Designing for Success: 5 Essential Elements of Corporate Identity Design

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The better your corporate identity design, the more profitable your business will be.

And the more you work on it now, the more it will work for you in the future.

Big statements!

Not convinced?

Well, think Apple, Coca-Cola, and BMW. Can you see their logos, typography, colors?

That’s corporate identity design at work.

But this is where many business owners get confused with brand terminology. After all, aren’t they all elements of brand image?

Yes, they are.

Corporate identity is a commonly misunderstood term, and people often think it’s only for large corporations and sectors like technology, car manufacturing, and banking.

However, corporate identity design is essential to the success of all brands, irrelevant of industry or size.

Let’s look at how it can work for you and increase your profits.

What is corporate identity?

Corporate identity design is more than visual branding elements. It ensures that every piece works in harmony at every point of contact. Creating a recognizable and memorable brand identity that consumers instantly associate with your company. Raising their expectations and deepening their loyalty.

And when that happens, your identity works for you, and your profits soar.

You’ll find examples of corporate identity on every marketing platform, from websites, social media posts, billboards, transit advertising, product packaging to stationery and staff uniforms.

Corporate identity is every piece of information, and communication consumers see when interacting with your brand, including your logo, fonts, colors, illustrations, and the design style used to create them.

Ultimately your corporate design is the identifying factor of your company, telling consumers who you are and what you stand for. 

How do you create your corporate identity?

To build corporate identity, you must first understand your brand’s personality, values, mission, and tone of voice. Once you have those, you can create a visual language that truly reflects your brand.

A helpful design strategy is to create mock-ups and see how your visuals look in real life before deciding on which fonts, colors, and style you’ll use to put your corporate message across. 

OK, the what and why explained, let’s look at how you create a corporate identity:

The 5 essentials elements to create your corporate identity design:

  1. Logo

Your logo is your corporate identity’s primary visual element. Think back to the brands mentioned earlier, Apple, Coca-Cola, and BMW; you visualized their logos, didn’t you?

Logos instantly stand out and identify a company, but this doesn’t happen by chance; even the three cultural icons mentioned have reviewed and updated their logos, so they remain relevant and engage their target audience.

Your logo must be adaptable as it’s at the forefront of your corporate identity and used throughout your marketing strategies. Simplicity is the key to creating a multifunctioning logo, as fewer moving parts means increased versatility.

Use design elements that convey your brand’s identity, like a color palette relative to your marketplace, fonts that suit your target audience, and shapes that fit your style. You can also see how your logo looks on marketing materials before making a final decision. Using platforms like Tailor Brands, you can create logo mockups and put your visual ideas on physical merchandise, such as letterheads, cups, and T-shirts. And digital, including website headers, advertisements, and social media platforms.

  1. Imagery

Customers form opinions about your business in less than 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds), and the quickest way to ensure it’s the right one is with imagery. Because we process images 60,000 times faster than text and remember them far longer.

Companies that obtain cultural iconostasis and public awareness often reduce their logos to a single icon image. McDonald’s, and their golden arch, Apple and, well, their apple. Consumers only need a mere glance at this imagery to form an immediate opinion.

While your company might not be a titan of industry, your corporate identity design should strive for that level of awareness in your market niche.

Consistency and relevancy are the keys, have the golden arches ever really changes, or the apple? Sure, Apple removed the color and their name from their logo, but only after they’d firmly established a level of public awareness that could support their new minimal approach.

Imagery is your opportunity to form your public’s perception of your corporate identity, so they grow to know, identify with, and trust your brand.

  1. Typeface

While a picture says a thousand words, words and the typeface, weight, spacing, and shape used to display them are also crucial elements in creating your corporate identity.

We’ve used words to tell stories throughout the millennia, and it’s how we mass communicated long before the invention of digital imagery.

Even cultural icons whose imagery’s ingrained in our minds use words to get their message across. “I’m loving it,” “Just do it,” and “Diamonds are forever” are all examples of the power of word combination. Notice how all use three words; you’ll see it time and time again as you create your corporate identity design, bare it in mind!

And specific typefaces suit particular markets and audiences. Use ones that fit the tone of your message. For instance, fonts can be elegant and luxurious, friendly and warm, rugged and outdoorsy, or bold, formal, and authoritative.

You’ll use typeface most throughout your corporate identity, appearing in your logo, website titles, headings and content, emails, email signatures, email marketing campaigns, advertisements, brochures, presentations, contracts, and signage. Making which you choose pretty important! You can use platforms like My Fonts to browse through different options, and even identify the name of a specific typeface you like.

When deciding on your typeface, three is often the maximum (told you) number designers use when creating a brand, reducing to two in a logo. Always choose a versatile and scalable typeface so you don’t lose legibility when scaling.

  1. Personality

We form first opinions on people based on their personalities; it’s all we have to go on. However, our thoughts often change as we learn more about their beliefs and values ETC, and we either strengthen our relationship or go separate ways.

Your corporate personality is no different; it’s all your target audience has to go on before they get to know your brand. And if you don’t have one that engages and connects on a positive emotional level, creating a successful corporate identity will be an uphill struggle. 

Your corporate identity is far more than design alone; it’s the overall message of your company and the emotional way you project it. When you give your brand a personality, you humanize it and connect with consumers on a deeper level, creating curiosity and leaving them wanting to get to know you.

  1. Social-Media

Social media is a continuous online conversation, and you join it and promote your corporate identity by placing branded content directly where viewers can see it. But there’s a problem you must overcome before users will allow you to join in.

You have to be seen as beneficial to the conversation and not just a sales pitch.

You do it by developing a consistent online corporate brand identity, which sets you apart from your competitors and engages viewers on a more relaxed and personal level.

Here’s how you do it:

  • Present Your Brand Consistently – Standardize your color palette and typeface, and use a tone that matches your brand personality.
  • Make Regular Content Updates – Retain users’ attention and stay in their mind’s eye by posting regular content. And use a content delivery schedule to post when your audience is most active.
  • Collaborate with influencers – Who match your brand identity
  • Communicate With Your Audience – People love social media because it’s an open conversation, but it’s also a direct marketing line for your business. Engage by promoting a constant dialogue and addressing your consumer’s concerns.
  • Once you establish consistency – Use it across all your marketing mediums.

Conclusion

If you’re only at the beginning of the corporate identity design process, you have an excellent opportunity to create one that shows your target market precisely who you are and what you stand for.

Remember to find your brand’s personality, values, mission, and tone of voice.

Then infuse them throughout, creating a unique and memorable brand your audience will recognize and associate with your company.

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