ECU > 1st Semester 2009 > Design > Identity > Plan


This unit introduces students to the world of visual identity, including designed branding, visual and corporate identity and typography. Students will be introduced to the processes and methodologies inherent in the creation of visual identity as well its context and history. Designers play a central role in the creation of visual identities and students will investigate all aspects of the culture and discipline.

You will be assessed on 3 projects, a research journal and in-class exercises:

01. Brand Mark & stationery 20%
Due Week 5 Fri 24 March.

02. Brand Packaging 20%
Due Week 9 28 April 2009

03. Brand Promotion/style guide 20%
Due Week 13 26th May.

04. In-class exercises 20%
Due Week 13 26th May.

05. Research Journal 20%
Due Week 13 26th May. Continued over …

ECU > 1st Semester 2009 > Design > Identity > Plan

Week 1. Identity discussion. Choose an existing brand to compete with by next
week. Exercises 1 and 2 (logo shape and colour)..

Week 2. Intro to Logo Project. Description of each of the items of stationery. Week 3. Introduction to communicating with images. Principles of picture making.
If the shoe fits exercise. Intro to Illustrator: paths, bezier points, pathfinder.

Week 4.

presentation workshop. Continuation with stationery designs.

Intro to InDesign: master pages, placing graphics. Basic typography.

Week 5. Hand-in of Logo Project and workbook.
Intro to Packaging Project./Intro to Climb It Project. Exercises 3, 4 & 5

Week 6. Packaging picnic in class. Students to bring in things that grabbed their
Discussion of style guides.

attention on the supermarket shelves (or anywhere). Discussion about design of these packages.

Week 7. Package slides.ppt. Intro and inspiration. What are glue free areas? What
are bleeds?

Mid-semester break

Week 8. Continuation and discussion of student work towards the project Week 9. Hand-in of Packaging Project and workbook. Narrative of a brochure:
visual rewards for the reader.

Week 10. Intro to Brand Project. What constitutes a brand? What are its many

possibilities? Typography, colour, composition and layout, associations and history, image treatment, photography, illustration, cropping. The six layouts. Which goes with which job? Then which typefaces go with which job?

Visual Formalism hand-out. Typographic tips. The niceties of layout.

Week 11. How to do two colour jobs. Colour basics. Week 12. Continuation with brand designs. Week 13. Hand-in of Brand Project and workbook. Adobe design comp: http://
Continued over … entries close June 5

ECU > 1st Semester 2009 > Design > Identity > Project 1: Brand Mark.
‘In a Corporate Identity Program enough diversity must be provided to avoid sameness and to increase attention. Identity and diversity - an essential contraposition to bring life to design.’ —Massimo Vignelli BRAND: Mark Logo, stationery set for ‘challenger’ company [20%]. 24 March 2009 You need to conceive of a company to challenge an existing brand: Maybe you hate a certain multinational soft-drink company with a passion and would like to see everything you believe they stand for removed from the market-place. Maybe you just don’t like the taste. Perhaps it’s time to look at alternatives to fossil fuels. How would you go about inventing and branding a company to compete with the big oil companies? N.B. Whatever you decide, your company brand must address its market competitors. Clear indication must be given in your workbook of in-depth research and analysis of your market niche with particular regard to communication design. This will include an audit of the existing brand: What makes it work for its intended audience? How is it appropriate? Do they use photography, illustration, colour, shapes, lines and what kind of type and typography do they use. How do these elements work to constitute their brand? Is it successful? Is it appropriate? Could it be improved? What elements/strategies of their brand do you think you can improve upon for your brand? Which ones do you need to adopt. Include sample pics with notation on: imagery, typography, colour including number and percentages. graphic elements: what shapes and lines are employed? What is your company’s ethos with regard to its social and environmental responsibilities? What does it believe in? All the visual elements you employ should reinforce these beliefs. This is where you will begin to use your workbook to create your style guide. Make a list which comprises all the aspects you think your company will embody. Remember to use words and images/shapes/colours in your list. You are aiming at defining a new identity with a clear difference from the company chosen at 1. When you think you’ve exhausted all ideas, talk to others in your class and talk to your tutor. Ask them for constructive suggestions or thoughts on what you may have missed. At last you can work on a name for this venture and, finally, move into visual design mode. This process will show itself in your workbook as no less than 10 pages of thumbnail sketches to visualise different ideas about your company and its field. During this process it is important to include all ideas however obvious, boring or tangential they may seem. Then you will make repeated attempts at capturing the best idea in different visuals. This is the vital editing stage and this part of the process will take up at least 5 pages of thumbnail sketches. Only when you have done this much work is it time to transfer you ideas into the electronic realm. Be very sure of your final design. It is the logo you will be stuck with for the rest of semester 1. The finished stationery set will comprise: • a business card [86mm x 54mm or smaller] in portrait or landscape, with folds/diecuts if you want, whichever is more appropriate to your design • a letterhead [A4] • a ‘with compliments’ slip [your sizing. Standard is DL (210 x 100mm) or smaller] Finish the set by presenting it on mount board in an appropriate way. Hand in with your workbook.

Continued over …

ECU > 1st Semester 2009 > Design > Identity > Project 2: Brand Packaging
‘Packaging provides the link between the promotional support given by the manufacturer, the shelf space alloted by the retailer, and the needs and desires of the ultimate purchaser.’—Eric Danger

BRAND: Product packaging [20%] 28 April 2009 By now you will have a much clearer concept of what your company/identity does and what it stands for. You need to design, and present a package appropriate for your company to make available to its market. You need to conceive of a product or package to challenge the existing brand you were initially challenging: Maybe it’s a soft-drink, maybe it’s an mp3 player or maybe it’s something that the world actually needs. Whatever you decide, your product must address its market competitors. Clear indication must be given in your workbook of in-depth research and analysis of your market niche with particular regard to design. Special consideration must be given to shop presence, stackability, transportability, minimum size requirements, hierarchy of information and graphics; where is emphasis placed on package in order to grab attention and communicate key brand messages?. At the same time you are aiming at defining a new product or package with a clear difference from your competition. As well as making clear on your package what it is and which brand it belongs to, you must include instructions for use/ingredients/doseage/volume/weight etc., where appropriate. Research will give you these details. The finished package will be will be branded with your company graphics in an appropriate fashion (colour palettes, type, composition and image treatment must conform to your brand). Present your designs as a mock up of a finished package, at an appropriate scale. As if all this isn’t enough, being new designers in the 21st century you must think about the ethical impact of your packaging. You must show clear evidence of research in this area and provide a written description (at least 3 paras) on the back of your mount board of how your packaging addresses the environmental and social concerns of sustainable consumption. 1. What materials will your package be made from? Are they eco friendly or from sustainable sources? Is your packaging made from recycled material and or can it be recycled? 2. Do you think there would be harmful toxins or chemical compounds in the manufacturing process of your packaging - is there a way to minimise this or find greener alternatives? 3. Think about the carbon footprint of your package, is it so complex that it requires a lot of labour or tooling to produce. Are there existing packs out there that could work? Or is the package innovative in its simplicity. 4. Can a more environmentally responsible packaging solution enhance the company brand’s message and be a selling point on the shelf? 5. How will you display to customers that it is a recyclable product, what are the correct symbols to show recyclability and/or made from recycled products. 6. What about waste and consumption of resources? Can your package be produced with minimal waste and how minimal could you make the packaging without overly compromising the brand and products platform? Perhaps minimal packaging could be the biggest eco message of all! 7. Think outside the square, think innovation, this can sometimes be the key ingredient in getting that shelf impact and customer awareness. Your workbook will contain at least • 2 pages of research on your competitor’s product or package • 10 pages of development on your product or package • 2 pages of info regarding aspects of life-cycle design or; sustainability in product or packaging design or; ethics in graphic and/or packaging design. Include references. Hand in with your workbook.

Continued over …

ECU > 1st Semester 2009 > Design > Identity > Project 3: Brand Promotion
“The American Marketing Association defines a brand as: a name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and differentiate them from those of competitors. To brand owners, a brand is mainly a differentiation device: the living memory and the future of its products”—Ying Fan BRAND: Promotion Corporate branding [20%] through corporate literature or appropriate alternative applications: 26 May 2009 The company identities created in the last two assignments are the tip of the branding iceberg. Now we need to look more closely. You need to look at how the brand of your competitor identity works. Where do you see their brand? Where do they advertise? Who or what do they sponsor? Do they give money or give ‘in kind’ to any charities? Do you see their brand on clothing, trucks, web banner ads, in the newspapers? Would these applications be appropriate also for your brand? Are there spaces for branding overlooked by your competitor? How might your brand improve on the competitor in terms of ethical branding? What kinds of messages about consumerism and sustainability is your competitor sending? How might your brand put out a more sensitive message? How do you communicate your stance visually? As there are fewer tangible differences between competing offers, the Unique Selling Proposition is no longer valid and is being replaced by so called the Emotional Selling Proposition (Aitchison). What real differences can you establish for your identity and how and where will these differences best be shown in your brand? Negotiate three different applications with your tutor. Here is where you really want to be able to go back to the work done on values and principles in order to arrive at an appropriate strategy from an emotional standpoint. This is the area where a lot of excess material is created for brands that isnt necessarily required and just ends up wasting resources and money. What sort of strategy could you come up with that minimises use of resources but is still effective. Can their website or online advertising replace some printed materials for example. Do you need to deisgn an A4 size piece of literature when maybe all you need is A5 or even smaller - which could look equally - if not more effective? Think outside the square and think innovation - the ‘surprise element’ so each piece of communication you create, people get that your company does things differently, literally. You will work up the visual identity of the new company as a style guide and two promotional applications of the brand style negotiated with your lecturer. Again this process will manifest itself through your workbook. Your style guide will include: • image treatment—photography or illustration or both. • typography—headings and body text explained • composition and colour palettes—What are the ways these elements may be combined? Are there particular devices such as keylines and colour slabs that appear in all the corporate literature, on billboards or on the website? • Detailed notes on the technical aspects of putting your brand into your chosen visual modes. Hand in with your workbook.

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