Design Elements and Principles for Maintaining Visual Identity on Web Sites

Design Elements and Principles for Maintaining Visual Identity on Web Sites

Sunghyun R. Kang (Iowa State University, USA) and Debra Satterfield (California State University – Long Beach, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9787-4.ch051
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The Design Elements Of Corporate Identity That Are Effective In Creating Web Site Identity

Corporate identity design in the physical world has been developed to consistently apply logos, colors, typography, grids, and other stylistic treatments to a variety of media and applications. In addition, corporate identity design in the physical world has a much longer history than does web site identity design. Therefore existing strategies and elements of corporate identity design from the physical world will be useful as a model for developing a strategy for web site identity design.

According to Haig and Haper, logos and symbols are known as basic and fundamental elements in the development of corporate identity design. A logo, referred to as “one of business’ most outspoken non-verbal cues,” (Haig & Haper, 1997, p 1) conveys a company’s philosophy and message. Dowling (2001) further articulates the roles of corporate symbols: to create awareness; to trigger recognition of an organization; and to activate a stored image of the organization (p 167). Logos are used as a powerful tool for marketing. People tend to make buying decisions based on the brand name of a product rather than for the product itself. The logos for Nike, Apple, and McDonald's are well-known examples of these types of corporate symbols.

Color is another important element in corporate identity. Color is easier to read than form or shape and it holds the viewer's attention longer (Dowling, 2001, p 177). We have often heard about Coca Cola red, Kodak yellow, and Barbie pink. Color also has cultural and psychological associations. The same color can be interpreted in different ways depending on the culture and context of the situation.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Grid: Organizational structure used to create information templates.

Corporate Identity: Taglines, logos, and marketing elements which could build company’s identity and brand image.

Design System: Strategy to integrate and maintain corporate identity using visual elements.

Responsive Design: Web site that designed for multiple screen sizes across devices such as tablets, smart phones, and desk top or laptop computers.

Information Hierarchy: Structure and priority given to various pieces of information.

Visual Identity: Visual elements such as a corporate logo, system elements, color system, typography to build company’s identity.

Experience Design: The way that the target audience experiences the brand from the first knowledge of the company through the complete consumer process.

Logo: A graphical element composed of a symbol and/or organization name.

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