Your Brand Is Like a Cake
BY ISABELLA CIANO
As a designer, I hear it all the time.
“I just need a logo”
And while yes, your logo is an essential part of your brand, it’s precisely that—just one part of your overall brand identity.
You see, your brand is made up of more than just your logo.
There are actually a lot of different elements that make up a brand identity, and I would argue that they are all equally important.
So when people ask for just a logo, they are missing out on all the other elements that make up a brand’s visual identity. Because all these elements work together to let a brand’s audience know who they are.
What is a brand identity?
Your brand’s visual identity is the combination of visuals you use to represent your brand. For example, they are your logo, the colors you use, fonts, layout (how you arrange the information on a page), graphic elements (like patterns or textures), and imagery.
Your brand identity is actually a lot like the cake you’d make for your hypothetical 5-year-old cousin’s birthday who loves dolls and the color pink. (just roll with me here)
Each element you add to the cake will reflect the things your cousin likes. Maybe the base of the cake is funfetti; that’s one clue. Then it’s frosted with pink frosting, another clue. It’s topped with colorful sprinkles, her age in candles and a figurine of her favorite doll.
The more you add to this cake, the more everyone at the party can tell who the cake is for and what this person likes. The same goes for your brand identity.
Your branding should be a representation of your business. The more brand elements you can give to your audience (i.e., color, fonts, graphics, patterns, imagery, icons), the more they will be able to understand who you are and be able to connect with you.
Because all these elements hold additional meaning and give additional context to who your business is for and what your business values.
What are these other magical brand elements you speak of?
Certain colors can evoke certain feelings and emotions. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right colors for your brand. You want the colors you choose to evoke a feeling or sensation relevant to who you are as a brand and to your ideal client.
I went in-depth on color during our Establishing Brand Elements Series on the gram. Click here to learn more and watch my highlight, Color, for a fun game!
Just like color, you want to choose fonts that reflect the overall tone and personality of your brand. From serifs to sans serifs to scripts and more, there are SO many font choices out there, and it can be overwhelming. I put together a guide with some great tips and resources for choosing fonts as a new business owner.
As we’ve learned, people are incredibly visual. The type of images you use to represent your brand will also play a part in how you are perceived by your audience. Usually, pictures tend to mean photography, but there are actually so many other types of imagery you can use for your brand.
Head to this guide to learn more about the different types of imagery, along with tips, resources, and best practices.
This is often the hardest “element” to explain because it can vary greatly. A graphic element is usually a visual element that helps make a design more visually interesting. This could be a pattern, texture, shape, line, etc. These elements can be used to help guide the viewer’s attention to certain aspects of a design and/or to make a piece feel more rounded out. They can also give the viewer more information about who you are as a brand.
As you can see, your logo really is just one part in the makeup of your brand identity. So while yes, you do need a logo, only having a logo limits the amount of information you’re giving your audience, making it harder for them to connect with you.
If you liked this blog post, learn more about Why Design Matters in Business. Enjoy!