Design affects YOU
Design is something that none of us can avoid. The products we buy; the packaging they are in; the stores that you buy from all have images that have been considered and specifically designed. We all have our preferences and opinions of what is the best for us; and whether these are attained through technical knowledge, visual appearance, peer pressure, recommendation or just because; the design, marketing and advertising professions have the ability to sway our judgement.
Whether we have membership of a particular political party, belong to a religious organisation, support a football team or are employed by a company or corporation, the 'club' of our choice is an organisation with a designed identity. It has what Wally Olins would term a 'corporate personality' and I would term 'human clubism'. Either way, these organisations, their premises, their products and their members have a visually recognisable image or identity. Apart from its members, their image needs to be recognised by its intended public, their target audience, their customers or their intended (future) customers.
In whichever industry your business competes, to be successful it must be known and recognised by its public. Whether you are selling the company itself and the services it offers, or the products that it either sources or produces and subsequently sells into the relevant marketplace, you have the need for effective design.
Image and identity are often confused with logo. An image or identity may use a symbol (logo) or symbol consisting of specific letterforms (logotype) as part of its image or identity, but the whole corporate identity or personality consists of all forms of communication, from visual through to attitude and tone of a single individual representing the organisation, even over the phone. Communication, at any level, gives us an opinion of what the organisation is like. A logo, logotype or range of images conforming to a unique style and used across a range of media (printed stationery, literature, signage, websites, electronic presentations, offices, exhibitions or conferences), would establish a visual look or brand identity. This would become instantly recognisable to your public when used in different situations. How powerful brand identity is became apparent to me when my six year old nephew saw a ten inch high McDonald's 'M' on the outside wall of an otherwise plain office and asked if Ronald McDonald lived there.
In all fields of commercial activity, there is a need to stand out from the competition; be one step ahead; be a leader, not a follower. Effective design can help you achieve this.
© In The Clouds Design 2004
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