November 19, 2015

Why a Logo is Not a Brand

When I think about branding, I don’t just think about the logo. A logo or identity is designed, but a good brand is crafted and earned.

Take my Toyota Truck. Reliable. Sturdy. Great for hauling all the stuff I need it to carry.

Decent logo aside, Toyota’s bold, red color reinforces the attributes that Toyota has built its brand on: Quality and long-term reliability. And I think its silver accent color is a nod to the company’s history of innovation and efficiency.

Closer to home, my kids go to school at the most innovative district in the state. Tacoma Public Schools has recreated what the high school experience is like and continues to apply that thinking to the whole district. That doesn’t simply come from a logo.

Don’t get me wrong. I love award-wining logos. I’ve been known to lose sleep over PMS colors. And if the photography doesn’t fit the brand, I’m bound to grab my camera and take photos that will bring the right emotion and meaning to the brand.

But for me, creating a logo is just one visual piece of a larger, more intricate process.