Your Corporate Identity looks after the visual aspects of your branding.

It doesn’t form your branding in itself, there’s more to branding than just the visual elements, but it does help to control how the design elements of your branding are applied and used.

If you don’t have a corporate identity, also called a brand identity and sometimes a brand book, you run the risk of your design work being created in an ad-hoc manner with no overall clarity on what things should look like.

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Corporate identity design examples
Corporate identity design examples
Corporate identity design examples
Corporate identity design examples
Corporate identity design examples
Corporate identity design examples

What is it?

Your corporate identity looks after all the visual elements of your brand.

It does not constitute branding on its own, but it’s an important part of the brand.

Branding is top-level stuff: strategy, positioning, feel, voice and so on, your Corporate Identity is the visual representation of all of this.

A typical Brand Identity will include the logo, colours, logo use, fonts, images, example design layouts and tone-of-voice examples.

It should set out the creative at a very high-level and provide guidelines, not unbreakable rules, about how your brand should look and feel from a creative perspective.

Brand Book for The Elton John AIDS Foundation.

We helped with the design and application of the logo (which was created by another agency).

The Brand Book covers the logo use, and how marketing elements look and brings the branding together in a clear set of guidelines.

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Why do you need it?

Creativity and design are seldom controlled or delivered by a single person, so a Corporate Identity helps to maintain consistency across your communications.

If you don’t have a Brand Book, who’s to say what your PowerPoint presentation or sales brochures should look like?

Lack of creative direction leaves each designer to make choices that can take your design off-brand.

A solid Corporate Identity helps to control the visual aspects of your brand whilst giving designers a visual toolkit to create from.

It should also save you time and money when working with creatives as it clearly lays out the boundaries of the visual: when you get initial design concepts back from the design team, they should be on-brand – this saves endless rounds of amends and tweaks.

What does it cover?

Don’t make your corporate identity overly complex.

If you are a small business or a startup, it seldom makes sense to have a 50-page corporate identity manual.

The aspects of your corporate identity, at the most basic, should cover:

  • Your logo
  • Logo use
  • Fonts
  • Colours.
  • Company stationery
  • Signage
  • Social media banners and icons

Larger businesses often need more in-depth identities as there is often more to manage.

There will be a wider range of materials being designed by a larger number of people, so keeping the creative in check can become more of a challenge.

A larger Corporate Identity project may also take in:

  • Brochure covers and layouts
  • Presentation designs
  • Images and their use
  • Banners and exhibition
  • Vehicle livery
  • Uniforms
  • Website

We help our clients to discover the appropriate level of brand identity work needed for where their business is today and plan for how this is going to develop in the future.

Plan for evolution.

A Corporate Identity will evolve over time, so any Corporate Guidelines should be able to accommodate this and evolve too.

Brand guidelines are just that: they should inform rather than dictate the creative.

 

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What does it cost?

Due to the varied amount of work involved, it’s not always possible to give a fixed idea of the cost of a Corporate Identity.

What you should invest in Corporate Identity also depends a lot on where your business is.

If you are a startup, we always advise at least the basics so you have a solid set of guidelines for your creativity moving forward.

If you are a more established company, it may be a case of an initial review of your brand identity first as there will be more materials to consider.

We generally like to simply get a list of everything the project will cover and provide an estimate based on the number of hours it will take to create everything (including the development and approval process).

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