Corporate identity is established by a group of business-applied design elements that communicate a unique message. Within this group of elements, Web design has a special role. This section aims at explaining how this design element works when developing corporate identities.
In the last few years, the Internet has become the most desired mass form of media by companies. Conquering the Web means a special and vital presence in the market. At the beginning, having a Web site was a luxury only possible for large-sized companies, or eccentric or Internet-specialized small-sized companies. As time went by, this medium was no longer just for eccentric or specialized companies, and it became the most important place for a firm, «advertisingly» speaking. People looking for information, services or a certain product first go to the Internet, and if a company does not appear in this medium, it means it does not appear in the market. Nowadays the Internet is no longer a luxury, but a need for both companies and users. Web design aims at increasing companies’ competitiveness by the creation of an interactive, persuasive and powerful Web site. This branch of design introduces companies on the Internet in a way they gain prestige and their sales increase. As the Internet is such a daily tool, companies choose it to introduce themselves to costumers, and consumers surf it in order to get to know a certain company, and its products and services. That is the reason why Web design is an essential resource for the company’s image.
In order to better understand this, we can see it in a negative way. Let’s say a company does not have a Web site. How would this affect its sales and its image? Obviously, the consequences would be really negative for its sales, as it has no access to a huge number of potential clients who may not know the firm, may live far away from where it is located or they may choose to buy products from a company with a Web site. As regards the company’s image, as it does not have a Web site, its image would be at least deficient. People assume the company is deficient, weak, old-fashioned and, most importantly, many times that company does not give any image at all, as it does not exist. For a long time, companies were known for its products, its building, its staff or its owners, but with a market full of firms, this is no longer possible. Therefore, a company which is not recognized as such does not exist and a company which has no image, as it does not exist, cannot give a good image. Having your company on the Internet means positioning it in the market and in the consumers’ minds; people get to know your company and, eventually, they will start a commercial relationship with you. Even though conventional advertisement and the other elements of the corporate identity are very important, nowadays having a Web site is vital for a company to exist in the consumer’s minds and, as a consequence, in the market.
Web design is the branch of design that properly places your company on the Internet and assures you communicate the proper message. All corporate identity’s elements have to communicate the same message and there are certain corporate identity’s elements which are prior to the Web site. The designer is the one in charge of adapting your Web site to the message the rest of the corporate identity’s elements communicate. By the combination of colors, typography, textures, shapes, etc. the designer creates a Web site that refers to a message: the same message the rest of the elements refer to.
You are not the only one who wants a Web site for your company: thousands of companies also do. Not «anyone» can design a site; Web designers do it and they do it in the proper way. Web designers not only make of your site something nice, attractive, persuasive, consistent and prestigious, as we have previously mentioned; they also make it competitive. All companies want their Web sites and the ones with the best designs will head the list of most visited sites, which will increase their sales and will project a good image.
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