The symbolic elements were widely used in the past especially in the middle ages. Designing, displaying, describing, and recording coats of arms and badges were and still are the elements found in todays business. Corporate identity blossomed just after the world war two in the 1950’s which took place in America by the Modernist movement . The consumer and modernist culture has led to a transformation due to the changes, the social life was going through. The war caused destruction but also brought with it technological advances that were used to make productivity, as people were consuming goods.
Since the market and business was rising again, the corporations that were re-establishing needed something new something modern. Visual imagery is very important for a company, this distinguishes the difference between one corporation to an other and also attracts the clients to gain good quality and reliability in the products. In fact logos now a days are the visual identifiers of corporations. They became corporate identities by communicating brands and unifying messages. The use of symbols went from a king to seal a letter, to how businesses establish their credibility and sell everything from financial services to hamburgers.
Visual imagery and identification has always been important in the historical days. In the medieval times, marks were used to identify the properties. This was compulsory as all the businesses during that period needed a trademark of a stamp with a logo to identify and control the trading, since during that era people had a lack of education. Communicating with signs and drawing made a revolution later in life, the concept of visual trademarking one’s business spread heavily during the Industrial Revolution from the 18th century till the 19th.
Businesses that boomed during that time needed logos to become a mainstream identification to the public. Although the specific terms “corporate image” and “brand identity” didn’t enter business and design vocabulary until the 1940s, in the two decades they became key elements to business success. Designing logos and trademarks needs a huge amount of brain storming to meet the desired acquirements. The profession of graphic designers had begun since the international typographic style, the Modernist style and also the Swiss style.
More over three famous icons that actually were the success of corporate identity are Peter Behrens, Paul Rand and Saul Bass. One cannot define these persons as artists but as the godfathers of what we define today the modern era. The Pioneers Peter Behrens Peter Behrens was born in Hamburg Germany in 1868. He was very into applied arts and had done different projects for clients such as constructing typefaces and magazine covers. Peter Behrens in 1907 was contacted by Allgemeine Elektricitats-Gessellschaft (General Electricity Company) to consult their company’s image. This is where the revolution had started.
Peter Behrens had a very specific style that was the art nouveau movement. This movement basically comprised the esthetics of art and design especially in graphic design. Behrens offered the AEG a model and the relationship between art and industry or else the visual importance for a modern economy. “Embracing the ideals of the ARTS AND CRAFTS MOVEMENT he sought a visual language to express the modern age of mass production. ” ( From The Thames & Hudson dictionary of graphic design and designers, page 29) Actually Peter Behrens was the first man to invent logos to represent an identity for corporations.
In his AEG logos we see a massive change, from the circular motives to a consistent use of geometrical shapes. The typography also had evolved from script to serif. Discussing the visuals Behrens made in the 1907, they had a mixture of art and nouveau technique with geometrical motifs. Paul Rand As described in many different articles, clients and critics, Paul Rand is a remarkable man. A man that in his early twenties has been known for his innovation and originality in design. However it was the passion for corporate identity, that gave him a boost for a world wide fame.
In the research that was made, Rand was the first man to set standards for the design of corporate logos. Rand also had a particular style this was creating and combining elements to produce a unique and modern visual image or identity. Apart from that he explored different sections of movement such as Cubism, Constructivism and De Stijl. Rand started his corporate career from typography. He had an acute knowledge of image/illustration and typography/ typeface, which linked so well with each other in his works. This unique style was to unit the letters and shortening long words.
All of his works were intelligently used, but simplicity and the Bauhaus approach gave the holistic element for his designs. Rand worked for todays established companies such as IBM, APPLE, EF, AIGA, ABC, YALE and many other clients. The first IBM marking (not logo) was designed in 1886. The symbol was made from typography and kept the same identity even when Paul Rand made part from the IBM team. The Business International Machines is the logo that Paul Rand is famous for. In the 1956 Rand had been selected to design the IBM logo by the man who was being world wide known, Thomas J. Watson.
Paul’s hypothesis of expanded typography within a suppressed format gave “birth to a new corporate identity” ( from website http://www. logoblog. org/wordpress/paul-rand/ ). The first revolutionary design of IBM was very simple and plain. It was made from bold and Slab serif typography. Rand redesigned the IBM logo for an other three times, in 1956,1972 and also in 1981. These logos kept the sequence (meaning the same type) but altered the color scheme. In 1956 the difference was from white and black piping at its edges to a more simpler bold black. Coming to the 1972, Paul added movement to the logo.
He also played with white space to create a very interesting logo. What struck most the people and which Paul Rand is remembered for is the Rebus style logo, which he invented in 1981. Rebus is a graphic design technique to use pictures or symbols instead of words or in this case letters. Rand replace the letter ‘I‘ to a symbol of an eye, the letter ‘B‘ to the symbol of a bee and the letter ‘M‘ remained the same as the ‘M‘ in the logo of 1972. Saul Bass This man was great in presentation and communication. In the 1950’s Saul Bass moved to California to open his own studio which focused on advertising ilms, trailers, posters and logos. Bass was a master of film title design but a genius in designing logos. During his career, one could identify that he was a busy man especially in developing and renewing some ideas in corporate design. Three most famous logos and corporate identities from Saul Bass portfolio are AT&T, Minolta and United Airlines. The master worked with various companies, those who were well know and those who are not so much well know. Starting from Ajinomoto a company that sells instant food goods to designing the corporate identity of the United Airlines.
The American Telephone and Telegraph logo was designed in 1984, this basically has a sphere shaped logo with lines passing through it. The color scheme used is blue and white. This logo reminds me the Paul Rand IBM logo. Adding to this Saul used the same concept but a different interpretation from the Minolta logo that was designed in the 1978. Agin this logo had an ellipse shape with four white lines passing through the middle. On the other hand the logo of united airlines had quite changed perspective. The logo was made form lines with different colors, to form the letter ‘U’ for United.
The colors used are blue and red which had been positioned to create a negative space with the white background. The type used for United Airlines was Sans Serif, quite a different type from what the people were in generally used to see. Apart from that from designing the logo, Bass designed their stationary all based from the same concept. Unfortunately today, United Airlines company was joint with Continental Airlines. Saul Bass corporate identity was discharged by the take over of a new logo which in my opinion is not at all up to the high standard as Saul Bass’s identity.
The new airline identity impress no sense of movement or travel and though it has safe choice in colors and type, I would definitely find it difficult to trust them to fly me to any destination. “This is now” The Social media today Corporate Identity today is an asset for a company’s business. It is important, as it has to communicate with consumers’ eye. The sales person also plays an important part in a marketing company. Although they are little to the companies finances (when coming to wage), the sales persons are like the little pawns into a chess games.
They always have to present a company’s image into a good way and portray or manipulate the client intelligently. One can divide corporate identity into two categories. The first one being marketing and the second, branding. These two words are the most words used in our contemporary business and society. But what is the definition for marketing? Marketing is the achievement of corporate goals through meeting and exceeding customer needs better than the competition, although competition is an important section of marketing. Marketing people are unconcerned to design tactics.
Although on the other hand, design people are often negative at marketing proposals. But in everyday case marketing controls design, because it is all about planning and design is about feeling the clients needs. I have confirmed this statement from my previous work. There I have learnt that although I tried to convince the clients not to fall for marketing tactics, are still they ready to pay and don’t care about other consequences. Marketeers have the famous ability to act the part of the most sensible people on earth, for example fizzy drinks are sold as energy drinks, or eating cereal only to achieve the perfect figure.
What about the other consequences, fizzy drinks have a huge amount of sugar, were as cereals have a big amount of salt. Can you consider this a right thing? For the rest of us we have to distinguish what is right or wrong. During the 1990’s the term ‘ Branding‘ was being introduced into the design or designers communities. But what the word ‘branding‘ have to do with design?. From a graphic designer perspective, I would say nothing. Instead for business men it means design. ‘You can have a lousy business or product but if you ‘brand‘ it properly you will get away with it‘ ( from the book Graphic Design, A user’s Manual page 43).
Brand Identity is linked to design which is creating an other contemporary movement of which it’s name is still unknown or still to be found. A brand is a product or class of products which includes it’s trademark, logo, reputation and the people creating this structure. When one talks about a brand, one is talking about verbal, visual and conceptual aspects of the products identity. A product is sometimes identified by it’s trademark, packaging or advertising. Today everyone talks about brands. Clients love brands, especially the well known brands.
Brands give a certain self confidence in a person, the products tend to be more expensive, but this gives the certificate that what you have purchase is of a good quality. To have the best brand, one needs to have certain guidelines to operate well within corporate identity. These guidelines are the standard guidelines that Paul Rand invented. The language of form consists from order, variety, contrast, symmetry, tension, balance, scale, texture, space, light, shape, shade and color. Without these rules the corporate identity of the brand would not be a successful one.
Corporate identity has developed rapidly during the past 20 years in fact, a business has developed two types of identity structures, these are called, organizational identity and branded identity. Organizational- monistic identity works as a principle meaning only one organization identity. Such as Nivea. An unknown german company with a weak identity. Branded identity is an approved identity that implies a company that has its own organization and own products. For example Volkswagen which identifies it’s own cars. “The Identity” Corporate Identity comprises of Logo Design( image and brand), Trademark, Stationary and Advertisement.
Logo and trademark design plays and important part in graphic design especially when creating a corporate identity. Although ‘logo’ is a vast concept in graphic design still it is one of the most difficult ares to perfect. A logo, is the image that presents an organization. The image that provides the customer needs. A good designed logos are the ones that are most recognized by the costumers and it is frequently redesigned to show to progress of the company. Here are some examples of famous brands as a trademark and their logos : Opel Opel had it’s fist logo done in 1899, with a art nouveau approach.
Was updated in 1910. Here one can see that the typography has changed and became more aggressive, with the production of motorbikes. In 1920’s the ‘eye‘ was encircled. Late on in the mid 1920’s, the lightning flash was being introduced in the designs. In 1985, versions of simpler logo designs. Mark Adams, GM Europe’s head of design, who led the team that re-designed the logo. Stationary also is important and essential for a business. Stationary, means business cards, letterheads, envelopes and cds and their cases. Here is an example of stationary with a difference.
This is a company called the 13th street, which is a German horror network. Creative Directors: Jacques Pense, Michael Ohanian Art Directors: Matthias Kracker, Stefan R? singer Copywriters: Lennart Frank Graphic Artist: Karla Kurz Advertising helps as well when forming a corporate identity. It helps by promoting the company and products. Advertising can be, on different types of media especially on papers such as leaflets, brochures, bilbords, magazines and much more or else it could be interactive, such as websites, guerilla advertising, radio and TV stations. Such examples are Diesel Be stupid advertising campaign.