How to Define You
Corporate Identification simply put, is defining the overarching image of your company as seen by the public, customers, competitors, and employees. This means, you want your company to be seen in a consistent and uniform manner that always clearly represents your company culture.
Internal Versus External Branding
Before you expose all the company’s dirty laundry, you want to start internally first. Gaining some quality control on the inside is the first step in compiling your corporate ID. You want to be positive that your employees know how the company should be represented in all formats. Whether it’s print, web, or even using the logo to slap on the back of a company softball t-shirt, there should be strict guidelines as to how the name & logo can be used.
The company guidelines manual is one of the most important introductory materials given to all of the employees. While of course those outdated training videos that are still on VHS are very informative, the brand identity packet will become much more useful for day-to-day work for the employees. It will include regulations on logo manipulation and format, company colors, typography, letterheads, stationary, and even apparel. Although a lot of the standards may seem pretty basic or common sense, you never know when someone will want to use their creative license and completely transform your logo.
The Image Driven Society
In today’s world of non-stop images on television, newspapers, and the Internet, the world of advertising has taken on an entirely different direction. We are constantly bombarded with images and advertisements but what does it take to actually make the image stick?
The logo for your company has become much more than a colorful image paired with a catchy slogan, we have come to recognize logos as a full on representation of the brand. Your logo is now that first impression you give out to any potential customers. We’ve become a lot lazier when it comes to research or clicking through a website, so your logo should come before any description of the company. Especially for a graphic design company like us, our logo is the cover of the book, and clients will be judging.
Talk To Me, Baby
The logo needs to be something that is instantly recognizable and immediately ignites a reaction from the customer. Some of the most successful logos (Apple, Nike, & Target) don’t even have the brand name with it. As soon as you see that Nike swoosh you automatically think of those fancy new kicks you saw and most definitely need even though you haven’t worked out in a month. That’s the kind of connective reaction that you want to create. The logo isn’t just representing the brand, it’s a trigger mechanism to what the brand means to you.
So now that you really know what graphic design is, you have to understand how it works. Believe it or not our company does not live the life of leisure and substance abuse as portrayed on AMC’s Mad Men, there’s a pretty extensive process involved, but it all starts with the idea.
Ding! It hits you. You have the most amazing idea for a product and you don’t know where to begin. We’re the ones that you come to. After talking with our new clients and bouncing around ideas on how they want to showcase this little slice of genius, we start our creative process. After hours of sketches, market research and about as much coffee to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool, we’ve come up with some great plans for presentation.
Once we meet with our clients, narrow the ideas down to two or three strong concepts, it’s time we perfect the idea. This is when we sit down and pick on every single inch of our concepts. We want our creations to grab the potential consumers’ eye and make their decision easy. Our goal here is to take that time you spend in the grocery store toothpaste aisle and make it last about 30 seconds rather than an overwhelming decision-making process that could have you leaving with 10 different kinds of toothpaste…keep in mind you only have 32 teeth (28 if you had your wisdom teeth removed).
What is graphic design?
I could answer that question by giving you a lengthy dissertation on practice, theory, history, skills, tools and applications, but that’s what Wikipedia is for. Besides, your eyes would glaze over 10 minutes after I began explaining the theory of color.
My late grandmother described my job as a graphic designer in one simple sentence: “He draws pictures all day.”
Her frame of reference was watching me draw fight scenes between tigers and knights with my busted up Crayolas while she cooked boiled chicken.
Making great trash.
But seriously, what is graphic design?
Let me answer that with another simple sentence: “It’s making trash.”
In our business, when we design packaging graphics our ultimate goal is to see our work in the garbage can. Meaning a consumer purchases the product, opens it …and throws it out. Mission accomplished.
While that sequence sounds simple, and in some ways it is, what starts as a random shopping excursion at Target on a Saturday afternoon can quickly become sensory overload.