How to Create a Corporate Identity

How to Create a Holistic Corporate Identity

Published on: April 11, 2019

While your company has probably spent thousands of dollars investing in consumer-centric branding, you might have overlooked how it also impacts internal personnel. Many companies miss that crucial component of pulling the brand identity into the workplace environment. But to express your corporate identity holistically, you need to take a good look at how you communicate that identity to your company’s stakeholders by connecting external branding with internal workspaces. A built work environment serves as a focal point for shaping your company’s culture and the goals aligning employees to your company’s mission statement, while making them feel more connected to, and motivated by, their workplace.

Environmental branding is especially crucial in managing today’s workforce. Branded architectural design uses visual clues delivered through graphics, signage, and workplace layout to create a sense of belonging that employees crave. In turn, your company benefits from increased employee engagement. Creating a holistic corporate identity must be a top priority in order to compete for the modern worker—and the key elements below can help you lay the foundation.

The Key Elements of Creating a Holistic Corporate Identity

You’ve undoubtedly already researched how traditional corporate identifiers, like your company logo and slogans, impact your consumer base; much of that research is easily applicable to your company’s internal work environment as well. Here are just a few areas where you can translate consumer-facing brand identity to the workplace—and some of the pitfalls you want to avoid.

Office/ building layout

The workplace layout should create a culture that supports your corporate mission and values. Remember the wide popularity of open office spaces among technology startups? The open layout organically shaped preferred work habits that were in line with a collaborative culture necessary for the innovation they became known for.

However, as open offices became more popular, many other companies in different industries followed suit with less than stellar results. They failed to consider how the built environment affected their employees and internal culture. Your office layout needs to tie together both your external branding, or what your company is known for, and company culture. Bringing your brand into the internal work environment through the office layout lets employees live and breathe it, encouraging higher engagement and instilling pride.

Logos and color scheme

Logos and color palettes are clear brand identifiers in all your company’s locations but you must be cognizant of how they impact employees who are entrenched in the workplace environment daily. Many companies miss the mark by mistakenly thinking that simply creating conspicuous displays of their mission statement and logo is enough. But that can come across as visually overwhelming or just plain gimmicky, undermining the overall goal of connection and culture-building.

Instead, you might consider the positioning of the logo or utilizing patterns or imagery as an extension of your brand on walls and displays to give the workspace a distinctive, branded feel. This draws a connection between external branding and architectural signage and graphics, providing employees with a more nuanced visual engagement to support workplace focus.

Corporate Identity Creation

GNU Group brought Atlassian’s Austin lobby to life by incorporating a t-shirt display celebrating their local culture.

Typography

Consistent and complementary fonts in marketing collateral give the consumer cues about your corporate identity. But care needs to be taken when bringing those branded elements into the workplace. The power of a font was recognized by Uber during a 2018 brand refresh. The company researched historical typefaces used in the transportation industry to highlight safety and modeled their own “Uber Move” font to build on that market trust.

Internally, however, font usage must be more functional. A small decorative typeface, for example, might convey “fun” to your customers but be completely unreadable from a distance inside the workplace. This does not mean scrapping the font and undoing all your efforts to create a cohesive corporate identity. The right designer can improve visibility while still maintaining your brand message in the work environment.

By keeping a keen eye on the details of each of these elements, you can create a holistic corporate identity that resonates with both consumers and your internal stakeholders.

Bringing Your Corporate Identity Together With Signage and Graphics

Branded signage and graphics are the glue that hold your corporate identity together in the workplace. Many signs must be functional, like in the case of wayfinding signs, ADA signage, and information kiosks. But that doesn’t mean signs can’t also work to reflect your external branding and underline your company culture. When implementing an environmental graphics plan to communicate your corporate identity internally, however, there are a few key not-to-be-missed pieces of the signage puzzle.

Create a Corporate Identity

GNU Group designed an interactive timeline display in Atlassian’s Austin workspace to highlight company milestones, culture and local imagery.

Environmental branding through signage and graphics plays a crucial role in your company culture, which is why it must be established with employees in mind. Using graphics and signage that strategically support your brand’s message is a vital part of this process. By taking a holistic approach to creating your corporate identity, you can improve the perception and consistency of your brand both inside and out.


GNU Group provides guidance on establishing a brand identity that improves both customer and employee engagement through human-centric environmental design. For more information on how our services can benefit your corporation, connect with our team.