A logo is a graphical element, a brand is knowledge about a company or product.
As with a branded calf and the ranch it’s from, we start to identify products (the calf) with the owner (the ranch). What we think about the products: are they good looking, do the taste good, do they make us feel good, that is the brand, not the logo.
Does this mean a crummy looking logo is OK as long as the product is good? Perhaps, but let’s back track a little. If a owner cares about their products should they also care about their mark? It’s all relative.
A logo serves as an identifying mark, a thumbprint of sorts, which is unique to the individual and separates them for the rest. I see a logo as a way to convey a message about what your business does without words. A universal language that probably started when people didn’t read. We can go as far back a the petroglyphs, or more recently to the earlier part of the 20th century where we could find a pair of giant eyeglasses outside the ophthalmologist’s shop.
As the alphabet became commonplace we start to see letter forms come into play. The Rx symbol, recognized as the mark for a prescription, is a good example how letter forms are used in identity. It was originally taken from the Latin — an abbreviation for recipe.
Logos come to us as a visual interpretation with – or without words. The brand is an emotional message. If you get a positive feeling when you see a logo then you know the marketers have done a good job.