getButterfly Logo getButterfly

Corporate Identity For The Web

To begin with, it is important to know that the corporate identity, just as individuals’ personality, is the image with which your company can be identified. A company’s corporate identity is the group of attributes and values a company has: its “personality”, its reason of being, its spirit and soul. The image reflected by the “company’s personality” will make the company identifiable and different from the
rest and it will also determine its importance in the business world. Corporate identity is the group of pieces, aspects, ideas, methods and techniques that your brand needs to be identifiable. Your company’s corporate identity can be formed by many of the pieces that form a communicational style: logo, letterhead, business cards, folder, envelope, etc.

In marketing, a corporate identity is the “persona” of a corporation which is designed to accord with and facilitate the attainment of business objectives. It is usually visibly manifested by way of branding and the use of trademarks.

Corporate identity comes into being when there is a common ownership of an organisational philosophy that is manifest in a distinct corporate culture — the corporate personality. At its most profound, the public feel that they have ownership of the philosophy. (Balmer, 1995).

In general, this amounts to a logo (logotype and/or logogram) and supporting devices commonly assembled within a set of guidelines. These guidelines govern how the identity is applied and confirm approved colour palettes, typefaces, page layouts and other such methods of maintaining visual continuity and brand recognition across all physical manifestations of the brand.

Many companies, such as McDonald’s and Electronic Arts, have their own identity that runs through all of their products and merchandise. The trademark “M” logo and the yellow and red appears consistently throughout the McDonald’s packaging and advertisements. Many companies pay large amounts of money for an identity that is extremely distinguishable, so it can appeal more to its targeted audience.

Corporate identity is often viewed as being composed of three parts:

  • Corporate design (logos, uniforms, etc.)
  • Corporate communication (commercials, public relations, information, etc.)
  • Corporate behavior (internal values, norms, etc.)

Corporate identity has become a universal technique for promoting companies and improving corporate culture.

Understanding Corporate Identity

In order to to understand corporate identity on the web, we should understand the web. The web is a modern means of communication, be it web sites, blogs, podcasts, e-mail or instant messaging. Corporate identity on the web functions just like in the real world. You, as a company, must provide your clients (customers, readers, buyers or sellers) with a consistent image of your business. Consistency comes with standards. Generally high standards and recognizable brand content.

A company’s identity is like the tip of an iceberg; it’s what happens below the surface that gives the tip its visible, tangible character. The identity elements as a whole should be flawless. One’s brand identity – both written and visual – should be rooted in the consistent use of basic graphic elements: logo, logotype, slogan, address and other graphic formulas.

General Guidelines

The first and most important element in the banding process is the logo, also known as a corporate mark. The logo could be an image, a symbol or a text.

A logo should look just as good in 5-meter letters on top of company headquarters as it does one sixteenth of a centimeter tall on company stationery. Considering everywhere a logo goes, its design and use can be some of the most important decisions a company makes. And the logo isn’t just about what’s on the paper, it’s part of the deep impressions a company makes on a person. This kind of brand identity doesn’t come easily. You have to have a clear plan for your company. You have to be consistent in your policies and actions. You have to have a vision for the idea you want in the customer’s mind.

It is important to keep corporate marks clear of any other graphic elements. To regulate this, an exclusion zone should be established around the corporate mark. This exclusion zone indicates the closest any other graphic element or message can be positioned in relation to the mark. It should never be embellished, outlined, or altered in any way.

On all administrative, print, marketing and publication materials the corporate signature must be used with the rule line. One should have and clearly specify the preferred color combination for the signature. Other combinations should be acceptable depending on background color and usage.


  • Do not allow the type to appear in different colors.
  • Do not create shapes around any part of the signature.
  • Do not translate the logotype into another language.
  • Do not add words to the signature.
  • Do not reverse the signature out of a visually active field.

One should clearly specify the logo colour, both in RGB and in CMYK format. Do not omit PANTONE format, as many print companies use this format as a rule.

Consistency in the use of typography enhances communications effectiveness, builds customer familiarity, and strengthens the company identity. Specify the type font amd supply a font download and a sample image.

The colors shown on this page and throughout this manual have not been evaluated by Pantone, Inc. for accuracy and may not match the PANTONE color standards. For accurate standards refer to the current editions of the PANTONE Color Formula Guide.

Communicating with customers

One should avoid using language that creates barriers to understanding by being too technical or jargon-ridden.
One should not use language that undermines our integrity by being too pushy and hard sell.
One should beware of language that fails to express passion by being boring and flat.

Layout and typesetting

The look and feel of the stationery items need to follow the guidelines for basic elements. As well as rules for typesetting and layout, this section provides detailed specifications for the production of these
materials. To achieve brand consistency, one needs to take care with the choice of graphic considerations.

Address block

Address blocks are used in coordination with the signature and rule line on administrative materials. Address blocks include divisional names (optional), legal company name, address, phone numbers, and additional access information. Address blocks should be kept as brief as possible. Abbreviations, other than state or province name, should not be used unless absolutely necessary. When the state name is abbreviated and a nine-digit ZIP code is used, the address may qualify for reduced bulk mailing rates.

The legal name is the first line of the address block unless a group or divisional name is used. The legal name is to be set bold and following information is all typeset in regular weight type.

Form heading

The form heading consists of the corporate signature and rule line, the address block (optional), and the form title. It is a flexible structure to allow for differences in form function, size, and content. The relative size and relationship of these elements remains the same; however, their position may be adjusted to accommodate predetermined information strike areas or text-heavy layouts. Only when retrofitting into an existing form, where space is severely restricted, may the signature be used alone. Addresses and telephone numbers are optional. Using at least the legal name in the position of the
address block is recommended.


Information must be presented clearly and concisely to facilitate the use of forms. This is achieved through organized and clean layouts. Aligning elements usually helps to simplify the layout.


There are many guidelines to present here which are applicable on a per-case basis for one’s company.


Web sites

The web site is a key point of communication with both internal and external audiences. The images and information presented should therefore be engaging and recognizable. You should ensure that the web presence of your company is clear and consistent with the brand.

When designing website content, a consistent color palette should be adhered to. The same main/primary set of colors that is used on the main homepage should be used on all primary homepages. A secondary color palette, consisting of three two-color sets, has been developed to coordinate with the main/primary set. One of these sets should be chosen and used consistently in the development of all sites and their respective pages.

Main homepage: the first page viewed when entering the website.
Primary homepages: the next level of content, accessed from the main/primary navigation bar (located at the top of all pages).

The primary homepages are accessed from the main/primary navigation bar located at the top of all pages on the website. Subsequent site homepages are accessed from links in both the primary content and secondary navigation areas.

All textual content should be created in accordance with the XHTML templates and all graphics should adhere to the grid within the graphic templates.

“contact us”, “search”, and “site map” must be included on all pages. Footer information must be included on all pages.

A consistent layout (made up of heading elements, paragraphs, links and images) should be used. The web site should be XHTML and CSS valid. Latest technologies should be used.


E-mail graphics are developed to be copied or inserted into standard mail client e-mail messages and should be used only when necessary to communicate important messages or to promote products and services. They are created as static graphics. When developing e-mail graphics, the basic elements of one’s brand identity should be adhered to.

Newsletters are developed as XHTML web pages that are embedded and viewed directly through an email message. Most of the functionality of a website can be included, such as graphics and links. Newsletters should be used when necessary to communicate important messages or promote products and services. When developing newsletters, the basic elements of one’s brand identity should be
adhered to.



Advertising provides one with an opportunity to tell people who one is and what one stands for. In order to get a message across to a wide range of audiences on a large scale, images are just as important as words. Everything one produces therefore, through graphics and text, must be clearly recognized and understood as a true manifestation of one’s brand.

Do not cram your ad with product features or facts; use only those that aid the narrative. Make headlines and copy single-minded, short, and intelligible so that the visual effect is strong.

Brand positioning statement

Our strength is the technology. The actual use of it, the extra mile of customizing a concept for the perfect use of the client. The understanding of one’s needs builds a help system based on work and further understanding of how the system works. It’s a chained reaction, returning to the very start and leading to perfection.

Subscribe to getButterfly Blog

Once a week or so we send an email with our best content. We never bug you, we just send you our latest piece of content.

If you found any value in this post, agree, disagree, or have anything to add - please do. I use comments as my #1 signal for what to write about. Read our comment policy before commenting! Comments such as "Thank you!", "Awesome!", "You're the man!" are either marked as spam or stripped from URL.

5 thoughts on “Corporate Identity For The Web

  1. A very well thought out and well written post. I just need to point out a critical element left our perhaps by oversight. The logo, the device and the words must be registered with the appropriate authorities for protection of trade mark and copy right. In fact, the process of finding out if the proposed logo is available is something that must be undertaken before doing all the work, failing which, a lot of time and expense would have gone into something that may not be available for use.

  2. You are right but, in my case, registering a logo is pretty expensive. I’ll just leave it for later.

  3. I think that it is good that you have highlighted the importance of a Website to a Corporations Identity. Websites have quickly become a necessary part of Corporate Identity for obvious reasons that building a strong online presence is important to communicate that a business has attained a Corporate status both online and in the world around us.
    .-= MJ Stapleford Corporate Identity’s last blog ..Logo Design for Company based in Bristol =-.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *