Corporate identity is the set of deliberately homogeneous design elements intended to convey one and the same message. The set must be homogeneous for all its components to convey the same message than the set and, so, increase the chances of a well-understanding of the message.
In order to achieve homogeneity, a criterion going through all the designs is used, setting its limits, the creation parameters. The criterion comes from the corporate logo since it is, necessarily, the first item of the series. A logo is an essential and foundational element for corporate identity. It is essential because a company cannot sell its products if they do not have a Logo and foundational because it opens the criterion the rest of the company items must follow.
The Web site, as time went by and Internet grew, has become the second important element for a company’s image. It must adapt to the corporate Logo, as well as all the other items. However, any design must respect and exploit its particular features so that it is not the same as the others. Any design has its particular features, things distinguishing it and preventing the set of corporate identity from being an amorphous and sticky dough. The designer’s skill lies in combining the exploitation of particular features keeping the criterion that join the components.
If the corporate Web site does not adapt to the set parameters, two unwanted things may happen. The two possibilities shown here exclude the catastrophic chance that when changing your site message, customers may be frightened off and interrupt contact with the company.
- If the public thinks that the Web site conveys a wrong message and does not adjust to what the company has said during years, they may think this design is not representative and exclude it from the set of elements identifying the company. This case results in the actual Web site inexistence: although it may be on the internet, people do not consider it part of the company. So, time and money have been wasted, but the chance of a solution is at hand.
- On the contrary, if the public does not consider the wrong design as a mistake, all the other design elements included on the set of corporate identity will be affected by this error. That is to say, if the public thinks the message is correct and what they saw before was a mistake, they will give a new meaning to all the previous items and make them convey a wrong message (the same one as the Web site). This case is much more serious than the previous one because you cannot change an item because all of them are affected. There may be no return from such a mistake.
That is why it is highly important that you are aware of the design work, pay attention to it and not leave all in designer’s hands. For a design work to be appropriate, the customer’s active participation is essential. Otherwise, things like this may happen.
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