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What is a Corporate Identity?

If you are searching for the answer on the internet you will have found many useful resources and corporate identity examples or detailed definitions.

One such as the one given by Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_identity

A corporate identity design or corporate image is the manner in which a corporation, firm or business enterprise presents itself to the public (such as customers and investors as well as employees). The corporate identity is typically visualized by branding and with the use of trademarks,[4] but it can also include things like product design, advertising, public relations etc. Corporate identity is a primary goal of corporate communications, in order to maintain and build the identity to accord with and facilitate the corporate business objectives.

Which is correct and links to a number of other areas that a corporate identity includes, but does it actually answer what it is? I would suggest no.

Definition versus Understanding

If you are searching for a Definition of different types of corporate identity, or what is the difference between corporate identity and brand identity then the Wikipedia-like results are great. But if like many you are searching for the Understanding of what is corporate identity design, then this article is for you.

It’s a funny feeling

A well-considered and carefully developed corporate identity is more than the sum of its parts. Yes, it does include many different elements from its corporate logo and branding to its product design and staff uniforms, but you could have all of these but still not have a fully functioning corporate identity. When you consider the role of corporate identity in public relations it becomes even more ethereal, the golden thread that should bind them all is Consistency.


Brand identify design cover


Consistency is key

How do you maintain a consistent message across such disparate things as signage, business cards or point of sale? By not just having a corporate identity guide, but by using it every day to ensure that everyone working with the identity knows how it should and shouldn’t be applied.

Too many Corporate Identity Guidelines are created when a brand is first designed but then gets put to one side and not used from one week to the next – it’s not surprising that ‘creative license’ creeps in and starts to dilute key messages.

The proof is out there

If asked to name some great brands the usual suspects would include Apple, Nike, Mcdonald’s, Coca-Cola, etc. As recognisable as their logos are each and every one of them is truly remembered because they are brands that mean something to their customers, and that has a level of engagement beyond the superficial.

  • Do you have a Corporate Identity Guidelines or Manual for your organisation?
  • Is it used by everyone to create communications small or large?
  • Does it clarify usage on social media or online?

If the answer is NO to any of these questions then you need to talk to a designer who specialises in corporate identity manuals and guidelines.

Talk to Toast Today

Over 25 years, we’ve worked with a really diverse range of clients, so we don’t restrict ourselves to a few verticals. The Toast team have worked with start-ups and global corporates for over two decades, so when it comes to creating corporate identities and capturing their ‘golden thread’ in detailed, yet easy-to-use guidelines we have the experience you need.

We have experience across Finance, Corporate, B2B, B2C, Charities, NPFs, NGOs, Healthcare, Food, Fashion, Manufacturing, Telecoms, IT and retail.

With 14 staff, Toast has the broad range of skill sets needed to create effective, future-proof corporate identities.

Can we help you with your next project?

Toast is a full-service design agency, we work with clients on everything from business card design to WordPress websites. If you need a quote for an upcoming project, call us on 01295 266644 or complete the form and we'll get in touch.

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