If you are planning to work as a UX/UI designer, you must be creative and know the principles of designing attractive interfaces for different devices and products. However, your designs should do more than be attractive and functional. Every designer who works with startups, businesses, and international corporations must know how to develop solutions that complement and match the corporate identity of your clients. But what does this actually mean? Read this post to learn more.
What Is Corporate Identity?
Corporate identity is a set of elements developed by a company in order to create a certain image in the eyes of consumers. This is not to be confused with branding which is the responsibility of the UI design agency.
Branding is a marketing technique aimed at creating a unique brand. Let’s review these terms with a simple, straightforward example. Imagine that you are a teenager who goes to school every day. You don’t want to be seen as a loser. How do you convince your classmates that you are cool? Maybe you watch trendy YouTube channels, know all the memes, start playing sports. All these efforts used to create the image you need is called branding.
To match this image, you need to have a certain style: cool sneakers and jacket from the hippest brand. These are the combined elements of your cool kid identity.
Now back to the business world. Corporate identity is what makes the company recognizable in the eyes of potential customers. Moreover, it forms an emotional connection between you and other players on the market. Certain colors, shapes, and slogans are associated with your products and services. In the long run, a corporation’s identity expands the base of regular customers and shapes brand perception.
From Creativity to Identity
Now that you know what corporate identity is, it is easy to understand how important it is. Imagine you have developed a cool interface using purple and yellow for a pharmacy chain’s app. Why purple and yellow? Because you like these colors and also because you know they look good together (See our Psychology of Color infographics). However the question one needs to ask – when a potential customer downloads this app, will these colors be associated with the intended company?
Identity is the sum of distinctive features. Original features will only be associated with this particular business. A hard thing to do in the modern world: in every country, there are thousands and thousands of pharmacies, shops, cinema theaters and so on. How to create a design that will not be similar to any of the thousands that already exist? How do you beat the whole experienced army of designers who have been meticulously working on designs for years?
Find a Creative Solution
The recipe for success can be expressed in one word – creativity. Creativity is, in the full sense of the word, the golden key to success in design. It opens the door to both fame and high pay. Corporate identities made by different designers can cost anywhere from 1000$ to 100,000$.
Young designers who do not have the skills to create a product with a high degree of creativity are too often forced to copy work created by more skilled and innovative colleagues.
But work reliant on copying is not only not worth top dollar but often veers into plagiarism – this can cause a lot of problems for a business owner.
Original ideas in graphic design have always been greatly appreciated. Some methods help to increase your creativity when designing corporate identity: brainstorming, mind-mapping, a metaphor method, morphological analysis, forcing connections, inverting assumptions, synectics, a projective method, etc. Let us have a closer look at some of them.
Creative Methods to Design Corporate Identity
Whenever you find yourself in a creativity crisis, explore these methods to find new and exciting solutions.
- Brainstorming. This is a method of stimulating creative activity and productivity. It is based on the assumption that criticism or fear of criticism interferes with creative thinking. If a person believes that his idea is bad or can be critically evaluated by the audience, he will not want to test or express it out loud. In this case, many potentially good ideas are lost forever. Brainstorming was developed to remove the obstacles caused by fear of being criticized when expressing ideas. The people who participate should have only a general idea of the task and are not required to be specialists in the matter. Any ideas are expressed freely, including erroneous, playful, and fantastic ones. The more unexpected the idea seems, the better. It is strictly prohibited to criticize or neglect any ideas.
- Mind maps. These are tools for the visual display of information that allows you to efficiently structure and process it. They look like a tree diagram that depicts words, ideas, tasks, or other concepts connected by branches, extending from a central concept or idea. Branches in the form of smooth lines are indicated and explained by keywords or images. Mind maps were developed by British writer Tony Buchan. He thought that this powerful graphic method provided a universal key to unlocking the powerful potential hidden in the brain. It can be used in any area of life where the improvement of the intellectual potential of a person or the solution of various intellectual problems is required.
- William Gordon developed a creative technique called synectics in the 1940s. According to this methodology, the participants should try to “make the known strange, and the strange known.” The methodology consists of ten steps: analysis and definition of the problem, proposing spontaneous solutions to the problem, a new formulation of the problem, building direct analogies, building personal analogies, building symbolic analogies, and so on.
Corporate identity is the first thing any UX/UI designer who works with brands should take into consideration. Creativity here is of the utmost importance if you want to help your client to develop their business and not get in trouble for plagiarism. Luckily, now you know all the methods and techniques you need to help you design stylish and original corporate identities.