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COURSE NAME: "Graphic Design: Corporate Identity and Branding"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2018

INSTRUCTOR: Sabrina Schmidt
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: W 9:00-11:45 AM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisite: one previous course in Graphic Design

This course is meant for students who wish to deepen their knowledge in the field of corporate identity and branding. It will address how to respond to technical and communication requirements of a design brief, develop visual concepts, create a system of graphical elements that form the basis of an identity, and define a strategy for a brand. The course will also consider the professional standards of preparing artwork for print. The course requires good competence in visual communication and expertise in the major Graphic Design programs.

The course enables students to manage a corporate identity design project from start to finish. Under the supervision of the instructor, each student will carry out a design project with a defined scope of work. The main focus of the course will consist in concept development, graphical execution, time management, and presentation skills. Background information, including insightful experiences from world renowned Graphic Desigers, and inspiring case studies, will further students’ learning and understanding of Graphic Design in today’s world.


For specific inquiries or to set up an appointment please contact Prof. Schmidt via email on [email protected]
Changes, additional course information, etc. will be posted on MyJCU. Students are kindly asked to check this regularly and in advance of each class.
Make-up work is not offered, except in exceptional circumstances and after consultation with the Dean of Academic Affairs.



How to interpret a design brief
How to define an identity
How to develop design concepts
How to create a distinct style
How to prepare artwork for print & web


Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Paul RandHeller, Steven (2000)Phaidon9780714839943  
Marks of Excellence. The history and taxonomy of trademarksMollerup, Per (1999)Phaidon9780714864747  
Beware Wet Paint. Designs by Alan FletcherMyerson, Jeremy (2004)Phaidon9780714843780  
Symbol: The reference guide to abstract and figurative trademarksBateman, S. and Hyland, A. (2014)Lawrence King9781780671840  
Pentagram: The CompendiumGibbs, David (1998)Phaidon9780714837697  
TypographyRuder, Emil (2009)Hastings House9783721200430  
Global Graphics: Color. Designing with 
Color for an International MarketPeterson, L.K. and Cullen, C.D. (2000)Rockport Publishers9781564962935  
Basic Typography. Design with lettersRüegg, Rudi (1989)ABC Verlag9780442239138  
The Art of Looking SidewaysFletcher, Alan (2001)Phaidon9780714834498  
ParticipationCommitment, responsibility, resourcefulness, presentation skills, punctuality and timely delivery of assignments25%
Concept developmentCommitment, originality, interpretation skills25%
Graphical executionResponsibility, attention to detail, technical skill25%
Final evaluationFinal presentation of design project (portfolio) including complete digital documentation25%

AWork of this quality shows excellent mastery of the course content along with exceptional levels of technical skill, artistic awareness, originality, resourcefulness, commitment, quantity of work and improvement. There has been excellent collaboration and leadership in group projects, and there have been no attendance prob
BA highly competent level of performance with work that directly addresses the content of the course, with a good quantity of work produced.
CAn acceptable level of performance: the work shows awareness of the course content, but is very limited in quantity, quality, commitment and skill.
DThe student lacks a coherent grasp of the course material and has failed to produce much work. The student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail.
FNegligent in attendance, academic honesty, or engagement with the course content.


All scheduled classes are mandatory.
Attendance and punctuality are crucial. The first session (Introduction) is considered fundamental for the course understanding.
Absence and late arrival affect the final grade.
Unexcused absences will result in an F (Fail) grade for Participation.
More than five unexcused absences will result in failing the course.
If unexcused, arriving more than 10 minutes late will be counted as absence.
Students are responsible for catching up with any course material they miss.
Students cannot make-up a major exam (Midterm or Final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family, or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused.
Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam.

As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.


Meeting place: Mac Lab, Largo Fiorentini 1 (Inside Art Studio: Internal 3).

Week 1: Wednesday September 5:
Course introduction/Presentation client/Brief part I
Session focus: Integrated branding

Week 2: Wednesday September 12: 
Session focus: A new branding model

Week 3: Wednesday September 19:
Session focus: Logo systems

Week 4: Wednesday September 26:
Session focus: The creative influence

Week 5: Wednesday October 3:
Session focus: Visual composition

Week 6: Wednesday October 10:
Session focus: Project planning

Week 7: Wednesday October 17:
Session focus: Design inspiration

Week 8: Wednesday October 24:
Session focus: Surprise project

Week 9: Wednesday October 31:
Brief part II
Session focus: Visual hierarchy

Week 10: Wednesday November 7:
Session focus: Proportion

Week 11: Wednesday November 14:
Session focus: Artwork for print

Week 12: Wednesday November 21:
Session focus: Design critique

Week 13: Wednesday November 28:
Session focus: Finalization of project

Week 14: Wednesday December 5:
Session focus: Portfolio

Week 15: December 10 - 14:
Final exam: Presentation of project