The difference between branding + brand identity design...



Branding. You hear this word all the time, but do you ever wonder what it really means? A lot of people get the notion that branding is simply just a logo or a wordmark that represents their brand, but no way, Hosea! Branding is so much more, and it almost always (we're talking like 99.9% of the time) is in direct correlation with your brand's success.

While branding encompasses every aspect of development (positioning in the marketplace, target audience/target market, demographics, visual identity design, etc.), brand identity design is a bit more narrow and deals with all things visible and tangible that are related to your brand. Here are the four main attributes that go into designing a cohesive visual identity for a brand:

  • Memorable, unique logo design
  • Custom or specifically curated typography
  • Eye-catching color palettes
  • Brand elements that can enhance a brand's outreach (think social media and website) and tangible collateral (marketing material, packaging design, and more)


When developing a unique logo for a brand, it's sooo important that it's done strategically. A logo's purpose is not just to leave a pretty mark, but to serve as an effective representation of what the brand offers and stands for. 

Strategic logo development varies from one designer to the next, but at Motif House of Design, our strategy starts at the roots which is the brand's story and of course the incredible face(s) behind it. We want to know the little details like: What inspired the brand name or brand idea? What is the brand's mission statement? Target audience? Best-selling items? From there, we can make educated design decisions that will impact every other asset of the visual identity.



"When typography is on point, words become images."
– Shawn Lukas

In design, typography is it's own form of art. Typography can be recognizable even when it's not trying to be. It can also create a bridge to mask lack of photographic content on websites. Take our website for example. Our site features our client work + maybe a few photos here and there, but when we designed the Motif House of Design site, the objective was to have a clean, sophisticated layout that displayed impeccable use of typography rather than having web pages cluttered with loads of photo content. This works for us because we aren't a retail site that needs to display tons of products. All we wanted was for our information to be visible to our lovely viewers! 

Using a core 2-3 fonts throughout your entire branding is important. It's just enough to create contrast, and just few enough to keep things looking cohesive



Possibly one of the most fun and exciting parts of designing visual brand identity... because c'mon... who doesn't love a good color palette? It's like candy for the eyes!

Color, when used effectively, can evoke feelings. Blue has a calming effect that represents loyalty while orange represents positivity and radiates feelings of good energy. But more on color psychology in a later post... ;)

In well-designed brand identity, a brand will almost always have a primary color palette of 2-5 colors, shades, or hues. From there, secondary and tertiary color palettes can be added to support other elements of the brand. Again, more on color later! 



BLOG 1 elements.jpg

Icons, patterns, markings, oh my! These are all things that add dimension to a brand's visual identity. Rather than just having one simple (or even one complex) logo, brand elements provide assets that can be used interchangeably on marketing materials, packaging, website, etc. Every single brand element adds to the experience that a customer has when they view your products/services or hold your tangible materials such as a business card or a package.

In other words, brand elements are essential to create a remarkable visual experience that will attract customers and turn them into buyers (which is pretty much the goal, am I right?!).

I hope this post helped you learn a little more about the difference between total branding and visual brand identity design, and the four major components that are considered when creating a brand's visual identity. If you're starting a business, or if you already have a brand, then ask yourself, "Does my visual identity effectively represent what my brand offers?" If you answered "yes," then keep on hustling and looking for ways to grow! But if you answered "no," then it may be time to start a major brand revolution! We're always open to connecting with new people who have stellar visions! 

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DESIGNVictoria McAbeeComment