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Corporate Identity Design: What Exactly Is A CI?

Corporate identity design: what exactly is a CI?

Post Series: Corporate Identity Design

A CI or corporate identity design document is like your business’s passport book. It defines what your brand looks like, gives its full name and particulars, and says who it is married to, where it has been and where it is allowed to go.

I would like to quickly give some insights into the subtle differences between a corporate identity and a brand identity. Although, ideally, a brand should have elements of both in one document. Generally speaking, a brand identity document would incorporate elements of brand personality, including the company goals, values, culture, communication style, tone, etc., and ultimately how the brand aims to be viewed by customers. In this article, we will be looking at the more practical corporate identity document, which would outline the basic logo and design elements and their usage.

What’s in a corporate identity design document?

The basis of a corporate identity design document would include:
The logo and allowed variations of it

  • Corporate colour palette
  • Corporate font/s
  • Corporate stationery

Give your brand a visual nationality

A full CI document will show how the brand comes to life in its culture. This is where you add flavour, language and traditions. What iconography and illustrations “spice’” does your logo like? Is your photography style German serious or is it South African vibrant and loud? Do your brochures, adverts, printed media and packaging scream “local is lekker”? (or maybe they never really raise their voices at all!) Does your digital media family gathering entail melktert and rooibos or is it more of a shisa nyama vibe? By showing your visual nationality, you can guide all future creativity so that you don’t end up with cultural differences down the line.

Give your brand some visas

A great corporate identity design document includes lots of visas to give your logo wings, without losing who it is at its core. The goal is to create a unified look while allowing for creativity, campaigns and promotions that work within the guidelines and templates.

Start getting some passport stamps

Once your brand has a logo, you already have the basis of your corporate identity design. It is vital that you start to follow and build your identity and your website is a great place to begin with brand consistency.


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Hayley Diamandis

Hayley is Flicker Leap's Creative Director and heads up the Creative team.

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