion history.

You designer should also be given knowledge of your target audience. What is your target markets demographic? Which audiences are more important than others?

What is your budget? Knowing this will help designers reach benchmarks without wasting time or resources, as well as helping inform what size and specifications you desire.

Conclusion

Give the designer as much information as you can to help inform them. You won’t get what you want, unless you inform them.

 

I’ve written a lot about branding for your clients, but do you know that personal branding is just as important to your success as a designer?

You hopefully do, because personal branding is far from a new idea, but social media has made personal branding as available as ever before. It is also a much more competitive field now.

To make yourself a valued brand, follow this collection of tips. They will help you climb above the competition.

  1. Set Goals and Plan Ahead – Before you ever begin to define your brand, you have to think ahead and see where you want to be a few months or even a year or two from now. Are you trying to get a new job, or do you want to stay a freelancer? How do you want to grow your business? Once you know where you want to be, you can layout a plan to help get you there.
  2. Know and Understand Your Brand – The look and feel of your brand is a lot more than just a brand or a couple of social media accounts. You have to keep a consistent image in all mediums at all times. As Jacob Cass from Just Creative puts it, “The fundamental idea and core concept behind having this ‘corporate image’ is that everything you do, everything you own and everything you produce, should reflect the values and aims of your personal brand as a whole.”
  3. Create and Maintain Your Brand – One of the best ways to set yourself apart from the crowd is to have a unique visual identity that is consistent and reflective of your goals. You should also maintain social media accounts in ways that reflect your brand positively. Are you of any value to your followers and friends? Or are you wasting the biggest platforms to promote your brand?

Above all, the secret to personal branding is the same for many things in life. Plan ahead, and follow through. If you put forth a solid, planned image to the public, and follow through with valuable content, people will come to respect your personal brand.