Logos, Visual Identity & Branding
A logo can be made up of different elements usually consisting of a graphic symbol or marque and the name of the organisation in a chosen style, known as the logotype. The logo might also include a short slogan to describe what the company does. These elements are sometimes used on their own but when these elements are combined, it is important that they work together harmoniously.
The symbol and logotype of any given logo should convey literal or abstract representation of the company whilst making an impression upon the intended audience. A logo needs to be instantly recognisable, memorable and work across different media at different sizes.
Visual Identity is not another term for a logo. The logo of a company does however contribute towards the visual identity of a company, along with a multitude of other things like colour schemes, typography, logo guidelines, photography, illustration etc.
Put simply, this is the visual style that defines a company’s identity. It’s important that this identity is shown consistently across different media so whether you’re flicking through a printed brochure or perusing a website, you should be able to tell that they are both representing the same company.
A brand is something less tangible, something that is built in your customers’ minds over time. It is how one perceives a company based on the logo, visual identity, the services that the company provide and the experiences they have had in using that company.
Branding is used to make a company recognisable by more and more people. In a competitive environment where many other companies offer the same service or product, it is paramount for your company to stand out.
Copyright & Trademarks
Copyrights are a form of protection for the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other creative works. Copyright protection starts as soon as a work is created. A copyright gives the owner the exclusive right to reproduce the work, prepare derivative works, distribute copies and perform/display the work publicly.
Copyright does not cover intellectual property such as titles, names, short phrases, and slogans; familiar symbols or designs; or mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or colouring. This type of intangible property is often more appropriately protected by a trademark.
Trademark vs Registered Trademark
A trademark protects a word, phrase, symbol or design (or a combination of these), that identifies and distinguishes the goods or services of one person or company from those of others. Any distinctive name, symbol, or word is designated as trademarked with the symbol™. Anybody can use the ™ Symbol to protect the name of your company, your newly designed name, logo or a catchphrase.
However, this trademark does not protect the company from another company that produces a similar product or uses a similar name. If such a thing were to happen, the original company would have to prove that it produced the name or design first, but still may not have a legal defence without a registration.
You can register your trade mark by visiting the GOV.UK website to protect your brand, for example the name of your product or service.
When you register your trade mark, you’ll be able to take legal action against anyone who uses your brand without your permission, including counterfeiters, put the ® symbol next to your brand – to show that it’s yours and warn others against using it, sell and license your brand. A registered trade mark is relatively simple to defend in a court of law.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO as it is commonly referred to, is how well your website ranks on a search engine like Google. There is no overnight ﬁx for your website to appear top of the search engine rankings but with good coding and an appropriate domain name, your website can rank much higher making it viewable to more people.
Hosting & Domain Names
Hosting is the space on a server where your website is uploaded to so that it will be available for everyone to see on the internet. It’s a similar principal to buying a plot of land to build a house on. The type of hosting required depends on how comprehensive your website is and is an annual charge.
A domain name is the website address that you type into the address bar of your internet browser, for example www.google.com. You can buy a domain name for up to ten years if it’s not already taken.
Content Management System (CMS)
A Content Management System, or CMS as it is commonly referred to, is a database that’s built behind your website. This is needed if you want to change things on your website yourself or if you want a log-in system. How extensive the CMS is depends on what you want to be able to edit on the site.
Colour Mode & Resolution
The resolution of image files is different for websites to those being used for print. To make images appear sharp on screen the resolution is set to 72ppi (pixels per inch). Where as images used in printed materials are usually set to 300ppi. Setting the resolution below these figures may result in pixelated or blurry images. There are also different colour modes for digital, web and print. Digital colour is usually defined as RGB — a three colour process, web colours are usually defined as hexadecimal codes and colour for print is usually defined as CMYK — a four colour process.
What Is Stock Imagery?
When using images on your website or in printed literature, it is important that you source them correctly. It’s important not to use images pulled from Google searches or else where on the internet as you may be in breach of copyright. You may use your own images if you wish if they are of sufficient quality, otherwise there are some great image libraries like www.istockphoto.com where you can purchase appropriate imagery for a reasonable price.
Typeface, Font or Family?
A font is the physical embodiment of a collection of letters, numbers, symbols etc, whilst a typeface is the design of these characters that make it unique. It’s the physical form of the characters that distinguish it from other typefaces.
A font family is a complete collection of typefaces in different weights and classifications. For example Gill Sans is a font family; consisting of various typefaces including Gill Sans Regular, Gill Sans Italic and Gill Sans Bold.