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Web Design and Corporate Identity

microsoft_vista-logoMcDonald’s has its signature golden arches, while Microsoft has its telltale Windows grid. These companies paid a lot of money to build a corporate identity that really sets them apart from the rest. But what if you’re a humble startup without much capital to spare?

Well, this is the 21st century. The aggressive McDonald’s approach is still very much the norm, but smaller businesses have a much cheaper and potentially more efficient avenue: their own websites. After all, a business in these times is nothing if it isn’t online. It takes time to build a corporate identity with just one website, but if you can make it work, the results are more than worth it.

A visual theme

People are very visual creatures. They may forget what your site is about, but they subconsciously keep a screenshot of it long after they click away. Start your website with a visual theme—a color, a logo, a recurring image—that your visitors can instantly associate with your business. Remember, consistency is the rule. Keep the same visual theme on every page to help them make the connection.


A fast message

How long does it take you to judge a company based on its front page? Most people take no more than five seconds. Blame the Internet and its ready supply of alternative content. Since there’s always another site to check out, they don’t feel like they’re missing anything by leaving yours. But you are. If you don’t grab them within that five-second window, you’ve lost a potential client.

An accurate portrayal

Your website should portray your company for what it is. Remember the five-second rule? People make all sorts of assumptions about online personas. If your law firm website is adorned with clowns and stars, you can bet no one’s going to come to you with their DUI charges.

A strong voice

So your smart design has drawn in your target market. But will they keep coming? That depends, for the most part, on your actual website content. Corporate identity relies as much on good design as it does on clear, readable copy. Adopt a consistent voice that tells your reader exactly what you do, how you do it, and why your business is worth their time.

4 responses have been posted:

  • Ahmad S. Safford posted - March 15th, 2009 at 2:08 am

    Hi nice post, i have come across your site once before when searching for something so i was just wondering something. I love your theme, would it happen to be a free one i can download, or is it a custom one you had made? In a few weeks i will be launching my own site, i’m not great with designs but i really like the style of your site so it would be cool if i could find (or pay for) something with a similar look. :) Thanks!

  • Benjamin posted - March 16th, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Hi Ahmad,
    Thanks for checking out our blog. I’m glad you like the theme. Unfortunately, it’s not a free theme since it was custom created by one of our designers. However, he created it with a lot of inspiration from other blogs and online galleries.

    Check out these online galleries for inspiration:
    CSS Mania
    CSS Star
    Best Web Gallery
    CSS Elite
    WP Inspiration is a new one I found recently that’s dedicated to WordPress Designs.

    Let me know if my team can be of any assistance. Would anyone like to add any other good inspirational design websites?

  • Joel Wiedman posted - November 13th, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Hey great post, I actually enjoyed it, especially regarding the second comment that you finished. The only thing I have to bring up to you would be viewing the web site through the Konquerer browser… for several reason it doesn’t appear to load the web site in addition to the sidebar seems to break – might want to check that out!

  • Benjamin posted - November 19th, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    Hi Joel. Appreciate the comment. Glad you liked the post. We’ll have to look into our rendering problem with the Konquerer browser. You have a screen shot you can send us via email by any chance? It would be greatly appreciated.