Logo vs. Brand: What’s the Difference?

 Difference Between Your Logo and Your Brand Discover why your entire brand identity should be rooted in your logo and how to make your logo look professional.

Do you know
the difference between your logo and your brand? There’s a lot of crossover and it can be confusing.

My name is Aaron Belyea and I run a boutique branding studio here in Boston called Alphabet Arm.

Your Brand Should Be Rooted In Your Logo

It is my firm belief that any great visual identity system or brand should be rooted in the logo itself. That should set the foundation for everything that follows.

Logos can be broken down into a couple different components, sometimes they’re rooted in typography, and sometimes they leverage a graphic element to help communicate what their service is or what differentiates them from the competition.

Related: 5 Things Your Logo Needs

Create a Flexible Logo System

It is always ideal to have a flexible logo system.

Ideally, you would have a lockup, graphic element, and typography that lives in both the horizontal and vertical format. Sometimes you can itemize the marks and use just the graphic element, sometimes you can break it down to just typography.

Related: How to Find a Designer for Your Logo

You also want a full system that’s going to be modular and easy for you to use depending on the applications. Using the New Frontier Network as an example, this logo can be itemized a couple different ways. We can use just the rose compass, we can use the isolated logotype, we can use a simplified compass, or we can even pull the monogram out which makes for a lovely frosting on cupcakes for a gala of 1000, which happened.

The New Frontier Network logo can be itemized many different ways. 

A well-conceived, well-executed logo can say a lot about your company or your service. It should feel professional, trustworthy, savvy, smart, sexy, badass – it should have all the elements that you consider the company or the service to have.

Make Your Logo Look Professional

A poorly conceived logo will look unprofessional, underserved, under considered. A lot of people could shy away from hiring you or using your company’s services just based on your logo. Sometimes this is subconscious, sometimes it’s an actual horrific reaction to the identity itself.

Related: How to Work with Your Designer on Your Logo

I would much rather see a simple piece of type put together that looks understated and restrained than someone using 40 different typefaces and a poorly illustrated element that looks like it’s been repurposed 1000 times.

Your Logo Is Your Brand’s Handshake

From a root level, you should consider your logo as a handshake – it is the entry point to a relationship with a potential client, fellow vendor or colleague. It should leave them with a positive feeling and should welcome them into whatever it is that you’re offering them.

An Effective Logo Is Vital to Your Business

About Aaron Belyea

Designer + Brander
Alphabet Arm Design

A self-taught artist, Aaron launched his graphic design career while performing in numerous bands in Boston for which he would create a visual image that complimented the band’s music. Aaron later honed his artistic talents at The Planetary Group overseeing the design department for this artist development company. His ability to successfully develop identities rooted in decisive visual concepts led to the establishment of his own studio in 2001. The company name comes from Aaron’s design moniker, “Alphabet Arm”, which refers to the alphabet tattoo wrapped around one of his arms. Aaron can often be found speaking at colleges and universities as well as teaching classes and presentations for various entrepreneur / start-up organizations. When not holding things down at the studio, he is often happiest spending time with his family, drinking beautiful coffees, riding his bike, playing music, watching football and eating avocados.