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Is a corporate identity the same as a logo?

This question – “Is a corporate identity the same as a logo?” – is a great example of how the subject of branding can leave people confused. Corporate identity is a term you don’t hear so often now. It’s more common for people to talk about a visual identity or brand identity. We use the term brand identity, and that’s what we talk about in this article. But whatever you choose to call it – it’s not the same as your logo.

Your logo is usually the name of your company, in a particular typeface. Sometime that’s all there is – think of Google or Sainsbury’s. But often there’s also some kind of graphic device to support the name. Starbucks or Mercedes are good examples.

Your brand identity, on the other hand, is actually a collection of several elements. Your logo is one of these – but there are others. When we talk about brand identity, we’re actually talking about six elements. As well as a logo there is; typeface, colour, imagery, language and finally a design style, that pulls all of those elements together.

What your brand identity gives you – these six elements – is all the raw materials required to make an impact, in print or on a screen.

So, the answer to this question is: No. Your identity isn’t the same as your logo. In fact, your logo is part of your identity.


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