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Logo design and branding...

Updated: Sep 19, 2023

What’s the difference between logo design and branding?

photo of an iMac with the word branding, an image with a logo and a colour palette. On the desk are some wooden swatches.

What is a logo?

A logo is a graphic device, generally a combination of typography, graphics and colours, which forms part of the the visual identity of a brand. We are surrounded by them, a great logo really leaves its mark, sometimes they are simple, sometimes clever. For me, good design is all about the interplay between elements, especially the negative space. When I designed the Kingfisher's logo, marrying the slope of the A with the beak of the Kingfisher was the gift.
An illustration of a kingfisher bird nestled in the letters UEA (University of East Anglia). CS:GO team logo.
Kingfishers - CSGo UEA Team logo

Playing with negative space and the shapes that emerge is a simple way communicate. The classic FedEx logo with the arrow giving a nod to their shipping services. I love this Bear - Hot Pot logo by Mistershot and this Sobr logo by Pixelsoldier
A selection of logo designs making use of negative space: Fed Ex with an arrow visible showing movement, Hot Pot - a bear holding a pt of steaming soup  and Sobr which shows a bottle nestled in the S
What is branding?
Branding is the idea or image or feeling people have when they think about the products, services or activities of a company. These thoughts and feelings are triggered each time they come into contact with the brand, through products, advertising, etc.

My design service

Usually a new client contacts me as they feel they need a logo - they may have a new business or are looking for their ‘off the shelf’ logo to go back on the shelf. When The Mortgage Station asked me to design their logo it was because he was tired of seeing a builder’s van drive by each morning with the same graphic!

It all starts with the brief. I take time to chat with my clients, get an idea of who they are, this is especially important with sole traders and small businesses as you are the business. Your personality, likes and dislikes will all show in your business, so really understanding why you feel passionately about what you are doing is critical. I have a few ‘special’ questions, which may seem a bit woo-woo, but most people are able to answer them honestly and it helps me to connect with the less conscious parts of themselves.

As I have said before, I am just a conduit for creativity - so having taken the brief, I then just allow it to sink in and then I forget about it for a while. It just doesn’t work for me to try to get sketching instantly, without the tingle of inspiration - I will waste time and effort chasing the design. When it comes though, I have to honour it - and work with it.
Occasionally I get a strong sense of a design and a knowing that it is the one - if that happens I will sketch it out and pitch it to the client. If I have more of a generic feeling for the logo then I will work up a few designs. I have learned to trust these feelings as they rarely fail me.

All three options were pitched together, but design 1 was a clear winner from the moment it was created as it communicated clearly the trust between mortgage advisor and the client.
Three logo designs for The Mortgage Station: one with 2 hands making a house shape, one with a train station and the final one with house roofs forming an M

Once the first sketches have been submitted and the client has had time to consider them, next begins the conversation, the time to discuss strengths and weaknesses in the design. The push-me-pull-me of logo refinement. Clients can often feel like they are being fussy, but this is the best part - the adjustment of colours or positioning of elements - this is where we shape the logo together until is THE logo.

GoBig Digital - Case Study

This was a rebranding exercise and you can see how an initial idea goes through a series of developments. In this case the typography was the key element, finding the correct weight to give the brand gravitas, then adding a graphic element to represent digital marketing, business growth and vitality.

Case study images for GoBig Digital logo design, bold lettering with splashes of colour.

There is a psychology around colours, they create feelings and responses. For example, eco or environmental brands use green - it connects us to nature, whereas a company producing fire extinguishers would use red due to our association with the fire service.

We also have ideas around type faces - serif fonts are considered more traditional, whereas a sans serif seems more modern. Scripts, due to there flow, feel more organic, and handwritten fonts feel more playful. Understanding who you are communicating what you want to say about your business is the first step in choosing a font. For example, a bank's logo might need to suggest security, gravitas and trust, and the body copy for their website and other communications would need to be easy to read - with a serif font, the small lines extending the letters helps the eye to scan across the words, which is why serif fonts, such as Times New Roman are the body copy for newspapers.

As part of my logo design service, I create a version for social media - this may be enlarging the graphical element in relation to the typography so that it is more recognisable as a profile image. I also provide guidance on using the logo, especially indicating the clear space that should surround your logo and allow it to breath when amongst other elements. In addition I create a colour palette to use with your logo, so that, for example, when you develop your website, the call to action buttons look great.

Letchworth Sinfonia - Case Study

A small, friendly, local sinfonia were looking for a rebrand. As well as representing music, the logo needed to reflect the heritage of Letchworth-Garden-City, a town with strong architectural roots and a love of the arts.

Letchworth Sinfonia branding design - 3 examples of logo, then final social media circular profile image and colour palettes.


Branding Design

So, now you have a great logo, it's time to roll out your branding. I can help you connect your brand identity to your customers through printed and digital materials, allowing you to communicate what’s unique about your business, answer customer questions, and promote brand recognition. The first step is to create a style guide.

What makes up a style guide?

Company mission and values
Knowing why you do what you do and where your business is heading helps you to stay focused but it also aids creatives to deliver the right content for you.

Identify your dream client
Who are they? What do they wear, what job do they have, where do they go on holiday etc? Have that person in mind whenever you communicate your brand.

Tone of voice
Decide if your customer responds to a serious style of writing or a more playful prose.

Establish standards for typography, including font, character spacing, line spacing and paragraph spacing.

As well as your primary colour palette used in your logo design, you should also have a secondary colour palette to use as accents. These colours should have both a CMYK and RGB breakdown depending on whether they will be used digitally or printed.

Curate a selection of images to reinforce your brand recognition. Identify ideal photography styles, and how to use photographs in combination with the other visual elements of your brand.

Establish the types of illustration you may want to use and how to use them in conjunction with other elements in your visuals

If that all sounds amazing and you’d like to discuss a logo design and branding project with me, please give me a call 07880 551639 or drop me an email:

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