Brand, Identity, and Logo Design

Creating a brand and composing a company’s identity involves a ton of research, planning, execution and teamwork — it’s much more work than drafting a mission statement, company story, and designing a logo.

Logo design is a part of branding and identity, but it’s not the whole story. We think of a brand as the perceived image of the company as a whole by the public or the company’s customers or users. The concept of an identity is the visual presentation of a company’s product(s), marketing materials, website, or storefront — basically anything that’s external or public facing. The logo is solely a visual symbol, which is usually represented as an icon or word mark.

It’s unlikely that a great logo can be designed without thinking about a company’s overall brand and identity. We feel strongly that a brand and identity need to influence the direction of a logo — not the other way around. For example look at Yahoo’s logo:

It wasn’t well received in the design community for a number of reasons. For one it as an arbitrary design, created by the newly appointed CEO Marissa Mayer over a weekend and strongly influenced by a company poll.

From Marissa’s tumblr:

[…] one weekend this summer, I rolled up my sleeves and dove into the trenches with our logo design team: Bob Stohrer, Marc DeBartolomeis, Russ Khaydarov, and our intern Max Ma. We spent the majority of Saturday and Sunday designing the logo from start to finish, and we had a ton of fun weighing every minute detail.

And later:

Prior to the weekend, we had also polled our employees on the changes they wanted to see. Interestingly, 87% of our employees wanted some type of change in the logo (either iterative or radical). In terms of specific attributes, our employees had wanted:

  • sans serif
  • variable size letters
  • a variable baseline
  • a tilted exclamation point
  • and the majority of their favorite logos were uppercase

Knowing enough about Illustrator to be dangerous is not special, and it’s definitely dangerous in the hands of someone that doesn’t understand what makes a good logo. Asking your employees — most of which have a technical role — what attributes you’d like to see in a logo is probably the worst way to start the process for designing a new logo.

A logo is not about making employees happy, it’s a tool for interacting with your customers and building trust.

Creating a logo that can help build your brand and reinforce your company’s identity is what we do.