DES 302: Beyond Branding

Conceptualize and design memorable visual identity systems

Building upon your branding expertise, you will focus on effectively producing strategic and compelling graphic identity and branding materials. Your designs will be informed by your research of branding for product-driven and service-driven companies, as well as non-profit and cultural organizations. In this class, you will select or develop a signature project and carry it through a classic process: research, brainstorming, feedback, finalizing, client presentation, and final adjustments. An important aspect of this class will be the production of a graphic design standards manual, demonstrating your ability to establish and communicate professional standards.

Graphic Design | 3 credits | Next Start:
August 26, 2024
Micky Jordan outdoor ad Student work by Micky Jordan.
Visit the Student Gallery.

About This Course

Project-Based Learning

Students will research and develop an effective branding design, producing a strategic and compelling graphic identity and set of branding materials. Students will work with the instructor to select a project that meets their portfolio goals and embark on an effective research program that informs and influences their design work.

What Skills Will I Develop?

Students in this course can expect to learn to:

  • Research, synthesize, and present insights into important branding designers and agencies, branding projects, and current industry trends.
  • Analyze the components of a client's visual identity, developing concepts for creative re-branding.
  • Gather, analyze and present research into a client's target audience, industry, and key competitors.
  • Conceptualize a multi-dimensional signature project and develop it through a process of research, brainstorming, feedback, finalizing, client presentation, and final adjustments.
  • Produce a graphic design standards manual demonstrating your ability to establish and communicate professional standards.
What Software and Supplies Do I Need?

  • Computer with Internet connection.
  • Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign CC.

Course Instructor(s)

The course is taught by the following instructor(s):

Course Outline

    1. A Brief History of Branding

      We'll review some landmark events in the history of branding and examine what you need to know about ever-changing trends in branding to be a successful brand designer. The discussion will range from well-established methods to the impact of current trends such as dynamic logos, vintage/retro styles, brand personalities and stories, conversational marketing, community building, and the branded user experience.

    2. Components and Goals of Branding

      What are the components of a branding or identity design, and what is their purpose? We will break a brand down into its components: The brand's "Why", Mission, Vision, Values; Employees; Objectives, Brand Identity, and Positioning, and discuss the goals of branding.

    3. Research for Branding Success

      Research is key for branding success. No branding project can accomplish its goal without a deep understanding of the company's goals, products, target audience, and longer term direction. In this topic we will explore how to research a brand, using concepts and techniques that are standard in the industry: SWOT analysis, mission, vision, and value statements, and target market information.

    4. The Brand Conceptualization Process

      If the brand research process is complete, you are ready to start creating the core assets of the brand. To do this, you will need to define the brand's value proposition and begin translate that into logo and visual identity designs, developing color, typography, and layout options. We will define a professional process that you can use to explore your options.

    5. Producing a Brand Standards Manual

      If the core elements of your brand identity are established, it's time to package your design thinking into a manual that employees, designers, marketing experts, content creators, and anyone else creating brand collateral can use as a guide to ensure they create content that is "on brand." We will discuss principles for codifying your work.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How Do The Courses Work?

Our courses are project-based and instructor-led. In each course you’ll complete a series of lectures, projects, discussions, and critiques designed to stretch your creative skills. Weekly assignment deadlines keep you on track, so you can build your studies around your schedule. Two live Zoom meetings in this course provide the opportunity to work 1to1 with your instructor.

Who Are The Instructors?

Our courses are developed and taught by our industry-leading faculty of creative professionals. This means that you’ll learn in-demand skills, get feedback on your work, and build a portfolio of creative work. View our Student Gallery for featured student projects.

When Can I Start?

Classes start January, April, and August, and this course is completed in a 15-week term. This course is part of a Bachelor's Degree program at Sessions College. You can enroll in this course on an individual basis or as part of a program.

How Do I Register?

To register for a program, complete our program application. To register for this course on an individual basis, please contact our admissions team at An Admissions Advisor will contact you to setup your enrollment.

Course Tuition and Fees
Registration Fee* $200
Total Course Price $1100

Registration fees are nonrefundable after 5 days from enrollment.

Is Sessions College Accredited?

Yes. Since 2001, Sessions College has been accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a recognized accrediting agency and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).