Branding vs Graphic Design

Many times our marketing clients ask questions like, “Aren’t branding and graphic design basically the same thing?” The truth is that, yes, they go hand -in-hand, but they are actually distinctly different, and that difference is very important. In fact, branding is established way before graphic design even enters the picture. It is established even before a logo is conceptualized.  Let’s start off with some definitions.

Branding can be defined simply as a mark that indicates ownership or distinction.

This of course is shown through a logo and signature trademarks. Most people just stop there, but the most successful clients realize that the branding process goes much deeper than just a few graphics. Branding also means the collective elements that make you or your company unique. Branding is that “X Factor” that brings instant distinction and notoriety.

With that being said, we can begin to see that branding your business goes beyond just a logo and begins to encompass the overall product that is you or your company.  This would include things like colors, fonts, slogans, messaging, photography, video, persona, etc. Your brand is your first impression. It is your constant spokesperson.

All of these things are so important to define before building sites, making printable materials, or selling products.  If you do not know who you are and are unable to define yourself visually then imagine how much harder it is for a client to easily form an opinion of you! Different colors can present you as warm and inviting or cold and serious. Creative messaging can present you as customer-focused or give a different impression altogether. And all of this should be conceptualized and implemented in the branding process.

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