Logo vs. Brand


For sure the #1 questions I get in this business is a tie between “can’t I just do a logo"?” and “what is a brand"?” And It seems like the most efficient way to answer is to write a blog post to send all of you to when you’re confused, right? Because when I say this question is common, I mean it’s common.

And I get it, if you don’t do this for a living, it’s kind of confusing. Heck, I often find myself stumbling over my words when trying to distinguish the two - and I know I understand it! So, in layman’s terms, as simply as possible, let me break this down for you:


A logo —

what is a brand | logo vs brand | magnolia ink branding

A logo is a graphic that identifies your organization. It is one element (a very important element) of your business’ larger brand identity (read on) and helps with recognition, and reliability

Logos are a tangible way to express some of the heart and character of your business, but there’s no way a logo can represent or illustrate everything about you.

Think of a logo as serving as visual shorthand. Recognizable at a glance, and gives you a feel for what’s going on. It’s the top of the iceberg of your business.


A brand —


Marty Neumeier’s book, The Brand Gap defines a brand as “a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization.” In essence, it’s so much more than the logo you put on your website and your business card. It’s the entire experience you want your client to have. It’s all of the experiences, impressions, and knowledge a person has about your product, service, or organization.

While a brand is often defined as an experience, there are still tangible elements that serve as the building blocks for that experience, those being:

  • a main logo, and its variants

  • an alternative layout of main logo

  • social media elements

  • brand fonts

  • brand color scheme

  • brand style guide

These elements are built off of the bottom half, the foundation, of your brand — your core purpose, audience, tone, values, brand attributes, mission statement, etc. All of which we explore during the branding process together. Unique to each project, we also explore collateral items, such as (but not limited to) tags, signage, website, apparel, letterhead, uniforms, billboards, product packaging, etc.

Hopefully this helps. Hopefully you understand now why I will create a stand alone logo for your business, but rarely suggest it. Now you see all of the work and thought and intention that goes into every single project. And if you’re getting to the end of this and you’re like holy cow - I need a brand, well - I know a girl.