I'm a bit confused about terms like brand identity, visual identity, brand guidelines, brand style guide, brand identity guidelines, etc., and I have some questions:

  1. Is brand identity a tangible thing like presentations or documents, similar to visual identity?

  2. Suppose we create a logo for a client who wants branding. Do we need to develop the entire branding package or just the brand guidelines?

  3. On Behance, I've noticed projects titled "brand identity" and others titled "visual identity" with similar content. If brand identity isn't like a document or presentation, why use the "brand identity" title?

  4. For instance, I designed a logo for a company looking to represent itself through branding rather than a traditional company profile. What type of branding should I create for them—brand identity or visual identity?

  • It's a good idea to try and stick to 1 main question per post. It probably makes sense to make this questions around what do the terms mean then make a follow up post about the expectations of client work related to these terms Jan 25 at 15:21

1 Answer 1


Brand identity is on a high level, how a company views and presents itself. It can include visual components, but it can include other things such as values, mission, language (voice and tone), corporate culture, etc.

Visual identity is the part of the brand identity that can be seen: colors, logo, type, imagery.

The brand guidelines are a document that describes the brand identity (or visual identity if there are no other components).

  • 1
    Good explanation. One example of brand identity that is not "visual", could be the mood for the music on an ad.
    – Rafael
    Jan 25 at 16:35
  • Another common non-visual brand identity element is the written tone and voice used in technical and marketing communications. Feb 28 at 4:16

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