Gregory Mount
Gregory Mount
How to Create a Corporate Identity
3 (60%) 2 votes

How do you make your company recognizable for potential customers? Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is to build a strong brand. Branding helps to form the desired image, which is conveyed through different communication channels (not only visually) to firmly ingrain it in the minds of consumers.

If a brand is an image, then identity is means by which this image is formed: color, form, and style.

An identity (also called “corporate image” or “corporate style”, “brand ID” or “corporate ID”) is the visual component of the brand, designed to expand its recognition and create the impression of integrity. Everything that relates to brand visualization, ranging from the logo to literally every piece of paper used by the company, is its identity.

Naturally, when building a business website, you want it to be a coherent “organism” that provides an understanding of your company’s essence through visual means.

An identity helps to distinguish your brand from the competitors. And it helps customers remember your brand. The perfect identity is when the consumer just catches a glimpse of your logo in an advertisement, casts a glance at your flyer, or sees a passing company car, and immediately recalls your brand. Moreover, corporate identity forms an emotional connection between a company and the public.

What does corporate identity include?

It is time to find out what makes the brand’s identity. We have listed its main elements below.

Logo

A logo is one of the most important aspects of a company’s visualization. The logo makes it easier to identify the company and endow the product with the qualities that the company carries.

But can a brand exist without a logo? Yes. If you look at many well-known companies’ logos, they just use a wordmark. 

Business Cards

If you intend to actively expand your business, then you are going to need a stock of business cards. An original business card with the necessary information will enhance the favorable impression that you make on your potential customers and partners. 

Letterheads

A letterhead can be used for commercial offers, orders, statements, protocols, internal communication documents, and business correspondence. This element can be called your advertising media. It often happens that a letterhead is the first thing that a potential client or partner of your company sees. You should definitely make it presentable.

Product packaging

If you produce goods, be sure to take care of the appropriate packaging. Thoughtful packaging is not a trifle at all. It can make a favorable impression on the customer, encouraging them to purchase new items. Don’t miss the opportunity to demonstrate your corporate design in all its glory.

Email

Most businesses tend to use emails as their primary communication tool, which underlines its importance. Emails are easily customized, and even the simplest messages can be endowed with a corporate identity by using a company logo and letterhead. This is an excellent opportunity to sustain your brand’s image.

Website

Your website is one of the most illustrative components of your brand identity. 

Using the holistic system of visual identification on the website enhances your brand’s recognition, both on the Internet and offline. A well-designed corporate identity shown through the website, printed products, packaging, and other visual elements, forms a complete, recognizable brand image for the client.

Corporate identity is also displayed through: 

  • envelopes
  • signboards and guiding elements
  • personnel attire
  • monitoring forms
  • certificates
  • brochures and catalogs
  • promotional items, such as pens, notepads, agenda, and calendars 
  • interactive CDs and presentations
  • car decorations, etc.

How to create a memorable corporate identity

When designing an identity, it is essential to select the primary corporate color palette, additional color options, a corporate font, and appropriate typefaces. You may need a few variations of your logo based on placement and usage. For example, you may want colorful and black-and-white variations of it, or horizontal and square logo versions. Your logo or wordmark needs to be adjusted to every item it can be placed on. But all logos and wordmarks should be consistent and recognizable.

Once all possible variations of identity elements are taken into consideration and designed, you can include them in your corporate identity guideline. The guideline is a document that shows the logo and all the accompanying graphics on different media and in different contexts: on business cards, letterheads, souvenir products, advertising posters, banners, and so on. The guidelines also provides examples of correct and incorrect uses of logo, so that any designer or marketer who is working on promotional materials for you knows how to present your brand. Sometimes, a guideline comes together with a brand book.

Also, a corporate identity guideline helps you avoid such pitfalls as wrong colors, wrong font use, an inappropriate use of your logo and taglines,  improper positioning of the logo and slogan on promotional materials, etc.

The process of creating a corporate identity

There are multiple options you may consider when planning to create a corporate identity for your company.

1. Have an identity developed by a design studio 

This is a great option for medium and large companies that have a considerable budget. A design studio guarantees professional design and high-quality products. However, it can be expensive and rather slow.

2. Hiring a freelance designer

If a design studio looks pricey to you, you can hire a freelance designer.

This option is suitable for all types of companies. You can find both cheap and expensive freelancers on specialized websites like Upwork, Freelancer.com, etc.

Just make sure that the designer has a convincing portfolio and recommendations.

3. Using online services 

Online services are suitable for small and medium-sized businesses. With the help of the services like Designhill, Logojoy, Vectr, etc., you can create an identity for your company online. The advantages of this method are the low price and convenience. However, your identity risks not being unique.

Designing corporate identity on your own

If you choose to create a corporate identity on your own, it is crucial to pay special attention to building a holistic system of visual identification. The most important aspect is to create a compossible visualization of all identity elements.

Here is the list of features that help develop a corporate identity:

Imagery. A clear, logical connection between the essence of your business and its image, formed by corporate visual identity. Emotions are not enough. You need to be instantly understood. Today, as we value ​​time most of all, only images can convey this information instantly and, most importantly, unambiguously.

Consistency. Your company is a system with specific goals, boundaries, elements, and relations. Corporate identity is the same. When developing the identity, you need to view your business as a part of the market, and you need to ensure that your identity reflects your company’s role in it. How can you achieve this? You can do this through an idea and a metaphor, and by integrating all visual communications.

Ideology. Corporate identity should clearly and unequivocally express the ideology of your company. This is the company’s brand platform, which includes a clear understanding of what your corporate values are, who your customers are, and what image you want to establish. Your identity reflects why customers need your products and services.

Communication. When developing a concept, you will definitely think about how your identity will work in communications: on the website, in the press, on social networks, in commercials, on banner ads, etc. It should be adjustable to every channel of communication.

What’s your corporate identity?

They say it’s hard to make a second “first impression.”

A thoughtfully designed corporate identity helps your brand to establish a strong position on the market.

If you design your corporate identity correctly and appeal to the proper markets, it will be  easier to earn customer loyalty and ensure steady revenues.

Staying true to your brand’s identity doesn’t mean being rigid or losing your ability to change. It means leveraging your strengths to achieve success in the rapidly changing world of modern business.


Gregory Mount

Gregory Mount is SMM specialist at Ning.