No. A brand is not a logo. And a “logo” isn’t always a logo (I’ll explain below). A “logo” in the broad and common sense is a graphic symbol used to identify and promote recognition of an organization, person or product. It is also know as a visual mark.
A brand is the intangible set of related perceptions, emotions, communications and overall experience within and without an organization. Since 70% of our perception of the world comes from our eyes, it follows that as we can identify a person by their face and voice signature, customers can prominently identify a brand by its logo.
What is your logo/visual mark supposed to do?
Your logo is supposed to tell the shortest story ever. Within seconds or fractions of a second, it must convey who the brand is, what they do (in a broad sense) and how they do it.
Your visual mark should be as simple as possible without losing its appeal and clarity. This is why there are professionals who specialize in this area of design. Our job is to extract the true essence of your brand and get it down to a 4 square inch image that will serve as a coat of arms for your team, and a beacon for your clients, all while remaining relevant, attractive and distinctive enough from your competition so that your customers don’t get confused.
But not all “logos” are created equal!
What types of visual marks are there?
- Logotype (or logo in its true sense). The brand’s name is written using a distinctive typeface and color. For example: Disney, Lancome, Coca-Cola, Canon, Sony, Google, Yahoo!, Netflix, FedEx, IBM, CNN, Mobil.
- Imagotype. It can be divided in two parts for when the purpose dictates. An imagotype is comprised of a logotype and an isotype (a simple symbol used to abbreviate the visual identity in smaller areas, e.g. as a social media icon or a pin). “Iso” means “equal”, meaning that the symbol is used as an equal in place of the type or brand name. For example: Target, Pepsi, Chanel, McDonald’s, NBC, Nike, Reebok, Volkswagen.
- Isologo. The middle ground between a logotype and an imagotype. It consists of a typeface with additional graphics but they can never work apart. For example: Burger King, Nissan, Dell, Samsung, Arby’s, Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, 7up, Formula 1, BBC, Ikea, Pizza Hut, BMW.
To learn if your company needs a logo, an imagotype of an isotype, email me at [email protected]