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COURSE NAME: "Graphic Design: Corporate Identity and Branding"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Fall 2020

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 number of design projects 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 Designers, 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]

Any changes to the schedule, additional course information, requirements, due dates, etc. are announced via Moodle.


How to interpret a design brief

How to manage a project

How to create an identity

How to define and enhance a brand

How to develop design concepts

How to create a distinct brand style

How to prepare artwork for production


Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
How to SeeNelson, George (2017)Phaidon978 0 7148 7383 1  
The Art of Looking SidewaysFletcher, Alan (2001)Phaidon978 0 7148 34498  
Marks of Excellence. The history and taxonomy of trademarksMollerup, Per (1999)Phaidon9780714864747  
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  
ParticipationProfessional engagement, commitment, creativity, interpretation skills, timely delivery of assignments.10%
Design projectsConcept and design of an appropriate solution to three design projects with varying complexity.60%
Final evaluationFinal presentation of portfolio.30%

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.

Absence, late arrival, missing or incomplete assignments and/or assignments sent after the established deadline affect the final grade.

Students are responsible for catching up with any course material they miss.

Make-up work is not offered, except in exceptional circumstances and after consultation with the Dean of Academic Affairs.

Examination policy

A major exam (final) cannot be made up 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 a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) 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. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed.

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 23 September: Course introduction & Brief (Session focus: Scope of work)

Week #2: Wednesday 30 September: Work-in-progress (Session focus: Logo systems)

Week #3: Wednesday 7 October: Work-in-progress (Session focus: Mobile devices)

Week #4: Wednesday 14 October: Work-in-progress (Session focus: Type)

Week #5: Wednesday 21 October: Work-in-progress (Session focus: Project management)

Week #6: Wednesday 28 October: Work-in-progress (Session focus: Proportion)

Week #7: Wednesday 4 November: Work-in-progress (Session focus: Promotion)

Week #8: Friday 6 November (Make-up day for Wednesday classes): Work-in-progress (Session focus: Brand architecture)

Week #9: Wednesday 11 November: Work-in-progress (Session focus: Feedback client)

Week #10: Wednesday 18 November: Work-in-progress (Session focus: Branding guidelines)

Week #11: Wednesday 25 November: Work-in-progress (Session focus: Final artwork & Portfolio)

Week #12: Wednesday 2 December: Work-in-progress (Session focus: Final artwork & Portfolio)

Week #13: Wednesday 9 December: Work-in-progress (Session focus: Final artwork & Portfolio)

Week #14: tba: Final exam: Presentation of portfolio