When developing a brand and its style, it doesn't matter what you like; it only matters what your target market responds to in the end. I knew Cornerstone's target market was in government and with that came specific intrinsic values.
Both stability and credibility are essential when working with government agencies, so there's not a lot of room for flashiness. Many feel that limits self-expression. I disagree, I appreciate the restrictions because it forces you to find creative solutions within the rules of the game.
When working at Cornerstone, from developing the brand to even the website, I found it refreshing to restrict myself based on my target.
I spent a lot of time researching the US Government's design standards. Their standards are well-thought-out and documented as good as any tech company. So that became my rule book for the entirety of the Cornerstone branding project.
I knew if I could meet these standards when branding, then my target market would find some familiarity with them. After all, their internal apps, websites, and documents all followed this standard. If I want our audience to fill at-home with our presentation and our branding, then I needed to play along with everyone else in the space.