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What makes the bigger impact? A lovely new logo or the brand identity?

I’ve always believed that the logical way to rebrand a company is to start with the logo, develop the brand identity and design the website in quick succession. The website is a core part of your brand identity and something that will be the most visible thing to your current and prospective clients. But what do you do if you simply can’t afford a new website and logo design?

In my experience, the temptation is to go for the logo, and do the website in 6-12 months as funds allow. Now sometimes that’s the right decision, but not always.

If you have a fixed (or lean) budget you need to channel the investment into the items that will make the biggest impact. And if the logo is useable (I’ll clarify that in my next post…), then better to start with website and brand identity and really start changing peoples perceptions quickly.

The fact is that if you do have a fixed budget and want to put your lovely new logo on your less than wonderful website, it’s going to struggle to have the impact it deserves.

But if you can do the website well and if the logo is useable, you’re likely to get a better return on your investment. Good, strategic design is what’s important here. This isn’t about settling for something “new” for the sake of new. It’s about being planning where you want your brand identity to be, the impression you want to create and how you want visitors to respond to the design.

And just to illustrate my point, here’s a couple I made earlier.

Old website design, new logo

Here’s HarveyMaria’s current website with their lovely new logo design. OK so the header looks classier, but there’s a long way to go in terms of design.

New brand identity, old logo

Wow. What a difference!

Now obviously some thought, care and attention has gone into this website design, and the design works because of more than the brand identity. The navigation has been thought through, the functionality and the messaging have been considered, and it all works together to create a coherent, useable, aspirational look.

But look again at the design. This is a great example of the power of a strong brand identity. We’ve worked hard to develop a look and feel for HarveyMaria that extends beyond their logo (in fact, do you see that I’ve cheekily superimposed their old logo onto the mockup?). The old logo barely makes an impact – it’s the brand identity that’s really making the difference: the fonts, the colour palette and the image styles. The devices we’ve used to draw attention to certain parts of the design.

The point is that it’s the whole that matters, not just the pretty logo stuck up in the top left hand corner. And the whole – when it’s planned and executed well is your brand identity. Thoughtful design, with colours, typography and images that support your business message.

And there is a very big difference between redesign a website and developing a brand identity whilst working on a website design but I think that’s another story for another day…

What do you think. If you had a fixed budget would you invest in the logo, the brand identity or the website?

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