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How To Become A Successful Corporate Designer

It is very important to understand that the design of an identity program is much more than creating a logo.  Identity is the total design, every action of an organization is a part of the corporate image.  The logo is just a part of the image and, although important, does not mean anything without the support of others. To be a good designer in the corporate field, you should understand perfectly what identity systems are and what they seek to achieve. Many designers fail to succeed because they are based on false premises: they focus on wrong issues. Often this involves an excessive attention given to other similar brands in a market.

The hypothesis that previous designers have worked perfectly perpetuates weak solutions and produce uninspired works and lacking originality. Observation is important, but understanding it is vital. It’s attention to detail, determination and ability to continue to ask “why ” and “why” – these qualities define a good corporate designer. It is essential to remember that design activity is a process of action and that is generally understood wrongly. Quality design is a process of action and that is generally wrongly understood. Students and even some professionals, often considered design as a permanent addition, a cumulative activity, although, in fact, is almost the opposite, being more concerned with the discovery rather than invention.

The answer to most design problems will usually be found in making appropriate inquiries. It is true that the solution is rarely clear at first, but after it was revealed, most often seems obvious. Efficient design is not possible without research, investigation and analysis.

Another important aspect of  a designer job, too often overlooked is examining the client`s information.  Designers often accept information without question and seem to believe that a correct solution will mean simply a reflection of that feedback. In practice, most customers rarely know exactly what they want, and they look at the design as additional operation added to the end sot that everything looks nice. It is an enormous error and therefore in most cases, the first task is to educate clients on the role and value of design.

Gaining customer confidence is vital for a fruitful working relationship. They must have complete trust in you and your abilities. You provide them a professional service and you are a partner in the future success of the company that hires you.

I consider it unwise to give more than one idea. Two solutions can make customer feel like you have doubts about one or on both. Even if you think that you have two effective solutions, you must choose one of them. If the customer does not like it, you can present him the other at the next meeting.  Make sure you know who the client is. This recommendation may seem strange, but often the person you are talking every day is not the one who will have final decision.

The corporate design field

Creating corporate identities and their associated elements plays an important role in contemporary design. Identity is differentiation – we would be lost if we could not distinguish a person, product or company from other. Differences help us to define the nature of things.

Long term thinking

When you create an identity program is essential to try to make something that would have the capacity to grow. Design work should always be truthful, simple and direct.

Research

Designing a corporate identity program requires complete familiarity with all the activities of the organization that employed you. For this purpose you must ask questions, perform observation and investigated. Take photographs, draw and collect similar materials. Examine both the company and the environment in which it operates. Talk to all people, from the top hierarchy of the organization to its base. You never know where there might be the spark for an idea. Ask questions like: What does your company do? Who are the customers?  What`s the future of this company? What does it mean for your company? All these questions will help to build up an image of the organization you work for. It is important to think about the environment in which it is most likely that your creation will be seen. For example, airline logo is prominently displayed on the tail of the aircraft, not on the letters headers.

“Spider” diagrams

This type of diagram is an useful tool for developing ideas. Start from the center of a page and write all the words and ideas you associate with the company name and its services.

Expand expand those words and create more connections to get a network of interconnected themes. “Spider” diagrams often provide ideas and show relationships between different ideas that are not initially obvious.

Corporate image

Corporate image is more than a sign or a printing style. It is the total picture of an organization, from the highest to lowest.  Each part builds an image and defines the company in the world.  When designing a corporate image, define what is or what organization is trying to be. It is therefore very important that your design to be truthful – to accurately reflect reality.

Developing design concepts

As you collect materials about the company and its related fields, it is advisable that in the early stages you do more extensive research. In this phase you should not edit the material, but only gather them. Similarly, do not reject any idea as too eccentric or experimental, because it is too early to know this. If the company already has an identity, then collect all applications that you find.

Developing visual concepts

When you begin to create visual images and you have an idea of what you intend to do, you should keep open to all potential sources of images. Photos, fine art, images from newspapers and magazines, textures, colors, sounds, and even smells – all are useful incentives. Try to capture the company`s spirit. You can do it through a sign, object or color? Don`t start too early to use your computer.At this stage, the pencil, papers, and colors are more direct and useful tools than the PC.

The presentation

When you present an idea is important to clearly show how you developed it, from first concept to final design. The narrative is a useful tool, providing immediate presentation structure. If you tell about how you came to realize that work, it will be more attractive. Keep it short; there is no time to tell everything you did to get to the final design.  A useful rule is that the work should be presented on 2-6 A3 papers.

Tips:

– Applying the design on real objects is a very effective way to fix the idea in customer`s mind;

-Complex design rarely works;

-Do not use too many colors (maximum 3).

-First, create the  design in black and white.

Applying the design

All the company`s  documents must be clearly identifiable as coming from the same source. If you need to select multiple fonts, they may be different weights to the same font or two complementary fonts. In general, avoid more than two fonts.

The design of  headers and layouts

In Europe, standard size sheet of correspondence (letter size) is almost always A4 (210x297mm). In USA, the standard size 8.5x11inch. These are standard sizes for all business correspondence. It is usual for letters to be folded in three before being placed in an envelope. Consider in what way this folding will affect the positioning of such the header.  The best place for the name and company logo is usually on the top of the first fold. Company address and the recipient must be placed throughout the area. The left edge of the letter must be at least 30mm wide so the sheet can be punched if needed. Company details required by law, such as registration numbers and names of directors, may be entered in the bottom of the page. Apart from respecting those mentioned above, there is no fixed format so is perfectly possible to place the header on the vertical side of the page.

Bogdan

Bogdan is the founder of Top Design Magazine. You can find him in Bucharest-Romania so next time you want to drink a beer there and talk about web and stuff, give him a message.

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