What is the difference between a logo and a brand?

‘Logo’ and ‘Brand’ are words that are sometimes used interchangeably, but are they the same thing? Read below to find out ‘what’s the difference between a logo and a brand?’

A logo and a brand are not the same thing, but they must work together cohesively. Let’s start by taking a look at what a logo is and what a brand is:

A logo graphically represents a business, an organisation, product or precincts identity. Moulded through design, font and colour a logo is a unique and distinctive mark. It is a symbol that will help customers identify you, so it must be unique to your business.

A brand encompassing philosophies and unique selling points, a brand is what sets you apart from your competitors and peers. It should be relevant, desirable, believable, enduring and create an emotional connection with it’s audience.

A brand can incorporate elements such as;

  • Logo
  • Positioning Statement
  • Values
  • A promise
  • Colours
  • Graphics
  • Tone of voice
  • Typography
  • Illustration Style
  • Sounds
  • Scents
  • Taste
  • Shapes
  • Mascot
  • Tagline or Jingle
  • Story
  • Brand extension on marketing material such as stationery, signage, advertising, uniforms, packaging

So, what’s the difference between a logo and a brand? A logo is just one element of your brand and all elements of a brand should work together to create an emotional connection with it’s audience.

Google to Penalise Non Responsive Websites as of April 21, 2015

Lately the internet has been a buzz with the news from Google, about a planned change in it’s Algorithm on April 21.

For a while now Google has been signalling that due to mobile searches rapid growth, websites that want to perform should be transitioned to being mobile friendly. Recently though, Google put a date on a scheduled change in their algorithm which  means it will use mobile-friendly design as a ranking factor in mobile search.

“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”
Official Google Webmaster Central Blog

This means that mobile friendly (responsive) sites will be rewarded and non mobile friendly (non responsive) sites will be penalised in search results. Our advice would be that if want to continue to be found through google and your site isn’t responsive then it is time to put a plan in place and timeline.

If you would like to discuss transitioning your site to being mobile friendly, get in touch!

Not sure if your web site is mobile friendly? Check it here on the Mobile Friendly Test

Google Finding more mobile-friendly search results April 21


Why Your Business should have Google My Business

Google My Business (Previously known as Google Places and Google Plus Local) is a an online resource by google to help businesses, brands,  artists, and organisations to manage their online presence with Google.

We have been recommending our clients to get set up with a Google My Business page to help increase their exposure and legitimacy on the web and help with their local search

If your running business and not using Google My Business then you are missing a potential opportunity to help your customers and clients find you and to speak directly to them.

As Google is one of the most used search engines, it is an easy decision to make. It is a  free service that will help your business be found, and the more you update and ask for client reviews, the more Google will reward you.

If you are already using or considering using some form of social media, it is as easy as taking that content and putting it into your Google My Business page.

Google My Business brings together all the ways Google can help your business in the one place:

  • Update your business info on Search, Maps and Google+ from one place to make it easy for customers to get in touch
  • Add beautiful photos of your business and a virtual tour of your business interior to help customers see what makes your business unique
  • Connect directly with your fans and customers by sharing news, events and other important updates from your Google+ page
  • Stay on top of reviews from across the web, and respond to Google reviews Understand how people find and interact with your business using custom insights and integration with AdWords Express
  • Manage your information on-the-go with the Google My Business

To learn more about it visit or get in touch with us 

Google My Business

We Love Startups by Neon Zoo

There is nothing quite like the buzz and excitement of a new business getting ready to launch itself into the market. This is why we have taken the plunge and launch a sister business, ‘We Love Startups by Neon Zoo‘.

We Love Startups by Neon Zoo, is a logo design service tailored specifically to people with great ideas and lean budgets AKA a startup businesses.

It is designed to help businesses set up the some bare essential branding items that they will need in their infancy to help them grow quickly and effectively.

All projects are completed through our online forms, but our clients still benefit from being able to call the studio for phone support.

It is a paired back version of our larger brand packages, intended to help get new businesses through the essential testing period their products and services as quickly as possible.

The website is also a resource where you can read stories from other Startups, and find the resources, tips and tools that a new business needs.


We love Startups logo design

We’re really exciting to be launching ‘We love Startups by Neon Zoo, so I hope you will share our exctiment by telling anyone that has been thinking about turning their hobby into a career or is getting ready to step out on their own. For more information please email us at hello@welovestartups and follow us on Instagram and Facebook, if you would like to show us some love.


What is a Mood board?

Mood boards are a collection of found images that help to visually articulate the direction that a design project will take.

You will generally look at a mood board at the start of  a design project and use it to further define the parameters of a brief. Mood boards help when your trying to articulate a visual idea in your head, but are struggling with the words to communicate it. Often in these cases, using reference images to form a mood board can help clients to communicate colours, shapes, compositions and fonts that are relevant, or not, to what they are looking to achieve with their design project.

As a mood board is made up of found images your designer is not asking you to pick which one you want (that would be copying)! Instead they are after clues about what does and doesn’t appeal to you, your market and your project brief. You can look at a design as a whole and say which ones you do and don’t like. Or you can look at smaller aspects such as size, colour, type, composition, shape and feel.

Responses that will help your designer, when providing feedback on a mood board, would include things like;

  • I like the colours used on ‘A’
  • I really dislike the font on ‘B’
  • ‘C’ has great feel to it, I really like it
  • I don’t like anything about ‘F’
  • I like the arrangement of the type on ‘G’
  • ‘H’ is a little too corporate for what I’m after.
  • ‘D’ is my favourite of all of them
  • I really like ‘G’, but I think it is wrong for my market.
  • I like the icon used on ‘E’

Remember when giving responses about your mood board, try to think about it in terms of what will appeal to your target market, not just you.

Your designer will read your responses use them as part of their research and to help guide their designs. Remember, a mood board is a guide only and occasionally your designer will suggest something that contradicts your responses. When this happens though they will have a rational and explain why. For example, “I understand you said that you didn’t want any red in your logo, red is s a very appetising colour so as but as you are a fast food company we though we should explore the option.”

See below for an example of a mood board.

What is a Moodboard

Brand Design For Aziz Sahu-Khan Orthodontics

 Aziz Sahu-Khan Orthodontics needs very little introduction.It is hard to over look the vibrant, cheerful and colourful elements that make up this new brand design.

Our brief was to create a new brand that was bright and cheerful as well as reflective of Dr Aziz Sahu-Khan’s personality! Our designs were based directly on our immediate response to meeting Dr Sahu-Khan. His infectious and engaging personality, as well as the bright, individualistic Hawaiian shirts he wears to the clinic daily provided us with great inspiration.

Patients of the clinic are now greeted with the brand pattern of lush greenery and birds of paradise that is featured on walls, doors and partitions throughout the clinic. Directional signage throughout the landmark building also now pops off the walls to point you in the right direction.

It was a please to work on this project and i hope that you will now keep an eye out for Aziz Sahu-Khan Orthodontics clinic as you travel down the Pacific Highway Charlestown.

Dr Sahu-Khan is a cleft palette and craniofacial specialist and his clinic is located in the  Landmark building, Pacific Highway Charlestown.

See here for more examples of the Brand design by Neon Zoo

Brand design for Aziz Sahu-Khan

Business card design  for Aziz Sahu-Khan Orthodontics

Business card design  for Aziz Sahu-Khan Orthodontics

Stationery design for aziz sahu-khan orthodontics


Aziz Sahu Khan Orthodontics sign design

Aziz Sahu Khan Orthodontics Charlestown

Signage design graphic design newcastle

medical design for orthodontists



print design newcastle

medical design for orthodontists

medical design for orthodontists

print design newcastle




How can a brand increase your businesses value?

A good brand takes an investment of a lot of time, effort and creativity but when assessing a businesses value, this investment can some times be overlooked. But can a brand really increase the value of you business?

When assessing a businesses value there are many elements that can be considered,

  • Reason for the sale of a business
  • Age of the business
  • Assets such as property, machinery and stock
  • Past financial statements and forecast sales
  • Market conditions
  • Brand equity or brand value

Many of these are tangible items or figures that can be worked out using formulas. But can you really value a business based on it’s brand?

The short answer is yes.

A strong brand can influence buying decisions and create relationships between a business and it’s consumers. A strong brand could therefore generate more income through consumers choosing their product or service over another based on brand elements (name, logo, packaging etc) and people’s perceptions of that brand.

A company with a strong brand has better potential to expand its product range, maintain and grow their market share through repeat business and consumer loyalty. It also gives businesses the power to charge a higher fee for for a product or service that is the same (or very similar) to another product in the marketplace.

Think about some of the go-to brands? Apple, Bonds, Nike, Coca-Cola. Why does the public continually support these brands? What factors affect people’s buying decision and to pay more for their products?

So how can you strengthen your brand?

  • Create a great brand (this can include name, logo, packaging, web design, language, advertising etc)
  • Secure your brand by Trademarking it.
  • Continue to develop, strengthen and grow your brand and it’s personality (it does not stop with just a logo).
  • Get brand advocates, i.e people who will speak favourably of your brand.

How can a brand increase a businesses value

Retro Kombi Co

If you’re looking for a unique vehicle to hire, combining both a laid-back café culture and premium personalised service, then say hello to Retro Kombi Co.

The two stars of the Retro Kombi Co. family are Errol and Olive.

Servicing ‘day-to-day’ cafe culture, ‘Olive’ is the ‘roaming barista’ – a café/beverage service that travels around the Newcastle and Hunter Region. Olive, named after her beautiful green colouring, is equipped with an espresso machine and refrigeration for coffee and basic food service. Olive will also be set up to work at markets and festivals and available for hire as a pop-up bar for weddings and special occasions.

Errol is the perfect gentleman, he has the most royal of blue hue & pearl white trims boasting timeless sophistication that will add elegance and charm.  Ready to help make your wedding a memorable day, Errol will whisk your wedding party away and dazzle onlookers.

As part of our work with Retro Kombi Co. we developed the branding concept and logo development as well as introducing sub brands for the two vehicles Errol and Olive.

Neon Zoo worked with Retro Kombi Co, first to create a logo and brand design that they could use on their signage and promotional material. Their primary logo is black and white and then there are two other colour versions that (you guessed it) each matched to Olive or Errol. They branding also included a brand pattern that is reminder of the Kombi’s origins.  Once their brand was underway we then worked with Retro Kombi Co. to design a website. Being a mobile business having a website where people can go to to view packages and see images of their vehicles was really important.

Retro Kombi Co. will travel throughout Lake Macquarie, Newcastle and the Hunter Region. If you’re interested in Retro Kombi Co. for event hire, or if you’re like us and think the idea of a kombi van bringing coffee to your pad is totally coolsville, then check out Retro Kombi Co.’s website  or follow their Instagram , Facebook or website to see where you can next catch Olive the roaming Barista.

Here’s that they had to say about working with Neon Zoo.
“Abby and her team have been great!  Their enthusiasm and fun approach to work is refreshing. Thanks Abby for all your help and advice, we are loving the results.”


animated gif for of Retro Kombi Co branding by Newcastle design studio, Neon Zoo

Brand pattern developed for Newcastle & Hunter Region based company, Retro Kombi Co



Retro Kombi Co Web design Retro Kombi Co Web design Retro Kombi Co Web design


And we’re back!!

Hello 2015!!

We’re back in the studio and ready for 2015.

After some much-needed down time we’re all feeling rejuvenated and ready to sink our teeth into some new creative challenges.

Some of our key client focuses this year will include helping our clients to;

  • Get mobile friendly, by converting their existing websites to a responsive designs
  • Rejuvenate their branding for 2015
  • Suggest new ways for our clients to reach out to their client base, so they stand out from the crowd
  • Partner with new clients to launch their brands

In the studio, were focusing on;

  • Improving our workflow and client experience
  • Continue to keep our design skills and business knowledge up to date
  • Have fun in the studio and enjoy the amazing people and projects that we get to work with!

If you want to give your brand some TLC or have a new venture, project or idea that you want to get started, then just give us a call!

Below are some holiday snaps from the Zoo Crew, three guesses as to where we all spent most of our time!

Summer holidays Beach time

Avoca beach holiday snap

Neon Zoo new years break



Setting yourself up for your best year yet: 2015

The new year always brings big plans and resolutions, but like most people we start the year thinking we have plenty of time to achieve our goals and then quickly let the year slip away.

We all know you can’t eat an elephant in one bite, so we have decided to share our goal sheet that we use to help us prepare and reach our targets. The planner helps to break down goals into bite size chunks, set a time lines and gives us a motivational reward for when we reach our target.

Download the PDF here to set yourself up for your best year yet and to achieve the goals within your business or personal life.

Don’t forget the SMART rules when filling in your goals:

Time Bound


Neon Zoo goal planner