Graphic Design & Marketing

Choice Design Project


1. Introduction

You will complete one comprehensive design project for this class (the last half of the course).

What is a comprehensive design project?
I'm glad you asked. A comprehensive design project is a large design project, done for a fictitious, or real, client that:

  • Involves you creating a complete brand identity for a client. You will design a logo (which includes picking a specific brand typeface, color theme, repeatable design elements, art/photos, etc.)
  • You will then use that brand "look" to design several pieces of marketing material (which could include a website, brochure, email marketing blast, signage, table tents, web ads, phone or tablet website or app design, packaging, billboards, etc.)
  • And finally you will build a presentation on Behance and present it to class
  • You will follow the 5-step process listed in this page's nav

2. Examples

3. Learn more

An Introduction to Branding
Branding is what you probably think it is... yes, think about the poor grazing cattle that ranchers want to claim as their own. So they burn a mark into their hide so anyone looking at their cattle knows it is theirs. To take the thought a little further, if the rancher had a reputation of being a loving, caring rancher, people finding his or her lost cattle would return them—knowing they would be cared for. On the other hand, if the rancher had a reputation as a… (read more)

An Introduction to Target Marketing
Who does your client want to reach with their brand and campaign message? You must know who you are “speaking” to before you can design something for them. Mountain Dew targets young people who live a fast, active lifestyle. The design of Mountain Dew’s logo, packaging, advertising and commercials “speaks” to their young, active target market. Everything designers and marketers do is based on… (read more)

Wikipedia: Brand
A brand is a name, term, design or other feature that distinguishes one seller's product from those of others.[1] Brands are used in business, marketing, and advertising. Initially, livestock branding was adopted to differentiate one person's cattle from another's by means of a distinctive symbol burned into the animal's skin with a hot branding iron. A modern example of a brand is Coca-Cola which belongs to the Coca-Cola Company. In accounting, a brand defined as an intangible asset is often the most valuable asset on a corporation's balance sheet. Brand owners manage their brands carefully to create shareholder value, and brand valuation is an important management technique that ascribes a money value to a brand, and allows marketing investment to be… (read more)

Smashing Magazine: Why You Should Get Excited About Emotional Branding
Globalization, low-cost technologies and saturated markets are making products and services interchangeable and barely distinguishable. As a result, today’s brands must go beyond face value and tap into consumers’ deepest subconscious emotions to… (read more)

Smashing Magazine: If You Love Your Brand, Set It Free
The practice of branding is undergoing a deep transformation — a change brought about by our kaleidoscopic postmodern culture, the development of communication technology and rapid globalization.
In prior decades, brand managers aimed to establish their products and services primarily by way of consistency and… (read more)

4. Apply it

Design Project
Apply your new knowledge with a real design project. You will create a brand new company/organization's brand identity from start to finish.

What's Due?
See this Behance example page to see what you need to include in your final presentation: (Behance Sample Project Page)

  1. Summary
  2. Developmental work / sketches
  3. Brand Standards
  4. Marketing Collateral
  5. Presentation

I would prefer you do not create a project or brand identity based on the following:

  • Yourself
  • Skateboarding
  • Music Label / Promotion Company
  • Band, artist, artisian, photographer, or singer
  • Video games or gaming of any kind
  • Comic books, animation, or graphic novels


Project Ideas

  • Brand Identity featuring photographs
    Specifically showing how the brand can be adapted across many different areas including print, digital, open room spaces, furniture, signage, wayfinding signage, etc.
    - Behance Examples: Brand Identity
  • Brand Identity featuring illustrations
    A brand identity that highlights a series of coordinating illustrations you create
    (5–10 different illustrations that coordinate)
    - Behance Examples: Brand Identity with Illustrations
  • Wayfinding / signage system
    Outdoor signage system for an outdoor trail, city, park, zoo, museum, subway, shopping center, etc.
    (5–10 different signs that coordinate)
    - Behance Examples: Wayfinding / signage systems
  • Brochure suite
    Uniquely different folding brochure suite (3–5 foldable pieces that are different in size and shape, yet coordinate)
    - Behance Examples: Brochure Suites
  • Point-of-sale/point-of-purchase in-store product display
    A huge back-to-school display in Target. Or a huge organic chips, soda and dips display in a health food store for the football season kickoff.
    - Behance Examples: POS / POP display
  • Uniquely shaped packaging suite
    Three pieces of packaging that go together to form a suite. It could be three different flavors of ice cream, three different scents of hand soap, or three different takeout containers for a gourmet fast-food drive-thru.
    - Behance Examples: Packaging Suites
  • iPad Presentation
    5 pages of helpful, educational information designed into a 5-page presentation, iPad screen size, that primarily uses graphics and visuals—instead of a lot of type.
    - Helpful Instructions to get you started: iPad Presentation Instructions
  • Infographic Poster
    An elaborate poster that uses graphics and visuals to communicate categories of information. Keep it simple and use visuals—not a lot of type.
    - Behance Examples: Infographics
  • Auto Owner's Manual or Brochure
    I am hoping to create a project that allows you to incorporate your vehicle drawing from Illustration Concepts class. If it's exceptional, this might be a great project for you.
    - Behance Examples: Auto Manuals
  • Or, choose something portfolio-worthy on your own!


Potential Clients
I am very open to your choice of a client for this project. You pick. They can be real or fictional. With that said, be sure to choose a client and project that is appropriate and portfolio-worthy.

  1. How about a local non-profit organization that could use your design help?
    • A food Shelf
    • Farmer's Cooperative
    • Clothing Donation
    • Soup Kitchen
    • Local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture program)
    • Warming Shelter
    • An international program advocating nutrition, or education
  2. A family member's startup business that needs your design work?
  3. A company launching a new product or line of products
  4. A campaign to advocate more exercise to elementary school students
  5. A campaign to advocate that parents read to their kids every day
  6. A restaurant opening a new location
  7. A campaign for a retail store's new line of seasonal clothing
  8. A travel agency's launch of a new family vacation packages to a unique destination
  9. Be creative. A unique subject enhances your portfolio's interest and intrigue
  10. Cultural Center for the Arts (promoting cultural art, dance, music and/or theatre)
  11. Internet Search Engine (like Yahoo, Google, Alta Vista, Ask)
  12. Environment or Renewable Energy Organization (pick either wind, hydro, solar, or biomass)
  13. Day Spa (like Sue Kolves, Metropolitan Day Spa)
  14. Children’s Literacy Program (nonprofit organization promoting children’s literacy programs)
  15. Sustainably-Focused Interior Decorating Service (focusing on sustainable practices and products for home or office)
  16. Career Services/Job Placement Company (see ManPower, Dolphin,
  17. online social networking Web site (like facebook, myspace, twitter)
  18. Children's Daycare Center (like New Horizon Academy, KinderCare)
  19. Environmentally Conscience Landscaping Company (home or business landscaping with an Eco-friendly focus)
  20. Fitness Center (like Bally's, Gold's Gym, SNAP fitness)
  21. Financial Institution (bank, investment banker, financial planner, stock trading web site)
  22. Medical Center (like Mayo Clinic, Gundersen Lutheran, Marshfield Clinic, Cedars-Sinai)
  23. Auto Mechanic/Repair Shop (Car and truck repair, tune-ups, oil changes, new tires)
  24. Green Children's Toy Company (like,,
  25. Outdoor/Sporting Goods Outfitter (like Columbia, Eddie Bauer, The North Face)
  26. Organic Food Company — or line of organinc food products (see Organic Valley, or organinc baby food, etc.)
  27. Gourmet Coffee House (selling gourmet coffee drinks and desserts)
  28. Perfume or Cologne Company (like Chanel, Calvin Klein)
  29. Gourmet Ice Cream Shoppe (selling gourmet ice cream drinks and desserts)
  30. Women's Active Wear Company (see,,,
  31. Locally Organized Farmers Market (selling locally grown/raised vegetables, fruit and meat)
  32. Gourmet Sandwich Restaurant (selling gourmet sandwiches, soups and desserts)
  33. Fine Chocolate Boutique (selling hand-made chocolates)
  34. Heavy Equipment Manufacturer (like Caterpillar, John Deere, Kobelco)
  35. Sustainable, Eco-Conscience, Clothing company (,,
  36. High-end Clothing Design Company (like Ralph Lauren, Versace, Vera Wang, Perry Ellis)
  37. Women's Cosmetics Company (like Revlon, L'oreal, Clinique, Esté Lauder)

5. Evaluate it

We'll evaluate your design work using these learning outcomes (also on this project's evaluation sheet):

  • Are you designing effective marketing and advertising material?
  • Are you appropriately using design software?
  • Are you following a design process?
  • Are you practicing legal & ethical standards?
  • Are you explaining and selling your creative solutions?