Visual Identity, Assignment 4

Refer to the following Resource Links:

The following are the major steps in this assignment. Refer below them for details on each

  1. Pick a client
  2. Interview the client
  3. Create a Mood Board
  4. Create thumbnails for a logo
  5. Write possible slogans
  6. Narrow the thumbnail possibilities down to three.
  7. Do “finished” versions of your best three logo/slogans
  8. Apply your visual identity/logo/brand to 3 different items/objects 
  9. Identity Manual
  10. Presentation Folder
  11. Final Presentation

If you recall, throughout the semester we have been exploring the concept of perception. Creating an effective visual identity requires your design to positively influence the target audience perception of your client’s business. This is based on your clear understanding of your client’s needs and what is at the heart of what they do. This should not be fabricated, misleading or “Smoke and Mirrors”. Instead it is emphasizing specific real traits, goals, characteristics or qualities to create a public image or perception.

It’s never about a logo. It really is about a much bigger strategy and about transformation. So you have to have everyone invested in that, because at the end of the process everyone has to be joined together in delivering.Cynthia Round senior vice president of marketing and external relations Metropolitan Museum of Art.

  1. The first step in this assignment is for you to pick a client. You will need to work with a real company or person that you can talk to about developing a logo and the additional design applications that make up a visual identity or brand. Preferably, this person or company is not related to you in any way. In other words, it is not a company owned by your father, uncle, etc.
  2. The next major step is to contact this client and interview them about their company referring to the interview questionnaire as a guide. You will need to rephrase and customize those questions so that they are appropriate for your particular company. Preferably this is an in-person  conversation and is perhaps the single most important step you can do to assure that you will create a meaningful design in the end. You might send your questions ahead of time to the person you will be meeting with. Your goal is to understand the underlying reasons behind what makes this company unique and who is the specific audience or customer base that they are trying to reach. Without this, your design will be based on generalizations alone—not unique directions. Base what you do on your clear understanding of what your company is all about, what it stands for, what its goals are. That clear understanding will help you avoid cliché solutions. Use the answers that you receive from this interview to guide you in your design direction. Do not begin making any designs until you have completed this step.
  3. Next create a “mood board” of images that capture or illustrate the main characteristics of your company. A mood board is a type of collage consisting of images, text, and samples of objects in a composition. They may be physical or digital, and can be “extremely effective” presentation tools. Graphic designers, interior designers, industrial designers, photographers and other creative artists use mood boards as an initial sep in the creative process. Its purpose is to visually illustrate the style you wish to pursue with your own work. As an alternative to  making a physical mood board, you may choose to use sites such as Pinterest for this step in creating a “visual catalog of inspirational ideas.”
  4. Create thumbnails for a logo. Thumbnails can actually be any size, however the key here is the time spent on developing them. Do not spend more than 5 minutes on any one. If you need to draw smaller to accomplish this, do so. The emphasis is on quantity of many different ideas, not on the quality of any one image at this beginning stage. It is Ideation. You should on average generate at least 20–30 different idea directions for a visual identity logo. Organize your logo design ideas according to one of the three Logo Development Charts
    • This organization should reflect your design process
    • It should also be evidence of multiple or quantity of ideas
      and concepts that you considered
    • In addition to the concepts that you develop from the chart, all of which need to pay attention to fig/ground relationships, you must take one of those concepts and emphasize the figure and ground relationship. In other words, one of your logo ideas must use a dramatic figure and ground visual balance. (implied line, shared contour, or substitution)
  5. Generate a list of possible slogans/taglines while you are concentrating on the thumbnail possibilities at the same time. What you are doing is in fact exploring different directions and making a little visual of that idea and at the same time making a short written phrase about the same idea. The best advertising slogans are the ones that truly bring out the very reason a brand exists. (here are some of the best)
  6. Pick your best three to five ideas and do more detailed or finished versions of each at  approximately a 3–5 inch size. It should go without saying that Creativity and Uniqueness play a huge part in this selection process.
  7. From these finally choose the identity system to finalize. Your final logo should be in both a B & W version as well as a Color version and also a reduced size version (1″ x 1″ approx size) unless one of your applications is a business card. To indicate how the visual identity system as a whole will be used by your client, it must at a minimum include the following;

    1. Logo
    2. Color Specs
    3. Slogan
    4. Style or Look
    5. Type treatment
  8. Create 3 applications for your brand. (These design applications may also be referred to as deliverables or collateral). What you choose to do as deliverables depends on what your client does. Your deliverables are a way to demonstrate what the visual identity system will look like on things that your client uses or creates.  Ask yourself, Where will the logo be seen? (business card, letterhead, etc? Where will the tagline be used? (sign, website, etc.) What kind of materials and what sizes will be used by the company advertising/promotion? (paper, wood, metal, glass, etc.) Will there be packaging, signs, vehicles, menus, wearable items, website, app etc. that might typically be branded?
    This does not mean simply resizing the logo to fit different things. It means careful consideration for the material it will be on, whether it is seen from a distance or close up, perhaps held in the viewer’s hands, and how each application fits within an overall unified and comprehensive branding/visual identity system.
    One of your applications could be a Symbol Set that includes at least 5 symbols/icons that are related to your company. (for example a restaurant would have a logo but could also have a symbol set that could include an icon for drinks, meat, fish, vegetables, dessert).These 3 applications are your indications of a Visual System at work and your ability to create a visual personality, “look”, “brand”, “theme”. Each individual part of this theme (type, color, logo, tagline, etc.) should be clearly and separately presented in your final presentation folder (see below).
  9. Identity Manual Guidelines is essentially a set of rules or guidelines indicating how your Brand is to be used or implemented. The rules typically cover type, paper, color, and their sizes and how they should be applied. Your manual must indicate the following;
    • Type Treatment (indicate Typeface families for display and text usage
      and their relative font variations). What you are attempting to do is provide direction to your client. You are trying to foresee how he/she will be adding or typing in information on or to the applications you have created for their company. (typical examples of this would be letterhead, website, flyers, brochures, etc.) You want to indicate to them ahead of time your recommendations or directions for how they should use type to their best advantage and compliment the visual identity you have created. So, you should say what typeface families they should use and how the fonts within those families should be used for specific purposes (display, text, emphasis, headings, subheadings, etc). The typeface choices that you indicate here are meant to compliment the logo type treatment. They are not the same typeface, but compliments.
    • Paper Treatment guidelines for usage. What color, weight and surface texture of paper (or other material/substrate) should be used when/where.
    • Present Color Treatment choices as swatches in the manner shown here. (In this example The main color is the dominant color orange. The secondary color is a tint and the accent color is the compliment of the dominant or main color. You may choose other variations of color theory to determine the main, secondary and accent colors. You also do not necessarily have to have a total of three colors.)
      • Below is an example of how you should indicate visual identity color in terms of dominant secondary and accent colors. These should be indicated as spot PMS colors, so be sure to include their Pantone numbers.


Color Swatch

10. Presentation Folder

  • This folder holds all of your applications and process of the project. It is meant to help you organize these materials in a logical order to be able to make an effective presentation of your design proposal to the client.
  • The folder should not have the logo on it. It may, however have color or tagline related to your proposed visual identity. Since you will typically be presenting three possible choices to the client it wouldn’t make sense to favor one of them on the outside of the folder at this point since they wouldn’t have made a final choice yet.
  • Appropriateness
  • Consistency and extension of the Visual Identity
  • Customized (not decorated)

11. The final step is the formal presentation of your Visual Identity assignment and must include the following:

    • Dress appropriately as you would if making this presentation to a client. This usually means “business casual”. You are not going on a date, neither are you going to the beach 🙂
    • Practice/rehearse what you intend to say and the order in which you want to do so. Your presentation will include your mood board.
    • Check  to be sure each of your presentation “boards” or Powerpoint presentation is in the correct order. You will explain everything that you did as either a direct response to the target audience or to your clients needs/requests.
    • Be sure to include color and typeface choices, type of image, style or treatment of image, etc. as a reference to your client on how your identity system is intended to be used.
    • A logical and sequential Presentation of the Process that resulted in the materials/applications/products that will lead your audience to a positive and logical conclusion that your design solution is correct and appropriate and the one to “go with” and ultimately make a difference for your client.
    • It might contain an introductory presentation board that contains a quote(s) image or something to “set the mood” or capture the qualities that your visual identity system will represent in greater depth. This board would only be used in your presentation.
    • Relate what you did to what your client said was important to him/her
      and their business
    • Persuasion ability
    • Poise/confidence/presence—speaking ability
    • Soliciting comments/questions from the group, critique—engaging your audience
    • Professional standards

Your final presentation should include the following:

  • custom presentation folder,
  • Identity mark (logo)
    • reduced size version of logo (1″ x 1″)
    • B & W version of logo
  • a minimum of 3 applications of the visual identity
  • thumbnails organized according to one of the logo development charts
  • “identity manual” containing type and color treatments
  • slogan or tagline
  • custom paper
  • 1/2 page (minimum length) typed statement explaining why you did what you did:
    • why decisions were made because of client needs
    • why decisions were made because of competition
    • why decisions were made because of target audience

Essential Points for your final presentations

  • Due Wednesday of Finals Week at our regular class meeting time
  • This will be a formal presentation of your visual identity. This means that you are to imagine that the rest of the class is your client. With that in mind, you are trying to present your ideas in a logical order, one that will convince your client that you have made good design decisions about every detail of your proposal. As a result of this, you can give reasons for why you did and what you did in all the details of your final choices. (color, type, slogan, style of logo, etc.)
  • You will need to “set the stage” for us (your client) first. This means you first need to explain to us (the client) what characteristics of their business you determined to be the most important and are representing in the Identity, 2nd; the who is the primary target audience that this new identity is aimed at attracting? and 3rd; the general approach/feeling you are going for in the identity.
  • Then, show us the process you took to get to the final identity system choice. (logo charts, slogan choices, color choices and typeface recommendations–the design manual.
  • Finally, show us applications of the Visual Identity system at work on objects or locations that make sense for your client—the deliverables.
  • You need to have print versions of print applications/deliverables such as business cards, invoices, letterhead, business envelope, etc.
  • You need to have mock up versions of large applications/deliverables such as wearables, billboards, vehicles, etc.
  • You need to have prototype versions of applications/deliverables that demonstrate interactivity and navigation for screen applications such as websites, apps, etc.
  • PRACTICE your presentation.

Your grade/score will be based on the following

  • Presentation
  • Evidence of Process
  • Design Solutions
  • Applications
  • Creativity/uniqueness
  • Organization
  • Overall craftsmanship and neatness
  • Meeting the assignment goals listed above

Student Examples:

Katie Nimmo—Glory Essentials

Dana Shiroma—Bella Luna Salon

Sheng Moua—V Chiropractic Center

Ashley Richards—Southern Exposure

Remember to bring  all the files for your assignments from this semester to the last class critique. Details may be found here.

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