The corporate identity is the group of design elements that, combined in an homogeneous way, transmit the same corporate message. In other words, each of them (either flyers or the logo; either uniforms or the company’s vehicles) coheres with the others so that all grouped together transmit a unique message.
But not all the elements of design are equally important. The logo, for instance, plays a fundamental and foundational role. As no company can sell its products unless it has a representative logo which guarantees that they are of quality, the logo is said to be fundamental. For example, a company selling food products launches, say, 15 new products, all of them high-quality and low-priced. Apparently, high-quality products at a low price is synonymous with large sales; but, what happens if these products lack a representative logo? Probably, nobody will buy them. Would you? Would you feed your children on products whose producer is unknown? So now you know why a logo is fundamental –because it may mark the difference between great success and instant breakup.
But, what does it mean that it is “foundational”? As we have said, all the elements of design must follow the same pattern in order to transmit the same message, and it is the logo, being the first of these elements to be created, that sets that pattern. Because of this, the logo remains untouched through the years, that is it never changes (it can be redesigned, but not replaced).
Another design element that is worth mentioning is the website, since it has become increasingly important during the last few years –remember what we said before about it being a company’s “virtual office”. Therefore, it needs careful treatment. Created once the logo has already been created, it has to follow its pattern, and agrees not only with it, but with all the other design elements. Otherwise, two bad things might happen:
People might regard it as not belonging to your company: when a website does not follow the same pattern as the other elements, people will consider it unrepresentative of your business firm. This is too bad, because it is a waste of time and money, but it can be easily solved just by redesigning the Web page. Now, if you think this is serious, wait to see what’s next.
People might regard it as the basic element setting the pattern for all the others: knowing how significant the website is nowadays, people will think, and rightly so, that it cannot be wrong, and therefore they will believe that they have misinterpreted all the other design elements. Thus, the whole corporate identity will be harmed by the design mistake in your website, something that only time can solve.
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