Guest Blogger: Cyndi Fernandez
Is there a difference between a logo and a brand? Can we select the colors, fonts and symbols for our logo based on a favorite color or typeface?
Maybe we should start this discussion using a simpler question: What is a logo?
Since I mentioned logo and brand in the same context, perhaps we should step back a bit and start with: What is a brand? A brand is more than just a logo. It’s a promise. It’s a promise an organization makes to its constituents. You deliver on that promise through your programs, services and the way you visually communicate with your audience — your logo! For more about branding, please read our latest Purple Paper™, Branding for Social Change.
Yesterday, Squarespace launched Squarespace Logo, a “tool that makes creating your own logo as easy as dragging and dropping.” The idea behind this tool, linked to the Noun Project (an archive of thousands of icons uploaded by designers worldwide), is that you can select an icon from one of the many provided, choose a typeface, select your colors, add in a tagline and voila: you’re done!
Sounds super simple — and quick and inexpensive.
But stop and ask yourself the following questions:
- Does your new logo — the visual representation of who you are and how you want to present yourself to the world — align with your brand promise?
- Does it convey why you do what you do, sell the products you sell and believe in the people you hire?
- Does it represent the uniqueness of your organization?
I know, it sounds like a lot. Because it is a lot. Squarespace is right: creating your logo doesn’t have to cost a lot, but it does need to accurately represent who you are, the tone and culture of your organization and why you’re different from all the rest.
We get that small businesses and new organizations don’t have a lot of money to spend on creating a logo and a strong brand identity. Since we work with nonprofit organizations, we understand working with limited resources. But we can also cite many who have undergone brand assessments and refreshes very thoughtfully, conducting audience research and staff workshops before starting the design process.
Just using a logo generator to create your visual identity without first defining who you are and how you want to communicate that to the world could prove much costlier down the road when your constituents don’t know who you are or why the public should support your organization over a competitor’s organization. Still not sure about how to define who you are? Check out Branding for Social Change: A Purple Paper™ and we’ll walk you through it!