In this section we will explain the general aspects of design as applied to the medical field. This site's sections could be a list of a company's corporate identity components, but this is not the case. The corporate identity is the company's image, which is created through graphic design's objects for commercial and advertising purposes. Then, what does medicine-applied mean? Are there commercial and advertising purposes involved? If so, are those purposes exclusively commercial and for advertising? These questions are answered in the following paragraphs.
Companies seek to create a corporate identity that communicates a message clients like and feel attracted to. From a commercial point of view, the more clients, the better. However, this does not happen in the case of private doctors and medical companies -and, also, there is a big difference between them. The design both a doctor and a medical company look for does not intend to attract clients, but patients or associates. In the case of private doctors, the number of patients must be small, as they cannot provide quality services to too many people. The same happens with medical companies, but in a different way.
Medicine is an independent profession and, many times, private doctors who work in their own practice look for a certain number of patients, so that they can earn the money they need still providing quality services. As regards companies, the number of patients or associates should also be limited in order to provide quality attention, but these companies try to increase the number in a progressive way -they do so as they develop bigger buildings, with a functional expansion and a medical staff increase. Thus, we give a positive answer to the commercial and advertising purposes question. But, are those purposes exclusively commercial and for advertising?
We will not answer this question with a positive or a negative answer, but we want to focus on a key aspect. Essentially in the case of private doctors -and it would be advantageous in the case of medical companies too-, the purposes are not a 100% commercial, although they are a 100% for advertising. Medical designs do not seek to attract a great number of clients, patients or associates, but they look for an image of prestige and trust. These two concepts are the key ideas for medical design. As regards commercial designs, there is a wider variety of concepts, but there is no doubt that in the medical field these two concepts are the key ones.
In medicine, the common advertising attraction is not as important as the professional and the academic background. Doctors do no hang their university degrees on their walls by chance; in this field, that is the kind of publicity they need. It is of higher importance for designs to communicate the professional background and prestige, and not usefulness and advantages. However, it is not advisable to leave the promotional aspect of the field completely aside. Over time, medical care has become more and more commercialized and nowadays, although it is not a completely commercial service, it is highly commercial. A proper ad campaign and a good image should communicate prestige and professional background, as well as rates and additional advantages, such as discounts, on-call services, etc.
Thus, design as applied to medicine should have these characteristics in order to be effective. You should always bear in mind that design's different elements group together as a whole, and have to be homogeneous to achieve the desired image you want to give and always communicate the same and only message to the public. As regards the commercial field, this group of design elements is called corporate identity; in the medical field, we will call it institutional identity. Homogeneity and consistency among the institutional identity's components are essential when hiring designers and developing designs. If all the identity's components are designed with the same designer's team at the same time, they will achieve a consistent identity package as regards design. On the other hand, if you hire different people for different designs and/or at different moments, you will have to pay more attention and check that the designs stick to the idea and concept of the previous ones. Although you should check all this, the designer is the one in charge of consistency.
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