Corporate identity is the combination of values, ideas, aims and advertising items distinguishing a company from another one. The crux of communication of this combination of elements is the Logo; it is in charge of supporting, harmonizing and promoting it. The corporate logo is the company banner at the fierce battle taking place on the competition to attract more customers on the winding land the market lies on.
Gathering in one item all the distinguishing tools a company needs so as to be distinguished from the rest is not an easy task. Logo designers need to have the necessary skills to combine, in a basic combination of image and text, the dramatic, advertising, communicative aspects of the company values, and this combination needs to be memorable and attractive when observed. The Logo, to be effective, needs to be simple, since otherwise it will be forgettable and confusing. However, being simple is a category only applicable to its material constitutive graphic nature, since underneath that simple image there coexist multiple elements to be transmitted and an intensive work allowing to summarize endless concepts in a clear, attractive and easy-to-remember symbol. That is to say, the design simplicity is restricted to its visual aesthetic aspect, it does not mean it is simple to make or it conveys a simple message.
The corporate image is present in many graphic elements. Among them, we can mention your company’s Web site, catalogues, uniform, brochure and product labels. All these graphic elements making up the corporate identity of a firm respond to the series foundational element: the corporate logo. A company, to make its identity prevail, must maintain coherence and a homogeneity on the message sent to the consumer public. With respect to graphic elements for the corporate identity, this coherence is visual, keeping the same concept throughout the different designs. This is achieved through using regular graphic devices keeping slightly variable parameters, thus giving the series a relative homogeneity. This means that in all visual presentations of the company, the same color combination within the same range must appear, using similar typographies and of similar sizes, maintaining a geometric criterion as regards information localization and standard use of all graphic devices.
What do all designs have to resemble? Where does the criterion to follow come from? From the logo, of course. It could only come from the most important and representative element, the one gathering all communicative possibilities. The Logo is the item having the higher potential communicative power and, when exploiting this inherent potential, it becomes the locomotive for all the corporate identity items belonging to the visual channel. For instance, if your company designs its corporate logo in light grey, with simple shapes and a typography copying the most sublime calligraphy, this will be the criterion to be followed: a message of sobriety, neatness, accuracy and gentleness. If afterwards you publish a brochure in flaming red, fluorescent burgundy and canary yellow, having square and explosive typographies, nobody will be able to associate that the Logo seen on a street advertising belongs to the same company as the brochure or maybe he does realize that there is a relationship but he rejects this different kind of presentation. Let’s assume the customer felt at ease with your logo design, it is clear that anyone who likes the logo design above described will not feel at ease with the brochure design we talked about.
It is important that the criterion is maintained and that graphic presentations for a company are homogeneous because, in this sense, we are working not only with the customer consciously feeling at ease or liking the company but also with subconscious fixation produced by graphic devices on consumers’ minds. Visual elements are easily remembered by our brain together with the feeling they cause when we see them (as in the case of colors, giving us a very definite and particular feeling for each of them) but this memory is hardly conscious, that is to say, we may remember the color combination but not where we previously saw it. Therefore, if a company creates a combination of graphic-visual episodes on its successive market graphic appearances, consumers, as time goes by, will be thoroughly familiar with the product introduced by this graphic element combination and will trust it.
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