Corporate identity is the set of deliberately homogeneous design elements intended to convey one and the same message, both jointly and each item separately. To achieve this homogeneity, creating parameters is necessary, within which the designs can be made and thus the message is conveyed. The corporate logo is used to set that limit, since it is the essential and foundational element.
The logo is essential because it is primarily necessary for the company to work. No product can be sold without a corporate Logo. That is why getting this design element is essential for a company to launch its products into the market. Its foundational nature is related to the previous matter. The logo is necessarily the first item designed by a company since it is the first one needed. Then, the logo should be made from the companies' wishes (what values to transmit, what message to convey, etc.). When the logo is made, the criterion to be followed by the other corporate identity components is also established. Since the logo perfectly conveys the corporate message and since it is unchangeable, all the other elements must adjust to it.
In this way, a set is being built, where all its components follow the first element. This makes the set be perfectly homogeneous. However, this homogeneity does not mean it is a set of undifferentiated items. The corporate identity components must be coherent among them but at the same time, they must keep their particular features, the things making them different design items.
What happens if the corporate Web site does not follow those parameters? Two things may happen. The first one is a significant inconvenience but it can be solved quite easily. On the contrary, the second possibility is really catastrophic for the company's image. That is why you should always keep a close eye on the design project to avoid the use of an inappropriate design.
The first thing that may happen if your Web site does not respect the concept of corporate identity is that the public may consider this element as part of the company's corporate identity. The public, who has always received the same message, finds an element conveying a different message and thinks it does not represent the company he has been a customer of for some time. In this case, the problem will be easily solved by redesigning the Web site.
The second thing that may happen if your site does not follow the criterion kept by the other corporate identity components is that the public may not consider the site a mistake but the element allowing them to realize they were wrong on their previous interpretation of the message the company wanted to convey. This is not ridiculous, the reasoning is simple: a Web site is a very important element and no company will allow an ill-designed site to be published. Thus, the public will give a new meaning to all the designs previous to the Web site, from the failed item. Needless to say, this can be a real disaster and a problem extremely difficult to solve.
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