Corporate Design : What Is It And What Do You Need For It
With the corporate design, you define the appearance of your company. But where do you get the design from? What do you have to pay attention to?
Whether a company is successful or not depends on many factors. One of the most critical aspects in the question of success is appearance: A company that makes a strong and competent impression on the outside has it easier to stand out from the competition and attract new customers. The basis of the appearance is provided by the corporate design.
Corporate design – you need it for that.
In addition to corporate behavior, corporate communication, and other elements, corporate design is part of the corporate identity.
This describes the identity of a company and deals with how your company presents itself to the outside world.
The aim is to draw a uniform picture of the company’s values and philosophy. This differentiates your company from the competition and builds the desired image in public.
In this context, you can also use the corporate identity to improve the appearance of your company.
What role does corporate design play in this? A corporate design (CD) aims to
- give a company and its product brands a uniform visual appearance,
- to ensure a credible impression, and to build trust with the target group.
- In addition, the specific design serves to present the company’s products attractively,
- but rather to transport the positive values.
- At the same time, it is about creating the highest possible recognition value with the CD.
Accordingly, the corporate design is not only decisive for a good image but also customer loyalty, i.e., for the overall success of a company.
In addition, the corporate design also influences your employees and business partners through its positive external impact.
Where do you use the corporate design?
Corporate design is omnipresent in all visually perceptible aspects of a company. Therefore, it occurs in many different areas.
CD for office equipment
As part of the business equipment, the corporate design can be found primarily in writing materials and documents used in daily business. These are, for example
- name tags,
- Business cards,
- address label,
- Rubber stamp,
- writing pads,
- templates for short letters,
- Envelopes and letterhead may also be used by the board of directors, branches, or subsidiaries of your company.
- In addition, folders
- presentation templates and
- all business documents such as contracts,
- certificates and
- provided the general terms and conditions with the corporate design.
In the broader sense, business equipment includes the specified work clothing for employees. It should also be visually adapted to the corporate design, for example, printed or embroidered tops and matching fleece vests and jackets.
External presentation – CD as an advertising medium
Corporate design plays an important role, especially in the external presentation, because this is about advertising and presenting the company outside the business premises.
This initially includes a corresponding representation on the outside wall of the company building, usually using building identification and suitable signage. Film stickers for the vehicles that belong to your company’s fleet, such as vans or trucks, go a step further.
In the spirit of guerrilla marketing, you can still fall back on a few other measures for external representation, including
- billboard advertising,
- Beach flags or
- Advertising on an advertising pillar.
For the external presentation of the company at trade fairs or similar relevant events
- pavement stopper and
- ceiling banner
Which are designed following the corporate design.
Corporate design for your media appearances
Of course, your corporate design should not be missing from any media appearance of your company. This applies to the print media as well as to the digital media.
The former include image and product advertisements, flyers, invitations, vouchers, posters, and editorials such as brochures, catalogs, and customer and employee magazines.
Concerning digital media, corporate design is used to create apps, newsletters, the company’s website, and a relevant landing page.
In addition, the e-mail signature of the employees, the slides for presentations and online seminars, worksheets and download files, as well as digital advertising media (banners, overlays, pop-ups) are provided with the corporate design.
The podcast logo, profile, and cover photos for accounts in the social networks must also be coordinated with the corporate strategy.
Product packaging – classic use of CD
What you should not underestimate is the packaging of your products. For the customer, the packaging is an essential indicator in the purchase decision.
It serves as a figurehead for your company. For this reason, the corporate design also plays an important role here because a customer is always more likely to decide on the product packaging whose brand he recognizes or which optically appeals to him more for other reasons.
Your products attract attention through visual factors such as the choice of color, font, and shape of the packaging. Feel is also crucial: a product that feels good and feels good in the hand is much more likely to be bought than one that isn’t.
That is why the choice of the packaging itself should be well considered. Packaging is available in various designs, such as a box in different sizes and with multiple closures, such as a slip lid or a hinged lid with a magnetic closure.
Depending on the product, the inlay of the packaging can also be adjusted so that sensitive goods are optimally protected and stylishly packaged simultaneously.
High-quality and stable product packaging also has the advantage that it can be used repeatedly and over the long term. It is useful, for example, for software products, medical devices, and components or tool packaging.
Promotional gifts – Pay attention to CD here too
Promotional gifts are indispensable for a company. These are usually helpful everyday helpers, such as USB sticks, umbrellas, tote bags, thermal mugs, pens, or notepads.
You can give this to your (potential) customers when they successfully conclude a contract when they visit your company party or your booth at a trade fair.
Depending on the size, at least the company name and logo are printed on these promotional gifts – following the corporate design.
Anyone who has received a promotional gift from you will constantly be reminded of your company when they use the product daily. A simple but very effective method to stay present in people’s minds.
That is a successful corporate design.
As the areas of application of design already suggest, the entire visual appearance of a company is defined in the CD.
Everything visually perceptible from a company or a brand should be designed according to the CD. But what exactly is included?
The following components essentially make up the corporate design:
The first part of your CD: Your company name
Of course, your company’s name must be integrated into the corporate design to make the company better known.
Logo – The most crucial image in your corporate design
Every company needs a suitable logo, an essential part of corporate design. It’s often the first thing others notice about your business.
A good logo is quickly remembered and will be remembered for a long time. But applicability is at least as necessary: The logo must be designed to achieve the same effect in images of different sizes, that it works in other media (print and digital), and that it can be reduced to a black-and-white representation if necessary leaves.
These are the most important things to consider when designing your logo:
- Give your unique selling point a unique face
- The emblem of success: Simple, understandable, not colorful, and yet special
- If you know your target group, then you also see the style
Corporate Design Element Claim – who you are in one sentence
A claim or slogan is a sentence or part of a sentence that is firmly linked to the company or brand name. It can also be part of the logo.
A claim can communicate various information: For example, the range of services, a central promise, a product benefit, or a unique selling point of the company.
CD: Appearance in typography
Typography also plays an essential role in corporate design. On the one hand, it is about the font that is to be used for the CD.
In some companies, a specific typeface is suitable for this. It is essential that it has a high recognition value, is easy to read in different sizes, and fits the philosophy and the product range.
On the other hand, typography includes elements such as font size, page format, line spacing, and margins.
CD is not just colorful: coloring.
Another critical point for corporate design is the proper color selection. Colors have different effects on the viewer and can evoke physiological activations and specific emotions, thereby influencing behavior.
Therefore, you must think carefully about which colors you want to use for the corporate design. But the shades must reflect your company’s values and the industry. Depending on the application area, the components mentioned are used all together or individually.
Especially with a few more minor things in office equipment, it makes sense to limit yourself to the logo with the appropriate color scheme, while with signs, posters, or packaging, it is the overall package that counts.
Where do you get a good corporate design from?
When creating a good CD, the guiding principle “form follows function” always applies: in addition to the recognition value, the practical benefit must also be guaranteed because only a design that is easy to recognize and understand “read” will be ingrained in the viewer’s mind.
How exactly is a CD created?
As a rule, this is done in cooperation with an external agency, which takes place in several steps: First, it is about defining the identity and values of the company and finding out what makes your company unique and robust.
What benefit does the customer have if he chooses your company and not the competition? The so-called brand core is worked out from this information in the next step, which is then visualized with the first logo designs, illustrations, and photos.
This results in the essential concrete elements of the corporate structure: logo, color scheme, typeface, and photo and illustration style. Finally, it comes to the elaboration: The features designed so far are now applied to all critical materials, media, and channels.
How extensive your company’s corporate design should depend on how extensively the CD is used in the individual areas of application (office equipment, external presentation, etc.).
Not every company needs presentation templates, envelopes, stamps, or folders that have to be provided with the corporate design.
Of course, you have the option of initially using your corporate design on a small scale and then expanding and developing it further as the company grows. But you must stay on the ball and implement the concept consistently.
Record the definition of the CD in writing
So that the corporate design remains the same over many years and can also be easily applied to new or additional elements of the company, the CD is recorded in a so-called CD manual, often also called a CD manual or style guide. Among other things, it contains essential critical grids and dimensions.
This gives you a concrete design template with clearly defined specifications that will help you consistently implement the CD because only a continuously applied CD can bring advantages and benefits to your company.
In addition, you don’t have to redefine the design of packaging, company cars, etc., every time. Instead, you have to hand out the style guide to designers, printers, and programmers, and you can also make it easily accessible to employees and business partners. This saves you a lot of work and costs.