Branding and Identity Course | Sessions College

Branding & Identity

Stand out in the crowded marketplace

Did you ever wonder how giant corporations such as CBS, BMW, and Sony establish their corporate images? And how important these company images are in promoting their respective franchises? You'll discover the answers in this course.

Explore through case studies the essential skills required to design logos, marketing materials, and advertising programs to establish and promote a corporate identity. You'll be designing or redesigning company identities for both existing companies and newly established businesses.



Course Instructor(s):

Sessions design instructor Boris Margolin

Boris Margolin  is a logo, branding, and Web specialist with his own design company.

Course content developed by Sigrun Gill.
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Requirements:

To take this course you'll need:

  • Computer with Internet connection (56 Kbps modem or faster).
  • Adobe Illustrator or equivalent vector-based illustration program.
  • Adobe Photoshop or equivalent digital imaging program.
  • Basic experience in graphic design and in using the software packages needed for this course.
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Prerequisites:

The following courses can help you meet the above requirements:

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Course Objectives:

Students learn how to:

  • Develop an understanding of the different components of a corporate identity and the designer's role in developing it.
  • Research and design logos for three different companies, exploring differences in concept development.
  • Develop an understanding of how corporate identity is influenced by corporate business strategy.
  • Research and redesign a TV network's logo to change or better present its identity.
  • Design logos and cohesive brand identities for three product lines of hair care products.
  • Develop an understanding of the skills and attributes required to become a corporate designer.
  • Apply a three-step methodology to research and develop a concept for the visual identity of a restaurant.
  • Apply approaches to researching, conceptualizing, and sketching design ideas and presenting your work to the client.
  • Develop and hone a visual identity, presenting it to a fictional client in different applications.
  • Develop an understanding of the critical relationship between product, environment, communication, and logo design.
  • Apply a finished design to a shop front for the client's restaurant, letterhead, business cards, and other elements.
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Course Outline

LESSON 1 Intro to Corporate Identity

How does a company and organization project a coherent identity that's as recognizable as a human personality? Lesson One explores the history, purpose, and possibilities of corporate identity. The lesson presents the concept of experienced value and how it relates to visual design and includes case studies of CBS and BMW. In the exercise, you will design logos for three companies with different goals but the same name.

LESSON 2 Design and Corporate Strategy

Where do company logos come from and how do they evolve? Lesson Two looks at the reasons for identity overhauls and how to make the most of change. Case studies of British Airways, Texaco, and others are discussed to explore the connection between company identities and changes in national and worldwide consciousness. The lesson is wrapped up with an exercise on company logo redesign: You'll give your favorite local TV network a makeover.

LESSON 3 Designing a Corporate Brand

What skills do you need to design a great company logo or communicate with a corporate client? These characteristics will be discussed in Lesson Three so you can work professionally and with the needs of clients and consumers in mind. A case study documenting the evolution of the BBC identity will be explored, then you'll work on designing a logo and visual identity for a complete company product line in the exercise.

LESSON 4 Design Process and Methodology

Lesson Four focuses on the first of three critical phases of company design. Methods of solving important problems will be addressed, which is key to successfully handling the actual company identity creation. You will also explore a case study of NSB, a Norwegian railway company that decided to modernize its identity, only to encounter a world of problems in need of solutions. In the exercise, first of a three-part project, you will tackle the "problem phase" of an identity for a new New York City restaurant.

LESSON 5 From Solution to Evaluation

Every problem has a solution, and in this lesson we present the "solution phase" of the design process with a focus on generating effective ideas, overall strategies, and the all-important design manual. The lesson wraps up with a look at the "evaluation phase" in which solutions are put to the test, and then you embark on creating solutions for your restaurant project.

LESSON 6 Product and Corporate Design

A company logo is merely cosmetic without a strong product to back it up, and we'll look at the role the product plays in a company design in this lesson. Specifically, you'll explore how identity is presented through product designs from Apple and Sony. In the final exercise, you'll wrap up the restaurant project by designing print materials and a storefront. You'll then test your knowledge of key facts in the final exam.

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Student visual identity work
Student Kayanna Nelson designed this visual identity set for a restaurant

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