Logo Design vs Branding - Paper Lime Creative
Logo Design vs Branding
Write By: Katie Dooley

Logo Design & Brand Are Not Interchangeable Terms

Logo design and branding are two terms that are often used interchangeably. But, they are actually very different! It’s important to know what you’re asking for as a business owner. It’s also important to know what you’re needing and asking for to make sure you get your branding started on the right foot!

Logo Design

Often, people will say “I need a brand” and think it’s a simple icon or graphic. They will put it on their business card or website, much like the Nike swoop or Apple’s apple. Those simple icons are logos. And while they are important, they are only a small piece of a bigger brand. 
Your logo is important. It’s part of the reason Apple sends a little sticker with every product – so that you and every other purchaser plaster it around for more and more recognition. Some logos are so recognizable that you would be hard-pressed to find people that don’t know what they are, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola being two of them
The goal of a logo is 2 things: differentiation and simplicity. 
logo design vs branding
A logo is an icon that represents the company 


Differentiation in Logo Design

Apple’s logo is not a computer, McDonald’s is not a burger, Windows’ is not a computer, Nike isn’t a shoe, Adidas isn’t a shoe, and so on and so forth. If every one of these companies was literal in their logo you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart. And customer confusion, with today’s short attention spans, loses you business

Simplicity in Logo Design

Piggybacking off of differentiation, these huge corporations have very simple logos. People don’t need to compute anything in their brains. We often hear from first-time logo buyers that their logo needs to represent them, show people what they do, and speak to them. I promise you that the Nike swoop does not show people what the company does, nor does the Apple apple. That’s where branding comes in. 



Part of this misconception comes from the history of branding and logo design. A cattle brand is a simple icon or shape that allows farmers to identify livestock ownership. In the business world, the term brand has developed into so much more. 
We define branding as every interaction that your business has with everyone. That includes customers, prospects, and people that will never become customers at all. 
The brand is where you get to flesh out all the details. This is where you get to speak to people and tell them what you do. This is where you move them and make a personal connection. The Nike swoop could never do that on its own, but its television commercials have moved and inspired thousands
Because branding is every interaction, it covers a lot of stuff! Your logo is under this umbrella. It also includes your website, your messaging, social media, customer service, pricing, the way you dress, and more!
When people say “I need a brand” chances are they already have one. If you’ve interacted with anyone as an extension of your business, you have a brand. You haven’t curated it to meet your business needs and be the tool that funnels people to work with you.



Ready for a New Logo and Rebrand?

If you are ready to start the logo design journey, be sure to ask yourself if you don’t need a brand strategy in place. This will ensure that the logo fulfills its role and that you have a clear vision of what your brand can do for your business.