Corporate identity is the set of deliberately homogeneous design elements intended to convey one and the same message. This set is the company's image. The set homogeneity is made from a basic item, the corporate logo, an essential and foundational element. It is essential because a company cannot work without a logo. An absolutely established company, having millions of dollar in investment, ready to launch thousands and thousands of products into the market, having stockholders all around the world, bringing the best proposal in years, cannot do anything if it does invest 700 dollars on a corporate logo. Nobody will buy products sold without a Logo guaranteeing quality and showing where they come from. It is foundational because it is necessarily the first design item of a company. Thus, the following designs will have to follow the criterion the logo was created with. If you are planning to create a set of corporate identity, this becomes even stricter. The logo is taken to draw the path that must be followed by the other designs belonging to that set.
Including a design within a set of corporate identity is a delicate matter. In order to do that, we must make sure it fulfils all the necessary requirements to be part of the homogeneous set of design elements representing a company and constituting its image. If a design goes out of the necessary parameters to be coherent with the other corporate identity components, it will need to be redesigned to adjust to the limits established. In the case of a website, this is highly important because it is not just any other element. A mistake on personal cards, a catalogue, etc. is not so serious because they are second-order items. On the contrary, a mistake on the website is highly important because it is the second important element within corporate identity.
Let's see, then, what happens if a Web design moves too far away from the set parameters. The two cases we will see will be two negative cases but not as bad as an out of phase design causing the customer's going away since if that were the case, there would not be any appropriate meditation.
- The public gets a message different from the usual one and takes the website as a non-representative item for the company. By considering the site a mistake, it does not exist for the customers any longer. The company, in fact, will not have a internet site any longer. This case is not too serious since it is solved redesigning the site: you have just wasted time and money.
- The real problem is if the public does not consider the ill-designed website as a mistake. People may think it is a correct design (naturally, since it is such a significant item that they will not think the company may allow a mistake here). Then, all the previous designs conveying the same message will be reinterpreted by the public from the wrong Web design because they consider it the item allowing them to finally understand what the company wanted to say. In other words, if the public does not hold the design back, a wrong design, when talking about such a significant element, passes on to the other corporate identity components and the result is disastrous.
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