Styles in webdesign: the features of corporate/business layout

Graphic designers take advantage of certain design styles using them as part of the development phase in any graphic project. Whether it’s a brochure, an ad or a website, it’s not that important. Color palettes, image choice, typography, background, graphic elements…each style has its own set of shading, its own set of rules and its own potential. The minimal style allows setting content with ease and elegance; grunge is more appropriate for a younger audience and so on. For each graphic project it’s possible to indicate a style that is appropriate and one that is best to avoid at all costs.

Having said this, we would like to inaugurate a series of articles focusing on (web) design styles, in which we will look at the main characteristics of each style. And, based on these styles, we will be able to create a Photoshop layout that is unique every time.

The first and essential step is to analyze the styles that are en vogue today in web design, followed by categorizing them in a list which defines currently-known trends:

  • Corporate/Business
  • Hand drawn (sketch, watercolor, doodles)
  • Grunge
  • Illustrations
  • Minimal
  • Magazine
  • Natural
  • Organic
  • Typography
  • Vintage / Retrò
  • Web 2.0

Most of the websites present on the Internet fall into one of these categories or is in part influenced by one of them. This list is obviously a work-in-progress as it is impossible to know when a new style will emerge that will become a known trend. Let me know if i missed some style!

Today we will look at what the various characteristics are of the Corporate/Business style.

Corporate web design: what is this all about?

The term “corporate” refers to anything that has to do with a company. So, “Corporate website” refers to a website representing a company online. A corporate website can serve many functions such as one company’s wish to present their business to the web community or it could also be an informative website that serves to highlight a specific consumer product.

A good corporate style website is distinguishable by the presence of the following trends

  • Relevance: In this case graphic elements are minimized to place more importance on content and make the site easier to read. The order of the day is to limit the page to its bare essentials, meaning having only those things that are of utility to a visitor, and avoiding other distractions. The layout has to be as professional as possible, focusing on the products or services offered by the given company.
  • Colors: A corporate website must impart a sense of trust and stability. It’s not by chance that the majority of corporate sites use colors such as azure and blue. Speaking of which, if you haven’t already taken a look, I suggest you look at this article on the unconscious significance of colors in design, in which I look at the type of sensations that certain colors can evoke.
  • Evocative Images: Images play a fundamental role in attracting a visitor, and to express both directly and efficiently the main ideas of a given activity or business. The web can be looked at as a series of hands linking with one another (rapport, support, trust) or as sprouting flowers (solidity, personal and financial development), as a blue sky (peacefulness, relax, simplicity) and as smileys (satisfaction, happiness, serenity). Visual representations of certain emotional needs are used to a great extent by insurance and banking corporations wanting to attract more customers.

  • Informative images and technical data: In some industries, evocative images are replaced with informative images and technical data such as balance statements, comparative tables and graphs. Instead of tempting a user to feel certain unconscious sensations, in this case a company has chosen to show as much information as possible on its webpage. This is especially true for landing webpages or sites that specialize in financial services or software.

  • Corporate identity and official colors: A freelancer can re-invent his or her own image if he or she wishes to do so; this is certainly not possible for a company seeking to become a bigger player in its respective sector and to improve its own image as a solid and fruitful company. Company or official colors are the life-force of a company; similar to brands, logos and other distinctive symbols that a company uses to represent itself. They can be modified only after an accurate analysis is made and after motivations are disclosed on the implementation of such changes. You want an example? Think of Bartolini, the famous Italian courier. The first color that should come to mind is red, the company color that is painted also on their fleet of vehicles. What if you were to visit their website with a query in mind and saw that they were using a blue layout? For starters, you might feel a bit disoriented, since a distinctive corporate element was found to be missing.

Resources

Tutorial

Online you can find various tutorials that are very informative and can help you to plan the development of a corporate website. These tutorials are in English but they are also quite easy to understand. Why don’t you take a look at them?

Inspiration

Recommended readings

In the next days we will create a corporate/business layout using Photoshop. Don’t miss out on it!

Other articles in our guide:

Master per Web Designer Freelance
In tutti questi anni abbiamo ricevuto centinaia di richieste di approfondimento sulle numerose tematiche del web design vissuto da freelance. Le abbiamo affrontate volta per volta. Ma ci siamo resi conto che era necessario fare qualcosa di più. Ecco perché è nato One Year Together, un vero e proprio master per web designer freelance che apre finalmente le porte al mondo del lavoro.
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The Author

Web designer, has been working in the field of graphics and web development for six years and at the moment besides collaborating with a web agency successfully manages her freelance activity under the name of mascara design. Like many freelancers she is used to handling more roles, ranging from paper graphics to the development of html and css codes; nonetheless this passion of hers remains, always and however, web graphics.

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