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What’s the difference between a logo, a visual identity, a brand and a brand identity?

When building up your business, you might have heard different terms like: logo design, visual identity design, branding, brand identity design and you night feel a bit overwhelmed. Perhaps you’re not sure what you need and how to even achieve it.

I’ll explain the different terms below... and YES to build a successful brand it’s definitely worth investing time (and money) into exploring your business, its values and its identity.

Logo design

A logo is a symbol which represents a business and usually includes the business name. It could be a wordmark, an acronym or a wordmark and/or an icon. It is just one part of a whole brand identity.

A flexible brand should have a responsive logo. That means a selection of logos that have an overall theme, but have different versions such as:

  • Stacked version

  • Horizontal version

  • With/Without a tagline versions

  • Acronym version

  • Monogram version

  • Icon version

You don’t need all of these versions, but it’s good to have around 3-4 different logo versions, so you have a varied choice and can pick the appropriate version for each place where it’ll be used. E.g. If you have quite a wordy main logo version, you might use an acronym version for your social media profile image, so when the logo is really small the initials are more legible than the whole logo version.

Creative elements that make up a brand identity
Creative elements that make up a brand identity

Visual identity design

A visual identity includes a logo, but also other visual components such as: colours, fonts, creative elements, possibly photography, plus, brand guidelines.

Each visual identity element should work in harmony with each other so, as a whole, it conveys the brand values and is suited to the target audience.


A brand includes both visual and non-visual elements. We’ve talked about the visual side of a brand above, so the non-visual elements could include:

  • Brand story

  • Brand values

  • Tagline

  • Tone of voice

  • Personality

  • Archetypes

  • Positioning

  • Mission

  • Vision

  • Purpose

  • Strategy

Brand identity design

Brand identity design is very similar to visual identity in that it focuses more on the visual aspect of a brand, but it also dips its toe into the other half of branding which includes non-visual elements like brand values, brand mission and brand voice. Whilst a brand identity designer wouldn’t necessarily carry out an in depth strategy of the overall brand, it’s beneficial for the designer to understand the client’s vision, purpose and values so they can visually capture the essence of the brand and make sure the designs are appropriate for the business and the businesses’ potential clients.

How I can help your business

As a brand identity designer, I can help with the visual side of your brand. However, before I start the design process I like to understand your purpose, mission and values (or help you figure these out) so we can create a strong brand together.

Fill out my enquiry form to get started 👇

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