This is the simple difference between a Logo and a Brand

The simple difference between a Logo and a Brand - Vale Design

The words "logo" and "brand" tend to be confused by people inside and outside the design community. Once and for all, let's quickly address the simple difference between a logo and a brand.



Let's use Starbucks as our example. The logo is the Starbucks mermaid. The logo is a simple visual mark, or a symbol or other design adopted by an organization to identify its products. Think McDonalds golden arches, Apple's apple and Nike's swoosh.

When a logo becomes so mainstream that it does not require the business name anymore, it uses non-verbal communication. See the difference from the logo on the left vs the logo on the right? Consumers no longer need the "Starbucks Coffee" verbiage. If someone shows you a swoosh or an apple icon, you know what business they represent. That is the sign of a truly powerful logo.


Now, let's discuss the brand. The brand is the OVERALL feeling, messaging, textiles, color palette, interior decor, signage, etc that help a consumer recognize that business. The brand helps a consumer develop some type of emotional relationship with the business, services and products.

The brand is the feeling and visual support elements you get from going to a Starbucks. The feeling you get when you leave the store with the Pumpkin Spice latte cup with sleeve in your hand. The red Starbucks cups that caused such an uproar around the holidays. The interior design of the coffee shops, the packaging, the leather chairs, the wood, the barista's aprons, merchandise, the imagery on the walls and commercials on television.



Here is one final quote:

(LOGO) "Unique design, sign, symbol, words, or a combination of these, employed in creating an image that identifies a product and differentiates it from its competitors. (BRAND) Over time, this image becomes associated with a level of credibility, quality, and satisfaction in the consumer's mind. Thus brands help harried consumers in crowded and complex marketplace, by standing for certain benefits and value." (Source)

A logo is the symbol, mark, icon, graphic and/or identity. The brand is the overall look and feel that accompanies the logo to create a bigger picture for the consumer around that business, it's products and services.