Reasons for investing in logo design are pretty obvious. It’s an icon, illustration, text, or any other form of a simple visual, that communicates to your customer who you are, what your business is about, what it sells, what values it stands for and what characteristics it shares. Very often it is the first attempt of forming a connection with a potential client or buyer. Moreover, it is also the primary step in the creation of brand recognition.

Owners of small and big businesses, CEOs, heads of marketing, creative directors and whole teams work on building a brand. Starting with the mentioned logo and a business name, through offered services, to marketing strategies. However, where does branding go? A logo isn’t sufficient to form an entire brand identity. Even in a combination with a website, no matter how well the two are designed, most probably they won’t cover something as broad, and often intangible, as branding.

What Is Brand Identity Design?

What nowadays became more important than a single logo is brand identity design. What is it exactly? In short, it is an extension of a logo. Standard packages usually include specified brand colors, fonts, business card design, letterhead, envelopes, and compliment notes design. Summarizing, it covers all business stationary and defines what fonts, colors as well as design basics a company should use for other marketing items such as merchandise products, name tags, napkins, take away cups as well as websites, social media accounts, and mobile applications.

Is It Really That Necessary?

As imagined, since brand identity design includes a number of various items, it costs more than a logo. For big companies, the extra cost isn’t a very big deal as the difference isn’t enormous. However, small businesses, startups especially, could see it as an unnecessary expense. An aspect like this, previously not taken under consideration when creating a budget, might not seem very attractive. After all, the business probably already has a logo. Why spend extra money on brand identity? Won’t logo be sufficient for the beginning?

In short term, the benefits of investing in a brand identity don’t seem major. However, long term effects will show that working on creating brand consistency across all levels and taking care of brand recognition can either make or break the future of the business. It might define how the company is perceived by the target audience. Consistency is directly correlated with professionalism. And that’s something majority of brands want to be associated with.

Who Can Design It?

Of course, a graphic designer. However, do not go to the first person you know. First, always do your market research and see what you are able to afford. Both in terms of money as well as time. One option is going to a graphic design agency. These places are full of top-level professionals who will certainly deliver work of great quality. However, they tend to charge a fortune and take time to complete a project.

Another option is hiring a freelancer. These individuals charge less and deliver the finished product way faster. However, it is more difficult to assure whether it’s the right person for the job. What is this person’s experience? Is there a brand identity portfolio they are able to present you? What about references and recommendation? Have a few freelancers and compare their offers and skills before choosing one.

The third option is heading to a graphic design platform which connects business representatives with (freelance) designers. Many are relatively affordable and contest-based. This means that there are multiple designers working on one project and the client can choose the best one – the winner.

Design platforms offer the client multiple different brand identities to choose from, all of which should theoretically be high quality as the idea is for the designers to compete and try their best to become the winner. However, in reality, the delivered work might not be as original and creative as imagined. Then indeed, the investment isn’t worth it. Here again, have a few platforms compared and pick the one that has the best offer.

Natalia Raben takes care of marketing at DesignBro. She’s a lover of design, photography and the arts.