The corporate design literally means the graphic design; including symbols, font styles, and color combinations used for a business or brand. However, Corporate Design in business administration is abbreviated as CD – is a sub-category of so-called corporate identity (here, too, the abbreviation of Corporate Identity is CI).
When a company becomes more professional and then goes over to developing a corporate identity and, consequently, a corporate design for itself, marketing can be used much more effectively. The enormously increased recognition effect of the target group triggered by corporate identity and corporate design is the essential basis of success for many marketing measures. In addition to the corporate design, a complete corporate identity also includes corporate behavior, the C-Communications, the C-Culture, the C-Philosophy, and the C-Soul. The CI can be understood as the sum of the characteristics that characterize a company and ultimately distinguish it from other companies. The company positions itself, so to speak.
Corporate Identity – A Professional Appearance
From a historical perspective, it was the first time a company developed its own professional image between 1907 and 1914. AEG’s artistic advisor, Peter Behrens, developed it and wrote the marketing history of it. Therefore, AEG was the first company in the world that could show a uniform, fully integrated appearance. The history of the AEG corporate design is actually over-successful in an inquisitive way. Because although the AEG company had to file for bankruptcy in 1982, the AEG brand was so strongly charged with the values of quality and longevity that today (113 years after its creation and 34 years after AEG’s bankruptcy), there is still an incredible number of new products available there, which are produced and sold under the AEG brand license (over 130,000 AEG products on Amazon!). A brand can really become so strong through skillful branding with the help of CI and CD – that it even outlives its own wearer for ages. Truly amazing! It pays to develop a CI and CD for your own company, to give the company its own identity.
Corporate Design – Professional Appearance
From a socio-economic perspective, the CI concept is based on the assumption that companies as social systems are perceived as people and can act in a similar way. It is then the task of corporate communications (C-Design and C-Communications) to help the company achieve such an identity. For the observer, the identity of a person usually results from the visual appearance as well as the way of speaking and acting. You have to make the company appear in the market as an identity with a strategy of consistent action, communication, and visual appearance. The formal design constants of the corporate design should allow the company to work as a unit both internally and externally.
Steps To Develop A Corporate Identity
According to Gerhard Regenthal (2013), the following steps, in extracts, are recommended for developing a corporate identity (including the design):
- Carry out actual and target analyzes
- Develop corporate principles, mission statement, corporate goals
- Record the briefing of a fundamentally integrated branding
- Define the wording and/or abbreviation of an official name
- Design your name and word/symbol (logo, signet)
- Select company colors (world of colors) and design principles
- Fine-tune previous decisions
- Develop design principles and basic design elements (CD manual)
- Trial design of the most frequently used communication media (image flyers, brochures, posters, business letters, sales elements, presentations, etc.)
- Product design & packaging design
- Architectural elements
- Establish ongoing controlling of the whole (control, management, innovation)
The implementation of this CI / CD development process is (as you can see above) a relatively complex task, and most companies are happy to take the professional help of specialized advertising experts. For example, our agency Visual Design Inc. creates a corporate design with passion, consists of logo design, web design and development, graphic design, and animation videos.
Marketing Effectiveness: The Customer Learns
The reason for the marketing success with a high recognition effect lies in the human being’s psychology, as the social psychologist Georg Homans showed a long time ago. The sympathy that people develop increases simply through the sheer number of contacts with the respective acquaintance. Reunion in the sense of recognition is the overriding principle that the corporate design serves to the outside world – one also says “the customer learns” or “it pays off for the brand”. In the company, it also serves as an identification anchor for the employees – in the best case, it even enables a certain pride to arise. In addition to this psychological effect, the corporate design should communicate pure professionalism, and quickly create trust with customers. And once trust and sympathy are generated, the buying barrier for customers decreases, and the effectiveness of marketing increases again.
An enormously strong psychological component that should be considered during the development of the corporate design is the colors used. When choosing the color world, it is really worthwhile to carry out a detailed analysis of the company’s objectives and the appropriate color effects beforehand. Another principle that is emphasized again and again in the development of a corporate design by creative people is “Form follows function”. The design should never be reduced to a pure, pretty exterior, never become an end in itself, but always follow a precise objective. The effect that design can have on the customer should by no means be wasted. The corporate design should not be too complex too.
If the defined CI elements from the so-called corporate design manual are not consistently taken into account and used, the corporate design is no longer complete and the professional effect is consequently reduced.