Design & Advertising 101 from Hyland Graphics

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Matthew H. Weiss, President & Creative Director for Hyland Graphic Design & Advertising, will take you through a tutorial about the brand promise that your company or organization may or may not have and how the clients and customer that you serve translate it.

This is important stuff to know so lets take it from the top!

What is a brand? What is identity? What is a logo? 

What is brand? – The perceived emotional corporate/business image as a whole.

What is identity? – The visual aspects that form part of the overall brand.

What is a logo? – A logo identifies a business in its simplest form via the use of a mark or icon.

What is branding?

You might say that a brand is your ‘corporate image’. The fundamental idea behind having a “corporate image” is that everything a company does, everything it says, everything it owns and everything it produces should reflect the values and goals of the business as a whole.

It is the consistency of this idea that makes up the company, driving it, showing what it stands for, what it believes in and why they exist. It is not purely a product, some colors, a logo and a slogan.

As an example, let’s look Apple. Apple is an emotionally humanist brand that really connects with people – when people buy or use their products or services; they feel part of the brand, like a tribe even. It is this emotional connection that creates their brand – not purely their products and a bite sized logo.

What is identity design?

One major role in the ‘brand’ or ‘corporate image’ of a company is its identity. In most cases, identity design is based around the visual devices used within a company, usually assembled within a set of guidelines. The guidelines that make up an identity tell us how the identity is applied throughout a variety of mediums, using approved color palettes, fonts, layouts, measurements and so forth.

These guidelines ensure that the identity of the company is kept consistent (there is that word again), which in turn, allows the brand as a whole, to be recognizable. Create your own guidelines: It doesn’t have to be over involved but record all that you do and narrow it down to a set of rules – do’s and do not’s. This will help keep you consistent in your designs and help you to build a true brand identity.

The identity or ‘image’ of a company is made up of a few visual devices:

• A Logo (The symbol of the entire identity & brand)
• Stationery (Letterhead + business card + envelopes, etc.)
• Marketing Collateral (Flyers, brochures, books, websites, etc.)
• Products & Packaging (Products sold and the packaging in which they come in)
• Apparel Design (Tangible clothing items that are worn by employees)
• Signage (Interior & exterior design)
• Messages & Actions (Messages conveyed via indirect or direct modes of communication)
• Other Communication (Audio, smell, touch, etc.)
• Anything visual that represents the business.

All of these things make up an identity and should support the brand as a whole. The logo however, is the corporate identity and brand all wrapped up into one identifiable mark. This mark is the avatar and symbol of the business as a whole.

What is a logo?

A logo is for… identification.  

A logo identifies a company or product via the use of a mark, flag, symbol or signature. A logo does not sell the company directly nor rarely does it describe a business. Do not try to tell your complete story within a loo. It will become confused which in turn creates customer confusion. Logos derive their meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes, not the other way around – logos are there to identity, not to explain. In a nutshell, what a logo means is more important than what it looks like.

It is also important to note that only after a logo becomes familiar, does it function the way it is intended to do much alike how we much must learn people’s names to identify them. The logo identifies a business or product in its simplest form.

Think Nike: Nike has evoked motion from their “swoosh logo”. You can see this logo without the work Nike and still recognize the brand. A truly effective logo and be shrunken down to the size of an eraser tip on a pencil and still be recognized.

 Lets Review:

What is brand? – The perceived emotional corporate/business image as a whole.
What is identity? – The visual aspects that form part of the overall brand.
What is a logo? – A logo identifies a business in its simplest form via the use of a mark or icon.

How does this tie into what your company and your brand promise? Put it this way…. If you had a big perspective client meeting that could land you a lot future business, would you show up in sweatpants, old sneakers and a sweater your grandma made you in 1985? What would that lead your client to believe about the way you do business or the services you provide?


Every piece of collateral that you create or put on the web says something about you or your company. What do you want that message to be? When a customer arrives at your website, is handed a business card, or gets your mailer out of the mailbox, do you want them to feel that you are a trusted source? Build an identity that has a clear and consistent moving brand images that work across printed and digital platforms. 

Do you have a vision for you company or need consultation? Contact Hyland Graphic Design & Advertising and together we can build a strong and impressive brand that creates RESULTS!

Matthew H. Weiss
President / Creative Director
Hyland Graphic Design & Advertising

Meghan Kelly

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