A must read article by Adrian Shaughnessy; “Why designers should give branding back its soul”, is a useful article of how the very definition of Brand and/or Branding, has lost it’s true meaning to many, including designers.
I’ve touched on this in the past, and it generally resulted in somewhat heated debates on Twitter, but typically the word Brand is used pretty liberally, and rarely in the correct way.
Unfortunately, Brand has become synonymous with logo and identity design, so if you are a logo and identity designer, it’s almost become necessary to append the word to ones job title/description because it’s a term that is used by customers/clients in their search for a logo and brand identity designer.
It’s also just a term that has infused itself into the logo and identity terminology over the last few years, to the point many designers incorrectly believe they can design a Brand. Adding it to your job description is, for a lot of us, simply playing a little fast & loose with the definition for the sake of being found, and hired, and milking Google SEO for all that you can.
There is also something quite complete about how Logo & Brand Identity sounds, but still doesn’t make you a Brand designer.
Even in my case, where I often describe what I do as being a logo and brand identity designer, I’m not comfortable with using the word because it’s simply inaccurate. I don’t create brands, I create logo and identities, as these are the aspects I have control over. What I don’t have control over, or experience in, is branding. My primary area of focus is designing logos/logomarks whilst carefully, and considerately, venturing into the realm of identity design, ergo I’m a Logo & Identity Designer.
Obviously there are specialist companies/agencies that focus on the much bigger, complex, mysterious area of: product, company and personal Branding, but for many a self-employed logo & identity designer, it is simply not a valid part of the job description.