The Logo Is Just The Beginning

Piece of a larger vision

“All we need is a logo.”

Think about the most recognizable and valuable brands across the world — Apple, Google, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, IBM, Toyota, to name a few. They each have a logo that represents their brand. However, they also have an identity and tone that is unique to them. There are visuals, slogans, and sounds that you immediately attach to them. Each portion of their identity works together in harmony to push their presence forward. Your logo is the tip of a very large brand iceberg that must be well constructed and communicated to your target audience.

Many organizations and companies have style guidelines that mandate how their brand elements are to be used on various platforms. The elements outside of the main logo are necessary to allow the desired message to be well received across different mediums. Building a comprehensive visual brand identity provides you with a playbook of valuable tools. It also forces you to properly analyze the essence of who you are and how to communicate that through media.

Brand stationary for “New New York”

While the logo is what people recognize as the identifier of a brand, the overall brand identity is the complete picture. The logo is a key element but that alone doesn’t make a brand. A visual brand identity may include (but is not limited to):

  • The logo
  • Colors
  • Typography (typeface and font choices)
  • Business cards
  • Letterhead
  • Apparel design
  • Product design

A consistent visual style will more quickly register in the mind of your audience. All of those top brands I mentioned at the start invest in the images they release into the world. They also infuse all their products and media with their unique character through style choices and subtle touches.

Having an established brand identity allows you to stand out. It should be adaptable, scalable, and timeless. If you want to be a premium brand name, you need to invest in creating a system that helps build and sustain that name in the eyes of the consumer, the donor, the stakeholder. Therefore, consider deepening your understanding of what a brand truly is. The experience people have with your brand, visual or otherwise, will leave a lasting impression. The logo is just the beginning. Follow through to the completion of a well-defined brand identity.

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