Corporate Design (CD) as a subset of the wider Corporate Identity determines how a company will be perceived in the public eye. Its logo or elements from it make up the outward appearance. Any means of communication, be it business cards or stationery and any means of advertising, such as flyers, brochure and of course digital representations in the form of a website or – growing more and more popular – apps derives from it.
Designing a Corporate Design is always enthralling, but to call it a challenge, you need more. Think about designing work-wear, offices, buildings, cars or even boats, as we will see in the following collection. In between our gatherings we show you how you can have Photoshop help you designing your own CI. So watch out for these tips.
Photoshop-Tip #1: Logo as basis for your CD
01 Creative use of a Logo
Ideas are what you get paid for. To establish a Corporate Design you could check the customer’s logo for the presence of larger areas which could be used as a base design in multiple print products. Our example shows to planes, separated by a white “sway. This “sway” is our common denominator for the rest of our designs.
Our example is typical, as it is very commonly the case, that whole design-sets base on one single element or even only part of an element. This is oftentimes sufficient to have everything look homogeneous.
02 Working from the base up
This flyer in landscape format got equipped with a green linear gradient, using the Gradient tool (obviously). I used the Elliptical Marquee tool to draw a large selection, which I inverted using Selection > Invert Selection. This selection got filled with white on a new layer. If your foreground-color is white already, this can be done by holding the Alt key while pressing Backspace. If you want to use the background-color as filler, you choose the Ctrl key instead of the Alt key. The example already got filled with some content.
Photoshop-Tip #2: Using Photos as a Design Foundation
01 Photo plus logo
Nothing can make a dent as well as photos can, at least when it comes to Corporate Design. Photos provide your company with a face and can serve as a complement to a logo, which usually merely is a style element. This brochure takes a photo as the cover image. Of course the logo got added, too. The color of the button matches the dark green of the image.
To make sure, that the white text stays readable, I took to the gradient tool, created a new layer in the background and drew a gradient from black to transparent over the lower part of the image. I weakened the effect a little by setting a higher opacity on the layer. The text got equipped with a slight drop shadow as a layer style.
02 Stay consistent
Now take these elements and use them for the other media, too. You will want to have everything look the same way. To avoid boredom, not all means should look identical, but it should easily be recognizable that the flyer and the website belong to the same brand. Our example relies on the photo and the color palette derived from it. This may seem simple, but is in fact one of the most effective ways to design a look that gets remembered. And, in the end, that’s what matters. We don’t want to produce works of art, we want to create designs that work.
Dirk Metzmacher is a professional Photoshop trainer, book author and designed with over 10 years of experience. He is also a creative mind behind Photoshop Weblog, a blog about techniques, tutorials and resources related to Adobe Photoshop.