Corporate Identity

In marketing, a corporate identity is the "face" of a corporation which is designed to accord with and facilitate the attainment of business objectives. It is usually visually manifested by branding and the use of trademarks.

Corporate identity comes into being when there is a common ownership of an organisational philosophy that is manifested in a distinct corporate culture; the corporate personality.

In general, this amounts to a corporate title, logo and supporting devices commonly assembled within a set of guidelines. These guidelines govern how the identity is applied and confirm approved colour palettes, typefaces, page layouts and other such methods of maintaining visual continuity and recognition of the brand.

Many companies, such as McDonald's and Electronic Arts, have their own identity that runs through all of their products and merchandise. The trademark "M" logo and the yellow and red appears consistently throughout the McDonald's packaging and advertisements. Many companies pay large amounts of money for an identity that is extremely distinguishable, so it can appeal more to its targeted audience.

A solid step-by-step guide to a successful corporate identification would be:

  • Introduction to your identity (research, target audience),
  • Core Elements (name, logo, symbology, location, language),
  • Print and Online Type Setting (fonts, sizes, colors),
  • Clear (White) Space and Margins (logos, headers, documents),
  • Colors, Variants, Backgrounds and Gradients (online & print),
  • Defining Rules (where to place and what NOT to do with your logo),
  • Application Guides (file formats, file sizes, file names, requirements),
  • Additional Help and Contact Information 

Optionally you may also want to consider:

  • Corporate Messaging Standards,
  • Photographic, Illutration and Artwork Styles,
  • Unique Products, Services or Business Logo Variations.
  • Stationary (document templates, cover pages, business cards),
  • Digital Media (powerpoint templates, e-mail footers, newsletter templates) 

The benefit of developing a custom Corporate Identity Handbook is the ability to clearly define exactly how to portray, protect and promote your corporate brand.

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