In the development of a website or other social media, corporate styling is an element that is often overlooked or bolted on at the last minute. But the corporate styling of a website is much more than slapping on the company logo at the end of the development process. Considering corporate styling when developing a website is just as important as in the development of any other aspect of the business.

I have to come clean at this point and say that as a web developer concerned with the technical aspects of web development, corporate styling is a field that I have been sadly lacking knowledge. This is a shame, because I have recently found corporate styling, despite its dreary sounding name, is a fascinating subject, including aspects of many disciplines such as psychology and marketing, and is incredibly important for any business no matter how large or small.

My esteemed colleague Mike Louw has recently informed me of some of the nuances of corporate styling and its importance and pointed me in the direction of his recent blog on the subject: ‘What brand is that?’

But how does this relate to web development and social media? A company website or social media presence is an extension of a company, and in many cases, even more important to the success of the business than a physical location, for example, Facebook, Google or YouTube. So it is vital that a company’s web presence follows the company corporate styling guidelines.

There are a multitude of little details which, when taken as a whole, aid to provide a consistent feel throughout a website and the business as a whole. The following are some elements of a website which need to be considered as part of corporate styling

Logo – position, size, background colours, surrounding content
Use of imagery
User friendliness

Ideally, style guidelines addressing these features should be documented enabling ease of reference and promoting consistency. Here are some wonderful examples of corporate style guidelines for some of the best known companies:

One of the main reasons for this attention to detail is brand recognition and familiarity. Consistent design between different aspects of the business will aid in the recognition of your brand. This doesn’t necessarily mean that everything needs to be identical across different mediums. Especially in the case of new technology, it may not be possible to replicate certain designs exactly in each situation. However, there should always be a certain cohesion between each medium, and this can be achieved by following corporate style guidelines in the web development process.