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Branding and Visual Identity: definition and differences

Branding and visual identity

What is branding? Is it a logo? Is it the same as visual identity? Is it just how things look?

I have been asked similar questions many times before. It’s a common problem that potential clients face when they want to improve the visual side of their business. It’s easy to get confused with the terms branding and visual identity and their meanings.

In early days branding was understood as a logo. Nowadays it’s much more than that. 


What is branding?

A brand is how your business is perceived by people and it involves both tangible and intangible aspects.

Branding is the discipline that ensures all elements of a brand work in synergy. It’s what creates and manages your business perception.

This perception includes your past experiences and future expectations. So it involves using your product or service, browsing your website, visiting your office, going to your shop, interacting with your employees, seeing your adverts, reading your articles… Branding is reflected in every part of your business.

Why is branding important?

Branding is important to create and manage your brand’s perceptions successfully to be able to create your desired business reputation. To handel a brand’s perception effectively you need a branding framework, which provides coherence to all elements that define your business. 

This brand’s framework is determined by your business purpose and values. Values should influence everything businesses do. Because they create this framework and impact your business decisions, so you can have control over your customers’ experiences.


What is a visual identity?

Visual identity is all what we can see. It includes all visual elements of a brand, which act as the face of an organisation. The objective of visual identity is to communicate the essence and values of a brand in a clear and consistent way through the graphic language. So we could say visual identity is an important branding aspect.

Elements of a visual identity

The visual identity is determined by a visual system formed by multiple elements. The basic ones are:

  • the logo
  • the colour palette
  • the corporate typography
  • the photographic style and imagery

All supporting graphic elements are designed according to the business needs: pattern, icons, textures, illustrations, grids, composition…

We do not always need all elements to work together. But when we have the elements they must work coordinated at all times. 

It’s the designer’s challenge to create a visual system that is clear and consistent and fits as close as possible to the client’s perception of the brand. 

Are you ready to create your business brand? Get in touch to find out how can I help you. 


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