This course offers an exciting opportunity to discover the creative power of visual branding through fresh ideas and originality. The course will benefit students from any creative practice-based discipline with a passion for branding and design, but will be particularly relevant for graphic designers and advertising creatives.

Re-charge your batteries through a range of inspiring creative processes and design methods for visual research and information gathering, learn fresh techniques for brainstorming, concept generation and evaluation and find new angles on design development and implementation. Go a step further even and become confident in presenting and discussing your work with a generally non-designer client to ensure the best final solution.

During the fall and spring semesters, the course will be held in 12 weekly sessions, during the summer in 10 sessions.

For time and place and registration please click here.

Please read the description below - if you still have questions, contact the instructor.


Core: You will expand your creative horizons and learn how to design not just a logo for a company, but lay the foundation for a powerful Visual Brand by creatively developing a complete professional assignment, including:

1. Research & Visual Strategy Development,
2. Creative Development and Execution,
3. Personal Presentation,
4. Feedback Evaluation and Implementation,
5. Creation of the Final Brand Identity.

Focus 1: Revolutionize your own creative process and find new inspiration developing a compelling visual message instead of merely a design.

Focus 2: Special attention will be given to how to nurture a successful communication with your client - your best work's life-line to the rest of the world.

Focus 3: Learn how to deliver a convincing personal presentation to the decision makers - a main challenge that will most often make or break your perfect creative solution.


1. Visual Communication Strategy

The design process for a logo does not start with sitting down at the computer or sketchpad and playing around with the shapes and letters of the company name. Before starting to create a visual statement, there needs to be creative learning and comprehension process to identify what this logo is meant to communicate and whom it is meant to communicate to.

Without these communication objectives the visual execution becomes random and haphazard, mostly following the individual - and in this context quite irrelevant - preferences of the designer or the client, whoever dominates the relationship.

Discover the amazing creative potential that lies in developing a relevant, target-driven message. Who really understands the communication objectives holds the key to creating a successful visual brand icon.

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2. Creative Process & Execution

As in any creative process, there is no alternative for play, experiment, free association and exploration. Yet the right inspiration makes this journey exciting and opens doors to new ideas and solutions.

Your communication objectives define a relevant, target driven sandbox that provides guidance within the limitless mass of possibilities. At the same time they spotlight the most important aspects of your message and invite you to explore innovative constellations between them.

Confronting expectations helps to overcome boring and cliche solutions. Your research creates an exceptional intuitive background that lets you move beyond the expected. By analyzing how and why selected solutions work/don't work as tested against your set of communication objectives, you will find an abundant source of inspiration to develop surprisingly new and original solutions.

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3. Personal Presentation

As a communicator one of the designer's first responsibilities is to be able to communicate with his own and immediate target audience: the client. That includes not only knowing that a visual solution works, but being able to communicate how and why it works.

Talking in front of people, especially about your own work, needs training, experience and feedback. From personal aspects (like body language, eye contact, projection of voice, etc.) to intellectual aspects (structure of the presentation, creating a common ground, presenting solutions, etc.) - the right presentation can be pivotal for the to be or not to be of the right design solution.

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4. Feedback Evaluation and Implementation

While you will find that a good presentation already helps tremendously, old habits are often hard to break. In this step of the process designer and client often unnecessarily end up pulling on opposite sides of the rope. The designer gets very protective of her/his creation, while the client is tempted to start nitpicking, randomly changing different aspects of the logo that destroy its overall harmony and meaning.

What a designer does will seem to many of your clients in the business world at best an intriguing, often eccentric mystery and, at worst, the mere ability to use a computer program. Somewhere in between lies pretty decoration. Vice versa, even though your clients are not designers (which is why they hire you), they would not be in business if they did not know what they are doing running their company. Their comments and feedback is extremely valuable to you.

Based on experience, experimentation and play, designers are used to employ the intricate relationship of color, form, type and layout largely intuitively. As I mentioned before, there is no alternative for this creative process - a complex visual unit will always be more than the sum of its parts and can therefore not be constructed in ways of mechanical assembly. But, once achieved, the designer needs to be able to step back, realize and explain how the elements work off each other, what message is communicated and, of course, if it is on target. She/he needs to be able to share how a change of one element will affect the whole and if that change will strengthen or weaken the underlying message.

A client who can follow the process and understands the background of the choices made is indispensable in helping you fine-tune his message and will be able to offer constructive and insightful feedback.

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5. Brand Identity

The logo is the heart of the corporate identity, however, a brand reaches far beyond and comes alive through a wide variety of different communication channels and media.

Elements of a successful brand always enforce the brand's core message, while maximizing the unique opportunities each channel or medium offers. Rather than just applying the logo onto different generic collateral materials, considering their particular form and function offers fantastic creative opportunities to bring the brand to life and develop a unique visual voice for your client that resonates throughout all company materials.

Have a question? Contact the instructor.

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© 2008 RRDesign | Visual Branding Course