Logo and corporate identity design

The Importance of Great Logo & Corporate Identity Design

Logo and corporate identity design

A great logo and corporate identity is probably one of the most important investments a company or organisation can make. After all, the logo and the accompanying visual ‘identity’ are one of the first things prospective customers will see. As such, they’ll send out an overall impression about that company or organisation and prospects will use it to form a near instant judgement — and usually one that sticks. A well-designed, modern logo and visual branding will usually lead the onlooker to naturally assume that the organisation in question is professional and modern. In stark contrast, an untidy, poorly designed or outdated logo will have the opposite effect. So it’s important to get it right — first impressions tend to stick and the long-term health of the organisation is at stake if you get it wrong.

Logos & Corporate Identities – What’s the Difference?

First, though, a clarification; the logo is the symbol associated with the company or organisation, whereas the corporate identity refers to the wider visual look associated with that organisation (think of it as the branding). That visual identity actually includes the logo but also governs the ‘house’ colours, fonts and design style that go with it. By using a house style in a predefined way, everything associated with the company or organisation has the same feel and look, so naturally builds brand awareness and a cohesive approach to communication and marketing for the organisation in question. One only has to think about the branding for large organisations like The National Trust, Coca-Cola, Heinz and Virgin to see how they each have a particular house style, each with their own corporate colours, fonts, visual style and logo.

Corporate Design Manuals

In fact, many companies and organisations produce a ‘corporate design manual’ which is a complete guide to their visual corporate identity. It will usually contain a guide, including examples, of how to use — and how not to use — firstly, the logo. This will include colours, proportions, positioning of the logo, logo variants (for example the logo as used on a white background and a perhaps different variant of it for use on dark backgrounds) and rules governing the minimum space that should appear around the logo and so on. Corporate manuals also include similar sections outlining the rules for house fonts, house colours and even house layout styles for such things as letterheads, compliments slips, business cards and other stationery, brochures, adverts and so on. By carefully setting up the design rules and, through corporate manuals, making sure they’re adhered to wherever in the world they’re used, businesses and organisations enhance their brand awareness and become more quickly recognised.

Buying Into Your Brand

Indeed, some brands have this all down to such a fine art that people identify with the brand and are proud to show the world that they own that company’s products. Apple products are a classic example of this. Nike trainers, with their famous tick mark, are another — many people like to be seen with such things in their possession, almost like a status symbol. Yet another example is Beats headphones with their funky, modern but simple ‘b’ logo. Now imagine that last example with a boring old ‘b’ using Times New Roman or Courier instead and you’ll quickly see how that whole offering could have failed miserably … and that’s an example using just one letter as a logo! When your corporate identity and logo offering expertly encourage ‘buying into the brand’, that buying in by your target market will quite literally lead to more sales and increased profits.

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The Power of Colour

The Power of Colourways

The Power of Colour

Design, layout and print is one thing but deciding on the best colour palette for your marketing collateral, or corporate identity as a whole, is another extremely important design task which should bear very careful consideration. Like design, colour is a very subjective thing, however whatever colour palette you use in your design, it will have a striking affect on the whole feel of the piece in question. Colour can lift the spirit, or subdue it. It can excite, or relax the onlooker; it can literally change the mood. It can also shout … or whisper your marketing message.

Changing the Mood

By far the most overriding sensations passed on by the combination of colours in any design are those of feel and mood. For example, a printed piece can instil a fresh, ‘clean air’ kind of feeling, or it can impart a fiery ‘glow’; it can suggest a frosty coolness or even subconsciously a feeling of spring or summer to the onlooker. This kind of power is, of course, a very useful tool to the graphic designer and marketer. The same, single design and layout can thereby be used with different effects and outcomes, depending on which set of ‘colourways’ are used in the overall colour palette.

Colour moods

Pantone Swatches

Pantone colour swatch bookOne of the best colour tools available to the professional graphic designer is the tried and tested Pantone swatch book. There are various types available, Read more

How good graphic design & communication can boost the ROI of your printing

Boost Your R.O.I. With Great Graphic Design & Communication

How good graphic design & communication can boost the ROI of your printing

The value of good graphic design to your bottom line:

Good graphic design is worth its weight in gold; while just about anyone can organise the printing of documents, if they don’t look business-like, eye-catching and professional you may well be wasting your money. A little bit of extra time and budget spent on design of your printed literature and sales collateral will usually completely transform the item and pay dividends in terms of the item’s return on investment (R.O.I.).

A good designer will pitch just the right look and ‘feel’

Making the overall design attractive is, of course, essential. This is where the designer’s visual flair will really come into its own. However part of the initial brief should also include reference to the desired ‘feel’ of the finished piece, for example should it look clean and contemporary, high tech and cutting-edge, quirky and unusual, or perhaps more traditional? The answer can have a profound affect on the perception of the final printed piece so the importance and skill involved in good graphic design should not be underestimated.

Get the right message(s) across, at a glance

A talented graphic designer, it should be noted, does not only concentrate on the look, design and feel of printed documents. They also weigh up which parts of the copy, design, graphics and overall message are the most important i.e. which elements should be given the primary visual focus, to grab the attention first … and similarly which elements should be part of any secondary message … and so on. Hence, good graphic designers weigh up how important each element or message is, and style them accordingly so that the onlooker picks up the sales messages in the “right” order and each with the right level of perceived importance. The handling of this can mean the difference between the success … or failure … of the printed item as a marketing tool.

Employing techniques to stand out in the crowd

Aside from creating an attractive and eye-catching design, other ways to catch the attention include:

  • A great special offer, discount or ‘Sale’ price;
  • Time-sensitivity: a time-sensitive special offer may make people act on impulse and avoid putting off their buying decision until later;
  • Creating demand: making it clear there is limited availability of the product or service;
  • Creating desire: somehow making the product or service seem highly desirable (the graphical equivalent of what Apple do with their groundbreaking product design);
  • Including an element of surprise: this may be part of the overall sales strategy and design, for example an eye-catching photo or illustration, or …
  • Catching the eye with an attention-grabbing headline.

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