Branding vs Design – What’s the Difference?

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Umer Hayat

Hey, I'm Umer Hayat, a blogger navigating the digital landscape at Through my blog, I craft narratives that delve into the intricacies of everyday life. As an enthusiast of introspective musings, I invite you to join the conversation. Let's connect for a virtual exchange on diverse topics and shared human experiences.
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“Branding” and “Design” are the two most popular things in business that either make or break the campaign. However, there is a great miscommunication around these words. On top of that, many design agencies further increase the misconception by claiming that they do “branding” when they are just referring to a simple letterhead design that anyone can make.

So, the key is, do not to mix branding and design as these two are very different terms with different roles and meanings.

To understand the difference between two terms, it’s important to understand what brand is: It’s a desired perception. A process of creating a strong perception of your company. And how do you do that? By creating logos, themes, and images, and focusing on specific design elements that align with your products and services so that your customers instantly start recognizing you based on those design elements.

To create such a strong perception of your company, a brand is required to use a myriad of important tools. And the design is one of those tools that play a significant role in branding.

You won’t understand that well unless you know the differences between design and branding.

Branding is Your Foundation While Design is a Ridge

The first difference is, that branding is your overall foundation and design is the ridge. 

When it comes to starting your business, you need to set the foundation as it’s a key to building your brand. Every branding strategy you implement serves as a foundation for your activities upon which other things are based upon.

Now what you need to do is, set a strong base for your business because it carries the weight of components that build your brand such as graphic design. 

Some common design elements included in the campaign are logos and fonts. In fact, these are the building blocks of your design. They give you a proper brand identity. In short, they set a look for your brand, which people see and remember.

Design is Just a Part of Branding, But Branding is a Whole New World

If you are confused, then we are sure that this point will clear all your confusion.

Design is just a subset and a part of branding.

However, branding is something big. It’s a broader concept and in fact, a whole new world. So, what we are trying to say is, that design is just a single element in the big world of branding. Your design should always be backed by a proper branding strategy. If you won’t follow it, your brand will never be able to withstand the growing market.  The term comprises 2 primary elements: 

  • A proper brand strategy and
  • Brand identity design

Now the brand identity is related to visual aspects that redefine your brand. For example, logos, themes, colors, and fonts give special recognition to your brand through which your customers easily recognize you. According to an estimate, more than 60% of marketers believe that visual content is extremely important for their marketing strategy.

Design Represents the Face of Your Brand

One thing we all know for sure; is the design is something that makes our brand recognizable in the saturated market. That’s why people count on design agencies as they are expert in doing that.

Let’s talk about the logo of Apple. That logo of a bitten Apple is associated with one of the most powerful companies in the world called Apple. Nobody needs a description or explanation of that company. The moment they see the logo, they instantly recognize it because it belongs to an extremely popular company.

That’s the power of design which makes your brand recognizable in the whole world. A strong visual identity of your brand is always persuasive. Make sure you set a unique identity that marks a lasting impression on your customer’s mind.

We cannot understate the importance of design while discussing branding. The fact is, that design is the primary thing that represents the face of your brand. 

Your target audiences immediately recognize your brand the minute they see the colors, logo, packaging, website, letterhead, Visiting Card, and Tri Fold. Moreover, elements like colors have a great impact on your brand recognition. You can simply boost the recognition of your brand by 80% when you use your signature color.

Brand Strategist and Designer Both Have Different Jobs

When it comes to building a brand, you need the help of both, a designer and a brand strategist. They both work in collaboration to set the whole identity of your business. Branding is somewhat very comprehensive and it involves creating a proper brand strategy as well as designing a brand identity.

Both of these aspects need to work in harmony so they can build your brand. That’s the reason, you need the help of professional brand strategies for building your brand and also a Designer who can work closely with the strategist so they can make the whole procedure successful.

The role of a brand strategist is, to craft the unique architecture of your brand which sets the founding of your branding. But the designer resonates with the mission of a Brand strategist as well as uses his creativity and tools to turn the vision into reality.

Design is a Tool to Build Strong and Vibrant Brand

As explained earlier, design is just a tool to build your brand.

There are plenty of tools and techniques that come in handy when you build a proper brand. Amongst all these tools, Graphic Design is probably the most important tool which ensures that your brand identity is strong, attractive, and vibrant. 

Without having an attractive design, your branding strategy will be useless. 

Graphic designers adopt a myriad of tools to devise an awesome design plan. One popular technique they follow is the gestalt principles of design. This is commonly used by good logo design companies

According to this theory, your mind is subconsciously guided by specific principles. These principles could be Proximity, Closure, Continuity, Similarity, and Multi-stability which can be considered by any business for creating a recognizable and memorable logo.

Ending Thoughts

We are living in a highly competitive world where it’s hard to establish a unique identity of your brand, especially if you are not following the right set of rules.

That’s why it’s recommended to work with a professional design and branding agency that knows the difference between these terms and implements them effectively to create a strong recognition of your brand in the industry. 

The experts devise a proven strategy that brings guaranteed results. So, if you think that your brand needs a proper strategy to win, then make sure you contact the right agency that can help turn your dreams into reality.