Corporate Identity

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The symbolic elements were widely used in the past especially in the middle ages. Designing, displaying, describing, and recording coats of arms and badges were and still are the elements found in todays business. Corporate identity blossomed just after the world war two in the 1950’s which took place in America by the Modernist movement . The consumer and modernist culture has led to a transformation due to the changes, the social life was going through. The war caused destruction but also brought with it technological advances that were used to make productivity, as people were consuming goods. Since the market and business was rising again, the corporations that were re-establishing needed something new something modern. Visual imagery is very important for a company, this distinguishes the difference between one corporation to an other and also attracts the clients to gain good quality and reliability in the products. In fact logos now a days are the visual identifiers of corporations. They became corporate identities by communicating brands and unifying messages. The use of symbols went from a king to seal a letter, to how businesses establish their credibility and sell everything from financial services to hamburgers. Visual imagery and identification has always been important in the historical days. In the medieval times, marks were used to identify the properties. This was compulsory as all the businesses during that period needed a trademark of a stamp with a logo to identify and control the trading, since during that era people had a lack of education. Communicating with signs and drawing made a revolution later in life, the concept of visual trademarking one’s business spread heavily during the Industrial Revolution from the 18th century till the 19th. Businesses that boomed during that time needed logos to become a mainstream identification to the public. Although the specific terms "corporate image" and "brand identity" didn’t enter business and design vocabulary until the 1940s, in the two decades they became key elements to business success.

Designing logos and trademarks needs a huge amount of brain storming to meet the desired acquirements. The profession of graphic designers had begun since the international typographic style, the Modernist style and also the Swiss style. More over three famous icons that actually were the success of corporate identity are Peter Behrens, Paul Rand and Saul Bass. One cannot define these persons as artists but as the godfathers of what we define today the modern era.

The Pioneers
Peter Behrens
Peter Behrens was born in Hamburg Germany in 1868. He was very into applied arts and had done different projects for clients such as constructing typefaces and magazine covers. Peter Behrens in 1907 was contacted by Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gessellschaft (General Electricity Company) to consult their company’s image. This is where the revolution had started. Peter Behrens had a very specific style that was the art nouveau movement. This movement basically comprised the esthetics of art and design especially in graphic design. Behrens offered the AEG a model and the relationship between art and industry or else the visual importance for a modern economy.

“Embracing the ideals of the ARTS AND CRAFTS MOVEMENT he sought a visual language to express the modern age of mass production.” ( From The Thames & Hudson dictionary of graphic design and designers, page 29)

Actually Peter Behrens was the first man to invent logos to represent an identity for corporations. In his AEG logos we see a massive change, from the circular motives to a consistent use of geometrical shapes. The typography also had evolved from script to serif. Discussing the visuals Behrens made in the 1907, they had a mixture of art and nouveau technique with geometrical motifs.

Paul Rand
As described in many different articles, clients and critics, Paul Rand is a remarkable man. A man that in...
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