Imagine driving on the freeway. Suddenly, in a fraction of a second, you spot the McDonalds golden arches on a sign. An image that has excelled at drawing attention for decades. Or a truck thunders past you in familiar colors: bright yellow with white letters, it has to be the Dutch Jumbo chain of supermarkets. These are examples of how good corporate identities function—not just on the road, but equally well in a shopping mall or on social media.
Why is a well-considered corporate identity important?
- Identity. Your corporate style tells people without words who you are, it is the visual identity summarizing your company.
- Recognizable. Think back to the freeway: with a solid corporate identity, everyone will recognize you in a flash. Even when people see only part of your banner or logo.
- Get noticed. Er is veel concurrentie op de markt en online moet je vormgeving ijzersterk zijn om door de massa heen te breken.
- Trust. By sticking to the same logos, fonts and colors for a longer period of time, people start to see you as a trusted presence in their lives.
- Professionality. By consistently applying a corporate identity, you communicate that your company or organization is both professional and coherent.
To develop the perfect corporate identity, you will need to have a clear vision on what your company stands for. In case you already worked out your marketing strategy, you will have everything you need at this point: your mission, vision and core values. These decide for a large part which direction your identity takes. For instance, a lawyer’s office probably won’t want to be too loud and colorful, but a hip fashion store might!
Corporate identity ingredients
What constitutes a corporate identity? Probably the first thing you think about is a logo. This image-without-words pops up everywhere your company or organization is present and is often the primary element customers or visitors see. That makes it doubly important to make your logo iconic, clear and significant.
And yes, that is a job best relegated to specialists. A logo should fit both the company and the target audience. It should be easy to remember and work well on different media such as print, digital, billboard or packaging. Either ultra-sized or tiny. An experienced graphic designer knows how to find the right balance between creativity and functionality!
This graphic designer won’t draw just the logo, but create a host of other visual elements, like a color palette, fonts, pictograms and illustrations. These should all work together to create a strong brand image recognizable to customers and befitting the company’s values and goals. Is your organization dependable blue or exciting orange? Would angular or round shapes suit better? Do texts float or are they framed? Finally, the creation of a dedicated image bank might prove useful in case there is a large collection of illustrations or photos used company-wide.
How to write texts that fit your company?
And we haven’t even discussed the textual side of the matter! Not just the type of fonts to use, but the language itself. How (in)formally would you like to speak to the customer? Are there phrases or words to apply or avoid? What we at Vuurwerk often do is create a writing guide containing guidelines translating the corporate identity into language matters. This document is filled with examples and tips—making it an effective guide for employees.
You also often see a payoff, or slogan, accompanying a logo. This is a short sentence that captures the right feeling for a company: “you can count on us”, “the everyone store” or “think different”. Needless to say, coming up with these is an art form in itself!