Corporate identity, defined in simple terms, is what makes the company different from the other competitors in the public eye. However, it also serves a purpose for internal stakeholders.
The corporate identity can be used as a guide for the internal stakeholders to be accustomed to the company’s values and mission.
So there’s more to corporate identity than just a logo. In fact, there are 8 different types of elements that make up a company’s visual identity.
From colour schemes and typography to packaging and iconography, each element plays a role in conveying the company’s unique story and personality.
It’s important to understand the different types of corporate identity elements and how they can create a cohesive brand image. Here’s a closer look at the 8 types of corporate identity elements:
1. Corporate Purpose
Before designing any corporate visual elements, you need to figure out what is the purpose of your company’s existence.
You can call this a mission statement or vision; they are all somehow intertwined.
You might have a strong understanding of your business’ modus operandi but lack a strong idea of what your company’s purpose is. This is less than ideal.
All the visual elements that convey your corporate identity are built upon the foundation of your corporate purpose.
For example, Milo’s purpose is to “fill you with nourishing goodness and energy”. And Petronas’ purpose is to provide energy in a responsible, sustainable manner to motivate progress.
Once you have a solid purpose for your company’s existence, you can proceed to the fun part — visual elements.
2. The logo
The logo design is arguably one of the most important elements of your company’s corporate identity.
It serves as an instantly recognisable signifier to customers, investors, and stakeholders alike. Therefore, your company’s logo must have qualities such as simplicity, memorability, and ease of replication.
Companies must be able to easily replicate their logo in numerous mediums from billboards to websites with minimal variation or distortion.
As a result, its impact and recognisability are maintained.
One of the important corporate logo tips is that a good logo should be timeless. It should serve as an identifier for a company that will last through eras and trends without showing signs of ageing.
For example, Shell, since its inception in 1900, has always used an image of a crown-like shape scallop shell.
Although there have been modifications, the essence of the shell remains intact from 1900 to now.
3. The colour palette
Your choice of colour palette matters just as much as your logo design in your corporate identity elements; technically, both are inseparable.
Ideally, your business should limit its corporate colour palate to two or three colours that work well with each other and complement the company’s logo. Doing so will create a visual identity that effectively communicates its corporate brand.
Ultimately, selecting the perfect corporate colour palate is essential in setting up your corporate identity, as it will form an essential part of your company’s visual branding.
4. The typography
When it comes to creating a successful brand, typography is the key. Choosing the right font for your company’s branding is vital as it informs customers of your business’ identity.
The font should be legible, clear, and easily read across all platforms and digital devices.
The typography allows you to create a unique style that speaks to your customer base and communicates the values of your business timelessly. When you choose the perfect typeface for your brand, ensure that customers recognise, identify, and recall its uniqueness among competitors.
While many brands go for readily available typography, Resorts World Genting, for example, made use of handwritten typography as one of its brand positioning techniques.
While the typography may be illegible to some, the typography’s unique appearance makes people instantly recognise the brand.
5. The imagery
Imagery is an integral part of a company’s branding and marketing efforts, as it showcases its products and services.
Through meaningful visuals, companies can leave a lasting impression on customers. Photos, illustrations, and icons provide a clear image that gives viewers insight into what the company stands for.
Strategic placement of imagery allows companies to speak to various target audiences, increasing the chances of connecting with potential customers.
Companies should consider putting thought into designing visually stimulating yet relevant imagery for their business for maximum impact.
You don’t need, for example, to read the name or look at the whole logo of McDonald’s to know what it is. Every McDonald’s outlet in Malaysia has golden arches, and the imagery alone is enough to gain recognition.
6. The tagline
The corporate tagline is one of the most vital corporate identity elements.
It offers an effective tool for communicating the corporate mission and values quickly and succinctly, but it requires thoughtful consideration. An effective tagline should be memorable, easy to understand, and applicable to internal and external audiences.
In a few words, it must summarise clearly what the company stands for while being engaging and inspiring.
When carefully crafted, a tagline can powerfully amplify corporate intent, further deepening customer or employee connections.
For example, Universiti Malaya’s tagline, “Ilmu Puncha Kemajuan”, means knowledge as the source of progress.
In just three words, University Malaya delivers tersely the message of its purpose, which is to expand Malaysians’ knowledge to incite progress for the nation.
7. The Website Design
When visitors land on a website, their first impression is lasting.
Hence, website design needs to be strategic and intentional; it must offer a remarkable user experience that accurately reflects the company’s core values and brand.
A successful website should be cohesive with other elements of the company’s corporate identity, such as colours, shapes, fonts and messages. Your company needs to ensure that all of its marketing materials have a consistent message.
The rule of brand consistency applies here, too.
A well-crafted website helps customers connect the dots. Besides, it highlights a unified sense of what your business stands for and how it can serve them.
At every reception counter of an organisation will display colourful, visually appealing brochures. It’s a convenient yet informative tool that conveys your corporate identity.
In just a few columns, your brochure can introduce your company’s purpose and all the visual elements.
All the said visual elements — colour palette, logo, typography — should be present in your brochure. While your website represents your corporate identity in the digital world, your brochure does the same thing but in an offline world.
When it comes to creating an effective corporate identity, there is a lot to consider. Each element of your corporate identity should be chosen carefully and with purpose.
Doing so will help to create a memorable and recognisable brand that resonates with all stakeholders.
Remember that crafting a strong visual identity for your business or organisation will take time. However, the effort you put into it now can have long-lasting impacts on the success of your venture.