Your company’s design and branding are key components of marketing and play a large part in what customers and prospects think and feel before they consume any of your marketing materials. This is important as we oftentimes draw conclusions about a company solely based on the design of their marketing materials, their website and the overall look and feel of their brand. In fact, it takes less than a second for someone to form an opinion of your brand when looking at just your website. So, why does making a good first impression matter? Your time is limited. Having the essential elements of corporate branding can allow you to have a positive impression on your buyers and prospects.

To give you an idea of what consistent, impressionable corporate branding looks like, take a look at any of the branding projects in our portfolio. You will see that a core component for each of them was establishing a consistent look and feel. To achieve this, there are four essential elements that must be considered when establishing a corporate brand.

Your logo is perhaps the most important element of your brand identity. As the icon and hallmark, it is usually the most recognizable element. Your logo is typically used in all materials, whether they are digital, print or in another form. There are many criteria to designing a logo, but one that stands out is that the logo should be legible in any size. From a small web icon to a large banner at an event, the logo should be clear to all. Another consideration is that it should also be legible when faced with color restrictions. If there is ever an instance where you are unable to use your brand colors, does it still work when you are only able to use one color or black and white? Keep these this in mind in the logo design process.

#2. Colors

The colors used by a company can communicate many different messages and can sometimes be a key factor in the recognition process. When choosing your colors, there can be many things to consider. Here are two:

  • Color meanings: In some cases, certain colors have a story behind them and can often elicit certain feelings. For example, yellow is seen as a bright, friendly and optimistic color that can generate positive feelings.
  • Contrasting colors: Colors can often be labeled as “warm” or “cool” based on where they are on the color wheel. Whether you want to have “warm” colors, “cool” colors, or both, it’s important to understand if they contrast well together.

For your brand’s colors to become associated with your company, it is important that the same colors are used throughout all materials. By selecting Pantones, and their corresponding RGB/CMYK colors, and enforcing their usage, you ensure that the colors used in all of your company’s print and digital pieces remain consistent.

#3. Fonts

Similar to colors, it is important to select a specific font, or fonts, to use throughout your company’s materials. It is a good idea to limit this selection to as few fonts as possible. One best practice is to choose a serif font for body content and a sans-serif font for headings. Additionally, it is noteworthy to select a corresponding web-safe font to use if your corporate fonts are not already web-safe. There are many different fonts to choose from that vary in styles from traditional to modern. It’s essential to choose fonts that reflect your company’s image and can fit in well with your logo and overall style.

#4. Imagery

Imagery is always a core component of any marketing material, but its usage has become more important than ever due to the transition to the all-digital environment. You should expect to utilize many images in your marketing materials. To tie these images together, it is necessary to establish a common theme or treatment that is leveraged across all the images you use. For example, if you are a technology company that is defining your imagery, think about what your brand embodies and decide if graphic icons, stock photos or something else would be best suited. Once decided upon, use this imagery in all facets of your organization to ensure consistency

Corporate Branding Consistency is Key

There are multiple elements that go into a brand identity package. A corporate style guide can be useful for keeping these guidelines and elements in one location that can be accessible company wide. The most important thing to keep in mind when developing corporate branding is consistency. By utilizing the same elements repeatedly, they become more readily related to your company and recognizable by your audience.

Read more: Closing the Knowledge Gap: The Unifying Power of a Corporate Brand