How corporate visual identity supports reputation

Annette L.M. van den Bosch, Menno D.T. de Jong, Wim J.L. Elving

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    147 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: Corporate visual identity (CVI) comprises all the symbols and graphical elements that express the essence of an organisation. Although it is by far the most visible and tangible asset in the armoury of tools used by the majority of organisations in their interaction with the outside world, the role of CVI is scarcely mentioned in studies on corporate reputation. Despite the growing interest in measuring reputation and brand values, little is known about the role of CVI. This article aims to explore the relationship between CVI and five general dimensions of reputation: visibility, distinctiveness, authenticity, transparency, and consistency.

    Design/methodology/approach: This paper explores the relationship between corporate visual identity and reputation. In which ways and to what extent can CVI support a corporate reputation? This exposition of the relationship between reputation and CVI is based on the framework established by Fombrun and Van Riel and the reputation model they present, which consists of five dimensions: visibility, distinctiveness, authenticity, transparency, and consistency. This relationship is explored by investigating these dimensions.

    Findings: It is concluded that CVI can, in principle, support each of these dimensions, through the quality of the design, the range of its application, and the condition of carriers.

    Practical implications: CVI must be considered a useful tool that can be successfully applied to managing the reputation of any organization.

    Originality/value: The results will be helpful to communication professionals who deal with integrated communication and aim to enhance the consistency of messages – both written and visual – within their organisation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)108-116
    JournalCorporate communications
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


    • Corporate identity
    • Corporate communications
    • Advertising
    • Corporate image


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