Why Your Logo Cannot Bear the Entire Weight of Your Brand Identity
In a world where the consumer is bombarded by advertisements, imagery, voices and ideas from every direction, it is now more important than ever that your brand rises above the noise to be separate and memorable. An important part of of being remembered is your logo. However, many businesses fall into the trap of believing that once they have a solid logo, the designer’s work is done. The logo becomes the ultimate to them and all future brand identity development stops. This is a tragic way to sell yourself short of a broad encompassing system and voice that communicates to your client in a real way across a bigger picture. You are bigger than just a logo. Here are three reasons why your logo cannot bear the weighty reality of your awesome brand identity.
1. Your brand is deeper than a single mark.
I’m not saying that the logo doesn’t matter or that it’s unimportant. Don’t get me wrong, as a design student, I’m thrilled by the challenge of creating a new mark for a company. It’s one of my favorite things to design. But if you seek to make your logo the depth of all that your brand is, it will always fall short. Saul Bass said that a logo’s purpose is to “summarize and symbolize”. It is a summary and a symbol of who your brand is, not an all encompassing synopsis of everything your brand stands for. If you try to make your logo into absolutely every detail of your brand, it will become a chaotic confusing mess. It won’t have the simple structure it needs to symbolize the rest of your brand. Let your logo be simple. Leave some mystery to your brand for your viewers to become intrigued by to explore the rest.
2. The details of your brand are best expressed through a design system.
There’s a big picture here and it is not a ten foot banner of your logo. It’s an identity system which expresses your brand personality and values. It is NOT applying your logo to a plethora of merchandise. An identity system is about how design elements are used to wholly communicate your brand’s unique voice. How you use design elements like photography, illustrations, lighting, colors, typography, patterns, white space and even wording of content all come together to harmoniously create your unique identity. This is what makes your brand unforgettable.
3. Your logo and identity system work best in their proper roles.
Both your logo and your system serve an individual unique role within the broader goal of brand. Your logo’s purpose is to be a clear memorable image that visually stays in the viewers mind long after they are no longer interacting with you. It is an important symbol that helps people relate to your brand in an intentional conscious way. Your identity system’s purpose is to be a subtle communicator to the viewer. It may not jump up and down and scream at the consumer, but it is a crucial part of being remembered. The visual subtleties will stick with the consumer even if they don’t immediately realize it.
As you seek to promote and grow your business, remember the breadth of who your brand is. Your brand is more than just a logo. It’s a bigger picture that deserves to be communicated to the world in its fullest.