Branding is the foundation for which every company, organization or in some cases individuals stand apart from others. It is an identity that showcases who they are, what they stand for. The development of a brand will pull from why the identity exists. What makes them different and why do people identify with certain brands?

The branding will always precede any marketing scheme that comes after. It is bigger and far more important than any marketing effort. Consistency is vital to the strengthening which is why it’s imperative that the foundation is solid from the start. From the typefaces used to the weights and colors to the imagery and all it’s uniqueness carried from one facet to another. it will cross multiple platforms of message and form. Brand identity creates a message of truth and value and expression that forms exterior perceptions.

Below are the projects you will be working on this semester. Each project will have an accompanying handout with specific outcome goals and a detailed schedule. As we finalize the project and you submit the design files, each project will be displayed so everyone will have the opportunity to look at what each student had developed. Previous student projects will also be available after the third class. This will allow enough time to help progress your own solutions without having other similar projects influence those decisions.

Jump to Current Project
25 JAN






Project One

Non Profit Identity

  • Project Start : 25 January
  • Class Crit : 15 February
  • Project Due : 21 February

Develop the identity for a non-profit organization which will include the logo, stationary system, digital newsletter for mobile devices and printed brochure.

Download Project Handout

project description

In this project you will be developing the identity of a non-profit corporation. From the logo development to building a set of rules that will echo across multiple elements of the entity, a style guide will emerge for the corporation. To solidify and build on this identity, you will be asked to design a stationery system, that includes a letter head and envelope, two business cards, one for the ceo and one for the secretary, a brochure and a newsletter mock-up for a mobile device. Standards for today’s screen resolutions will be used for this.

The last part of the project will be developing a style guide that explains to a designer what rules they should follow. Regardless if in print or digital, both cmyk and rgb values as well as pantone spot colors will be provided. The type of imagery and typefaces used will be explained. How the logo and usage will be explained thoroughly.

Graphics Standards Guide: Faculty and Students Edition.
Take a Look at the Logo and Guidelines

gained knowledge

At the conclusion of this project, you will have created an entire set of rules and systems for a company entity. The style guideline will be implemented through a variety of both print and digital pieces. You will understand the importance of consistency for building a brand and how these rules are enforced in different mediums. You will better understand this transcendence from print to digital and how the colors will significantly alter between monitor and paper. How to control that shift and methods of continuity will be learned.

YMCA of the USA

A Guide For Using and Protecting Our Brand YMCA OF THE USA.

Take a Look at the Style Guide

Apple, Google & Starbucks

Inside the Web Design Style Guides of 10 Famous Companies.

Check out the Article

Frontify Brand Guidelines

Frontify is an easily operated, cloud-based brand management software, with powerful collaboration solutions for design feedback, prototyping & consistency.

Check out Frontify's own Style Guide

19 Minimalist Style Guides

Take a look at this post shows a few examples of corporate brand style guides.

Take a Look at the Examples

For Today's Class

Brief introduction of the project then research.

  • start researching non profit organizations - pick one with no existing or weak branding
  • start looking at their material and familiarize yourself with their cause and efforts
  • take note of other organization similar and their brand
29 JAN

Begin looking at your company and understanding their purpose. Look at similar corporations and make note of their typeface choices.

  • look at caps or mixed or all minuscule glyphs
  • look at the name of your organization and see how the unique letters come together in the word structure - are there unique combinations that can be melded or focused on?
  • start working on the logo through sketching and notes first, then bring into the computer
  • start thinking what color schemes are going to capture the organization’s message?
01 FEB

Continue to work on the logo

  • start thinking about how the logo can trigger a look and feel for a business card and letterhead
  • begin to finalize color variations for the logo and solidify the treatment of the text - remember this is a type based logo
  • start to look at the text to build a hierarchy of importance for the business card design - two versions
  • start thinking about the letterhead and how it will play off the business card’s look and feel
05 FEB

Finalize your logo and start piecing together ideas for the brochure

  • finalize color schemes
  • finalize the business card design and letterhead
  • create your envelope to play off the letterhead
  • how will the brochure echo the direction?
  • start compiling images that will fit into this brand

Guide to Folding

Within the eight broad folding families there are dozens of variations of styles, some simple and others as complicated as origami. Poster provided by FOLDRite.

Today’s class, I will bring in physical samples of brochure folding examples.

Take a Look at the Poster
08 FEB

Continue working on the brochure and begin working on the newsletter.

  • create your styles
  • finalize images and graphics that will be used
  • finalize the text that will be used

Life Style Photos

This handout gives an overview on how to prep your designs and place into a photo.

When looking for images, you should try and find HiRes files with a resolution no smaller than 2475px x 3075px.

Take a Look at the Tutorial

Log into the google drive and you can download any of the images that are kept in photoshop layers. Hopefully this will help guide you through prepping an image than applying your design into the photo.

Take a Look at the Files
12 FEB

Finalize the brochure newsletter - start the style guide design.

  • finalize brochure designs
  • finalize newsletter design
  • begin creating lifestyle photos with your designs

Best Design Practices

Minimum font size of 16px | Apple recommends 17-22px | Google recommends 18-22px.

Take a Look at the Article
15 FEB

Class crit on screen at the start of class.

  • class crit on screen at the start of class
  • every single piece must be completed to receive credit for participation - there is no need for printed pieces for this crit
  • allow time to reflect on the feedback and how it may help strengthen your overall branding and individual pieces - remember the sponge and brick metaphor
  • finalize the style guide layouts and prepare to send out to be printed - incorporate all the pieces you have developed with an explanation for your rationale
21 FEB

Projects are due at the start of class.

  • upload your style guides to the google drive

Current Semester Project Designs

Below are a few examples of student projects for the current semester.

21 FEB









Project Two

Coffee/Tea Shop

  • Project Start : 21 February
  • Class Crit : 19 March
  • Project Due : 22 March

Develop the identity for an independent coffee or tea shop. This will include a logo with symbol integration, invitation to event postcard, window treatment, signage, shopping bag, cup design, shirt design along with a complimenting smock design.

Download Project Handout

project description

This project will focus on an independent coffee or tea shop. You are asked to develop the branding around a fictitious shop where the logo integrates an icon within the type name. This icon will then become the staple in all other designed elements. Focus solely on either coffee or tea, not both. Think about the imagery that is synonymous with these industries. Think about the color and typeface that would connect to a bean or leaf. Once the logo has been solidified, apply the rules and identity to the required items.

The last part of the project will be developing a style guide that explains to a designer what rules they should follow. Regardless if in print or digital, both cmyk and rgb values as well as pantone spot colors will be provided. The type of imagery and typefaces used will be explained. How the logo and usage will be explained thoroughly.

This style guide should reflect this brand and not the first project.

gained knowledge

At the conclusion of this project, you will have developed the identity of a shop that is specific to their services and what they offer their customers. You will have focused on a logo design that speaks to these services and isolated an icon that was used across multiple designs echoing their brand. Applying the design across print, signage and screen printing will be explored with tight requirements when it comes to typeface usage and spot colors. You will have looked into developing a logo that can respond to any size/ and orientation. Breaking down the logo elements in a way that all connect to a person seeing the logo in different applications.

For Today's Class

begin looking at coffee or tea shops and brands. look at how their design attracts and speaks to their customers. what coloring are used? what type of typefaces are implemented in the designs?

  • start looking at existing coffee or tea shops - they are your competition
  • choose a unique name for your shop
  • begin thinking about the play with glyphs in your name and how an icon can compliment the name
22 FEB

start developing your logo and integrating an icon.

  • look at both caps or mixed or all minuscule glyphs
  • start developing your logo and integrating an icon
  • start working on the logo and integrating an icon through sketching and notes first, then bring into the computer
  • think about how this logo can transform into different orientations and still hold the brand intact
  • start thinking what color schemes will place your shop into the scene while providing separation from competitors
26 FEB

continue working out solutions for the logo. and start the sign design.

  • begin applying your solutions to other design elements
  • finalize the color scheme
  • think about the unique shaped signage you will explore

Signage Designs

A few examples of signage designs on Pinterest.

Look at the Pin
01 MAR

finalize the logo and continue working out solutions for the other elements. how will the shop window treatment play off the signage? how will the design be broken down to work with the bag, box, cup and sleeve designs?

  • finalize the sign design
  • work on playing off the signage in creating a complimenting window treatment composition
  • begin breaking down the elements of the logo and icon and start designing the cup, sleeve, box and bag

50 Meticulous Style Guides

Take a look at these examples for ideas into developing your own style guides. Pay special attention to number 44 Taxiphone in how you could display your unique signage design.

Take a Look at the Examples
05 MAR

begin working on the eddm postcard

  • grab the necessary dimensions for the postcard - look at indicia guidelines
  • how can your design capture the potential consumer’s attention and showcase the branding of your new shop?
08 MAR

finalize the postcard mailer and develop a shirt and smock design

  • breakdown the information into a hierarchy from both the front design to capture attention and back for details
  • information about the shop, date for the grand opening, location, hours, phone, web address should be included
  • using all existing designs - especially the cup, bag and box - design a shirt and smock that work together and independently
12 MAR

spring break

15 MAR

spring break

19 MAR

class crit second half of class

  • take time during the first half to wrap up your work and prepare for the crit
  • every single piece must be completed to receive credit for participation - there is no need for printed pieces for this crit
  • allow time to reflect on the feedback and how it may help strengthen your overall branding and individual pieces - remember the sponge and brick metaphor
  • finalize the style guide layouts and prepare to send out to be printed
  • incorporate all the pieces you have developed with an explanation for your rationale

Templates for Style Guide

Here are the template breakdowns for project two. These are just suggestions. Please feel free to break down how your brand is displayed across the 24 interior pages. Please do not forget your covers with ifc and ibc file.

Take a Look at the Style Guide Breakdown

Download the InDesign file

Download the InDesign file as CS4

22 MAR




















projects are due

  • upload your style guides to the google drive
22 MAR

Ye Lin





Project Three


  • Project Start : 22 March
  • Class Crit : 12 April
  • Project Due : 16 April

Develop the identity for a local clothing store that is type based driven. You will develop the letter forms for the logo as well as the business card, store shopping bag, store box with unique tissue paper, exterior hang tags and clothing/shirt interior tags, the store door treatment and wall signage in the front or back of store enlarged with wall display.

Download Project Handout

project description

For this project you will be developing a new identity for a fictitious clothing store brand. The store will only carry their own clothing brand. The logo will be entirely type based driven. There will be no icons or graphical elements that play into the logo type. You will be developing the letter forms for this store from scratch. The name of your store must have at least five unique characters in the main name. Once a logo has been solidified, develop the required pieces to build and strengthen the visual identity.

This project will introduce you to developing your own typeface from the ground up. Sketching out ideas first on paper and bringing these ideas into a digital form. Besides the knowledge of how each individual glyph is developed, a brief history of type and its mark on design will be touched upon to help give you a better understanding of where the trade came from and where it is headed. More importantly, it will allow you to better understand what type you are creating.

gained knowledge

At the conclusion of this project, you will have developed the identity of a store that caters to a specific group of people with similar taste and style. Through the development of a typeface [set of glyphs for the name only] that speaks directly to the culture of the store and the styles it carries, the logo type will have been strengthened through consistent use across a multiple of applications. The knowledge of developing your own glyphs will help identify typefaces that speak to specific subculture. It also opens your ability to develop a truly unique logo type for future projects. You will have also been exposed to what brick and mortar require to build their identity.

In the end, you will have seen how glyphs are structured and how there are similarities between individual glyphs throughout an entire typeface. What make a particular glyph unique and stand out? How do they interact with one another and more importantly, does it succeed as a type based logo.

For Today’s Class

introduction to typeface development and overview of the project

  • begin looking at brands and local clothing stores
  • look at how certain shops will speak to their customers through advertising and overall design of their own brand
  • choose a unique name for the store that can spawn creative ideas for a direction of a logo and other designed elements
  • sketch out ideas and collect thoughts as to which letter form will work best
26 MAR

start developing the glyphs for the letters you need

  • look at both caps or mixed or all minuscule glyphs
  • are there certain glyphs that are unique that can take on a clever characteristic
29 MAR

continue working out solutions for the typeface

  • begin looking at complimentary typefaces and start working out concepts for the other design elements
  • test the logo at different sizes for both screen and print
    very small [ 5 point ] to quite large [ 150 point ]
    think how this works on a small shirt tag and then as a large sign outside the shop
02 APR

finalize the logo and begin working out solutions for the other elements

  • begin working on the store card
  • how that design can be reworked into the hang tag
  • work on the clothing tag
05 APR

continue working out solutions for the other elements

  • work on designing the shopping bag
  • think about a pattern that captures the uniqueness of the brand and develop a tissue paper - must be a pattern
09 APR

start working on the final design and piece together the lifestyle mock ups

  • work on the window treatment
    allow the dimensions to be determined based on the photo of the store front you will use
  • or, work on a full page advertisement
    the size should correspond to a specific magazine
  • complete all lifestyle photos for each of the designs you have created and prepare for class crit
12 APR

class crit at the beginning of class

  • class crit on screen at the start of class
    every single piece must be completed to receive credit for participation - there is no need for printed pieces for this crit.
  • allow time to reflect on the feedback and how it may help strengthen your overall branding and individual pieces
  • finalize the style guide layouts and prepare to send out to be printed
16 APR

projects are due

  • upload your style guides to the google drive
23 APR






Project Four


  • Project Start : 23 April
  • Class Crit : 07 May
  • Project Due : 15 May
Download Project Handout

project description

For this project, you are being tasked with developing a brand for a food truck as well as the space and environment that will drive and direct people to it’s location. Through different marketing designs that range in print methods, the entire scope of the project is to keep your brand intact. Once the truck designs have been completed, you will then carry those graphical elements into the other designs. You will be asked to provide the layouts for each component.

The logo for this design must be scalable and remain strong throughout each rendition. Because this final project does not need to include a style guide, showing the logo working as a one color or reversed color is not needed. However, your logo design must still work as a one color.

project requirements

logo development - scalable to three versions
square - logo mark/icon derived from main logo

food truck graphics
curb side with window - menu design - must have nine similar yet unique items with: name, contents & price
street side - used as an advertisement
front of truck
back of truck

billboard design - showing detail location of food truck must be incorporated

banner flag design - to be placed outside truck location

gained knowledge

build on your knowledge of branding and designing for a vehicle wrap and space

carry your design solution across multiple facets that must work together

strengthen your typography skills in developing a layout meant for readability from a distance and up close

understand how to capture a person’s attention while delivering crucial information

strengthen design skills that cross into a unique subject area that forces research

For Today’s Class

introduction of the project

  • begin by developing a mood board and provide a direction you are thinking of taking this project
  • Research other truck graphics and think about what information will go on each side of your truck and what purpose they serve
  • get your menu on the screen now so you can see how best to integrate it into the design
26 APR

start developing each side of the truck and the logo together

  • finalize your menu items and other information for each of the nine items
  • begin working out your logo designs and find ways that the logo can scale
  • using the color scheme you identified earlier, work this out cross all four sides, think about the graphic and texture that will speak to your brand
30 APR

continue working on the logo design

  • begin laying out the menu and work into the overall graphics of the truck
  • begin to finalize the logo and truck graphics
  • think about how these graphic will work on the billboard and flag
03 MAY

finalize the logo and truck design

  • finalize the three versions of the logo and use the appropriate logo on the truck, then one on the flag and finally on the billboard
  • would a different version of the logo work on the driver’s side of the food truck, which logo will work on the front
  • work on the flag and think about how to direct attention to the truck
  • work on the billboard design that delivers information on the truck, name/brand, type of food, location and schedule with a proportion of roughly 3.5:1 - you could make your illustrator document 14” x 4”
07 MAY

class crit at the beginning of class

  • class crit showing only the illustrator designs
  • allow time to reflect on the feedback and how it may help strengthen your overall branding and individual pieces
15 MAY

projects are due

  • Uploaded to the google drive before 5:00

Approach to the Course

In this class, you will develop the brand identities from scratch. From logo development to multiple elements an entity would require will be created for a variety of scenarios. The “why” must be answered throughout the process. Revisiting the look and feel that the brand is generating is important and must be documented. The entire project must work together and be a cohesive message that speaks to the entity’s goal and values. Receiving outside feedback will be important as it will confirm your objectives or forced to rework your rationale. Throughout the process, you must understand how your designs will be adapted to other applications.

The logo may transcend the digital to physical world through print and embroidery or screen and even large scale signage or billboards. How will the typefaces chosen hold up under these different designs? What happens when your logo is placed in a social media setting and the design is squared off? Is your design extremely narrow and to utilize the space? Can you develop a set of rules that allows for the brand to bounce to multiple variations for different dimensions and spaces? Will the logo work as a one color? Is the line weight too thin that falls apart when stitching the design to a hat or shirt? All are important to consider and with each project this semester, your decisions will be forced into these different scenarios.


Please come to each class prepared to show your progress with the current project. Be sure to have continued your work outside of class time and arrive with a substantial amount of progress to show.

On crit days, do not expect to come and print out of your work before the crit begins. Class crits will begin immediately so all students have ample time to show their work and receive the critical feedback from fellow classmates. Then if time allows, the remainder of class will be spent reflecting and absorbing the criticism. Deciding which feedback will be useful and which will be set aside and how it can help strengthen your project. Class crits are vital to learning how one can articulate their rationale for design choices and evaluate those reasons. It is important for student participation and learn that a critique is not to be taken personally. The crit is important for each project and will count for 10% of your project grade. Do not miss classes when a crit is scheduled.

Each project will have a specified due date and are due on their date without any exceptions. If you miss a due date, your project will be docked a full letter grade for every class day that passes. No exceptions. On due dates, come to class with the project completed. Printed, scored, folded, pieced together and trimmed. Projects will be handed in at the start of class. Most projects will require time outside of class. Each project will have a tight schedule with milestones to help keep you on track. Please balance your time and do not fall behind.

You may resubmit any project for grading except for a project handed in late. You will have until the last week of classes to resubmit any project.

it is recommended a total of six to eight hours a week will be spent working on projects outside class. For projects, you will gauge rather quickly how much time will be needed outside of class to complete them and progress your ideas and concepts. As in many aspects of life, there is not an exact formula for creating a piece or learning a subject matter.

People work at varying speeds and students and professional designer will run into walls that will at times feel exhausting. Allowing enough time to work through these setbacks will ensure you are not running around last minute when projects are due.

This class is about problem solving. Not only design but also dealing with elements that go into preparing a design and completing the project. For example, the printer becomes an integral element of this class. It will without a doubt let you down. Just when you need to print your finished project, the paper will jam, the toner will run out and your computer will crash. This will never be a reasonable excuse. Do not wait until the last minute to print your work. Back up your files. Stack the deck in your favor to overcome any obstacle.

You will be required to have a sketch book [9 x 12] designated solely for this class. Whether you prefer to sketch out your ideas or jot down notes for each project, that is entirely up to you. In this class, simply getting to the end result is not good enough. The process of conceptualizing is as important as the final piece. The first ideas are seldom the best in design and it’s best to have a track record you may view during this process. Compiling your thoughts and decisions throughout the project will account for 10% of your grade. Some of the elements you will be designing for will require life style image manipulation. Always use hi-res images from the start when placing your work into an environment to showcase your design. Keep track of major shifts in design choices and save multiple versions of your work throughout the process.


For each project you will be evaluated in the following areas, the design and aesthetic appeal of each piece, how well the entire project with each of the components work with each other and creativeness of the brand as a whole. The logo is a crucial component and will weigh heavily but do not allow for the other elements to become an after thought. Allowing yourself to go backwards in your process when developing a certain aspect of the overall project and identifying a flaw in the logo is what this course is intended for. Don’t allow yourself to become rigid and solidify your finished logo even before developing the complimented pieces. Ask yourself how does the design itself hold up against other brands within the same profession. Could the overall brand be more attractive? Could the individual pieces posses a unique element or does it require a subtle and yet minimalist approach.

All possible directions should be conceptualized prior to execution and finalizing each design to a degree in which will help your overall portfolio presence. Though I do not grade individual projects against other projects, it is a great way for you to see where your design stands in relation to the other work being produced around you.

During this semester you will be given both projects as well as assignments. Each assignment is generally conducted outside the class that lead into a project. They are worth less than projects but can have an impact on your final grade. If you miss class when a class assignment is assigned, it is your responsibility to have that assignment done for when you return to class.

Gained Knowledge

The end of the semester you will have a clear understanding of how a brand is developed from the ground up. You will be able to take your logo and apply the set of rules and guidelines across multiple platforms that can cross print and digital delivery. Each and every project will have a style guide that will allow any individual to understand these rules you have developed for future designs.

In the end, you will have four complete and polished brands for your portfolio. You will have a clear understanding of the importance a brand has to an entity. You will walk away with a stronger sense of brand identity and maintaining that identity through multiple aspects of a design in various applications. This knowledge will help in other areas of design such as type usage, color treatment, compositional layout as well as balance.


You are allowed to miss a maximum of three classes after which your final grade will be affected. The fourth missed class will drop your final grade a half a letter. Every class after will drop your final average a full letter grade.

Please see me immediately if an issue arises. Do not let things get out of control and find that you have missed six classes and over your head. I am here to help in whatever way I am able to.