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  • Denny Kurien

Logos, identity designs, and branding – what’s the difference?

Updated: May 3


Brand Identity Design for Orthodontist & Cosmetic Dentist - Dr. Peyo
Brand Identity Design for Orthodontist & Cosmetic Dentist - Dr. Peyo

In this article, we will cover:

  1. What is a brand?

  2. What is branding?

  3. What is an identity?

  4. What is a logo?

  5. What does a brand identity design agency do?

  6. Benefits of hiring a brand identity design agency


As a branding & design agency, the most common question we get asked is, "how much do you charge for a logo design?". A lot of entrepreneurs who come to us asking this question, often are misguided thinking that their logo or website design represents their entire brand. At which point we refer them to the following chart:


Infographic - difference between brand, identity, and logo
Infographic - difference between brand, identity, and logo


You see, we don't just offer logo designs because we believe that does NOT have the best interest of our prospects at heart. At Rayvn, we believe in providing the FULL SOLUTION.


We create brands. Specifically premium brands that turn your expertise into profit. Yes, our niche is in creating brands for subject matter experts (the likes of law firms, financial advisors, real-estate agencies, urban planners, IT consultants, fitness coaches, business coaches, video production studios, and even cosmetic orthodontists). These are folks that run professional service firms, and charge a premium for their subject matter expertise.



What is a brand?

Your brand is your customer’s perception of your company.

Your brand is influenced by your reputation, your values, your products, your marketing, your customer service. It’s shaped by magazine articles written about you, online reviews of how you treat your clients and the delivery & quality of your services. And yes, it includes your logo, website, and business cards. Everything people encounter when they interact with your company adds to their perception of you. This is your brand.



What is branding?

“Branding” is the effort to influence this perception.

You can’t control what people talk about you online or on social media, but you can do your best to make the right impression. Our clients come to us for our branding & design services, to influence the perception of premium-ness. We are in the business of making other businesses look good, and be more valuable & superior to their competitors, through premium branding & design.



What is an identity?

An identity is a brand’s set of visual elements.


A subset of a brand is the brand identity (also called corporate identity or visual identity system). The key word is identity. These are the tangible elements you can see when a company communicates with you make up its identity design:

  • Logo & logo variations

  • Color palettes

  • Brand Fonts

  • Graphic Iconography

  • Photography Style

The above identity can be manifested into various touchpoints & applications:



Brand Identity Touchpoints
Brand Identity Touchpoints


A brand style guide is a document that records this identity. It keeps everyone on the right track, using the right fonts, colors, and more.


A Brand Style Guide for Orthodontist & Cosmetic Dentist, Dr. Peyo
A Brand Style Guide for Orthodontist & Cosmetic Dentist, Dr. Peyo


What is a logo?

A logo is a mark / symbol that represents a company.


A logo’s job is very simple: to be memorable. It’s an identifier, to remind people of all the events, moments, & memories that they have come in contact with your brand with.



Logo Design for Orthodontist & Cosmetic Dentist, Dr. Peyo
Logo Design for Orthodontist & Cosmetic Dentist, Dr. Peyo

he Thinking behind the Logo Design for Orthodontist & Cosmetic Dentist, Dr. Peyo
The Thinking behind the Logo Design for Orthodontist & Cosmetic Dentist, Dr. Peyo

For example, the new logo for Dr. Peyo

  • Signals the initials of the brand name (D & P) for Dr. Peyo

  • It is also in the form of a diamond - since Dr. Peyo is an orthodontist, who is also a 'diamond' status invisalign provider.

  • But the logo itself has nothing to do with teeth or cosmetic dentistry.



Here are a few other logos we've created here at Rayvn:


Logos designed by Rayvn Design for various subject-matter experts
Logos designed by Rayvn Design for various subject-matter experts



What does a brand identity design agency do?


Here at Rayvn Design, we use strategy to create the visual elements of your brand. These elements include your logo, color palette, typography, image style, and general look and feel. These should be unique to your company, and appealing to your target audience. Our job is to influence the public’s perception of your business by creating an appropriate, consistent look and feel.



Rebranding for Orthodontist & Cosmetic Dentist, Dr. Peyo
Rebranding for Orthodontist & Cosmetic Dentist, Dr. Peyo



Benefits of hiring a brand identity design agency for your business


Maybe you’re a small startup beginning from scratch. Or maybe you’ve been around for many years, and you’re wondering whether you should update your existing brand identity. After all, it’s gotten you this far! Is it worth investing in better design? As in the case with our client urbanMetrics, who approached us to do a brand refresh after 35 years of running their consulting business.


For businesses that get all their customers from neighborhood referrals, and word-of-mouth like mom & pop shops, plumbers, mechanics, dentists – it’s probably not worth it. As long as their service is great, nobody minds if their visuals are a little less than stellar.


But if you’re in a competitive market or an industry where aesthetics can increase your revenue (think financial services, health and wellness, hospitality, food & beverage, architecture, fashion etc.), you can benefit from the work of a brand identity design agency like ours.


You might need a brand refresh if your mission has shifted, your audience has changed, or you have new competition. Maybe you’ve got a nagging feeling that your old identity design looks a bit dated or staid.



Great Identity design requires a brand strategy

Sometimes you can cover up the logo on a package, ad, or truck and still know who it belongs to. That’s how good identity design works. It’s a cohesive system, not just a logo. Such as the example of the below video that cleverly celebrates famous logos without showing a single one:



What that design system looks like should be based on your brand strategy. We here like to use the brand iceberg illustration to show the difference between the brand expression (ie. what your customers see) and your brand strategy (ie. what’s under the surface of your brand, which as a result manifests the brand expression):



At Rayvn, our brand discovery & brand strategy sessions involves us asking you a series of questions, such as:


  1. What’s the main idea behind your business?

  2. Why are you doing this?

  3. What are your values and ways of working?

  4. Who are other competitors in your space?


We always treat brands like people, and give them a personality and human attribute. So if your company were a person, how would he / she look, sound, and act like?


Then ask yourself, who are the customers you are trying to attract? What do they need from your business, and what would they respond to? The objective of branding is not just for them to do business with you, but also become raving Super-Fans of your products and services.


Insights about you, combined with insights about them, will shape your brand identity. When your design connects both parties, that’s when you know you’ve got an extraordinary brand on your hands.


 

Hi, I'm Denny Kurien. I'm the Creative Director & Co-Founder of Toronto branding studio, Rayvn Design. We build brands for subject-matter experts, so they can turn expertise into profit, and attract high paying clients.

My goal through my blog is to clarify and simplify the elusive idea of "branding," and share practical tips and tangible steps to help businesses find their unique brand voice, and help them attract their ideal clients.


Our strength has always been in working directly with the founders of startups and small businesses, in helping them materialize their vision for their premium brand. If you want to elevate your service-based business, attract high-paying clients, and create a waitlist worthy brand experience, then check out our prices, and if we are within your budget — then book a 15 minute consultation with us to see if we are a good fit to work together.

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