Graphic Design Schoolwork

The Components of Visual Identity

Name the three most important components of visual identity.

Color, shape and name. These three usually combines the logo which helps us understand the brand at a first glance.

Describe the difference between logotype and signature.

A logo or logotype works as a a trademark in the form of an emblem or symbol, while a signature is a persons name written by said person. The signature is used to approve things like contracts etc.

Using Kuler, create 3 different color schemes (you may only use 3 colors in each set) for the following products:

A rich chocolate cake that is made from real chocolate. The keyword here is “quality”.
A courier company that delivers internationally by air, land and sea – their main focus is fast delivery.
An international insurance company that focuses on family values.
Graphic Design Schoolwork

A Knack for Names

Consider the tips on Inspiration given in your prescribed book and create a name for an ice cream. The ice cream has a range of different flavours, but the unique aspect it should communicate is the fact that it is the coldest ice cream in existence. Now come up with five name options for this product (you should not spend more than a few minutes on each name) using inspiration from: Metaphors, Colors, Latin, Science and Myths.

I found this learning activity quite challenging as the “inspiration” made me feel very limited and uninspired. I really struggled to do this but ended up with 5 different names.


Cone of Cold.
This is actually a spell from World of Warcraft so I’m not sure how valid it would be.


The first thing I thought of was blue and ice, which made me think of brrrr so the name I came up was that. Brrr!


Frigus. It is the latin word for cold.


Zero. I wanted absolute zero but realised that sounded like a very cool and fresh vodka taste so I went with zero instead.


This is my favorite. It actually makes sense and has a name that you can remember and make a logo of easily. Shiva. Now, I don’t actually know who Shiva is, but when I was a kid I played a lot of Final Fantasy and the water and Ice queen was always named Shiva.

I ended up searching a little about Shiva and I didn’t really find anything about cold, just “Shiva the Destroyer” and he seems to have been male. I probably should have done more research for this practice, so that’s one thing I learned at least.

Graphic Design Schoolwork

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold is a 2011 documentary film about product placement, marketing and advertising directed by Morgan Spurlock. The premise behind the production is that the documentary itself would be entirely paid for by sponsors, thus being a form of metafilm.

Do you think the movie provides insight or detail into what drives product placement in entertainment?

If so, what have you learnt from that? If not, how would you change aspects of the movie to reflect insight on this?

I think the movie is outdated in how product placement is being marketed today. Yes, it provides some insight in how things are being marketed but this has already been shown in TV series like Entourage. Entourage came out in 2004 and follows a movie star. It shows several aspects of the industry such as marketing. I think that this movie could have been relevant as information as school information in 2011, I don’t find it relevant now. It would be interesting to see a documentary on how instagram influencers are paid depending on their size of following etc. The movie does provide insight, but there was nothing new here for me. I wouldn’t change anything but I would have provided students with information that is more relevant to 2020 and media that are being used more today.

What have you observed about presentations of visual strategies/brand identity?

One thing that really caught my attention was during a pitch meeting he asks a company to explain their brand in one sentence and they did not have an answer. One of the employees of the brands then answers and Morgan Spurlock shoots the sentence down. I found his expression that disrespectful and it was interesting to be presented with a brand that didn’t seem to have that much of a strategy.

Let’s consider this movie as a form of research. In other words, it was done to see what the effect of branded entertainment would be, a case study of sorts. What are your findings? What have you learnt? What has changed your pre-conceived ideas? Do you think there’s relevance in this case study? How could you apply your observations in real life?

I think it was a great way of doing research. The more brands he got on board the easier it was to get other people involved. Each brand that is affiliated with this movie also gets affiliated with each other. By using an airline as sponsors, all affiliated brands get marketing through said airline.

One thing I learned from this was the extent of factors to consider when getting sponsors. Who am I excluding by including X brand?

I stream on Twitch and how I can apply what I learned here is the games that I stream. Who do I exclude by streaming X game? What is more benefitial for my brand? Which will help me more? It’s also one thing to consider when creating creative designs for customers.

Give one complete strategy for a small activation campaign to advertise Starbucks on aeroplanes. Give one idea of how you would do this, by following the 5 steps of the work process.
Quick research

I went to Starbucks website and the first thing I saw was “Yes to you”. After looking around more I see these drawn and sketch-type drawings. Starbucks also have a lot of different types of rewards.


This campaign is meant to reach people of all ages, genders and status. It will be shown primarily on airplanes. The campaign will be “Say yes to You”. Buy a cup of starbucks on the airplane and look at the bottom of it. A few lucky winners will find a large YES at the bottom which means they win a free flight within US or EU, depending where you are.

Design the identity

Here’s a quick sketch of the plan for the design. The plane should be bigger and will the space on the left side of the numbers. Background is starbucks green and the font should be in white.


Employeers on planes will help inform the customers about the campaign, there will also be an ad at the back of each chair. The website will have information about the campaign and also how to cash in your prize if you win.

Manage the assets

After the campaign is done there will be posts on social media (twitter/instagram/snapchat) asking people if they liked the campaign and what campaign they should do next. That will give engagement and also ideas on what the community wants and likes. Be sure to answer comments to make the community feel heard and to connect better.

Graphic Design Schoolwork

Graphic Design History 2

Look at the history timeline at the beginning of this lesson. Gather information from 1900 – 2000, and design your own timeline using the Swiss Design Style as your theme. Each movement should be described in a creative way.

I’m not 100% sure I did this assignment exactly like it should be done. It wasn’t clear to me if I needed to do a Graphic Design History timeline or just a timeline from 1900-2000 in general. I decided to go for the latter and I chose my focus to be women.

When I did my research I noticed that in all timelines about women’s history trans women were excluded. To find the major points in all women’s history I had to cross-reference with a transgender timeline.

page 1
page 2

The second page is a little experimental. I’m not sure if the geometry in the middle is disturbing and too big or if it adds something to it. Anyway, my point with this was to add hidden shapes in the timeline, use sans-serif font that mixes lower and uppercase letters (moonbeam was used). I also wanted to include all women and tried to add as much info from around the world. Most women’s timelines were focused on the U.S.

color theme used.
I wanted a blue so I used one of the yellow tones to find a blue to add.

Inspiration can be found in previous post about the different styles discussed.


Graphic Design Schoolwork

Graphic Design History

The Bauhaus, De Stjil and Swiss Movements

The Bauhaus

I believed that the Bauhaus was a reference to the chain store “Bauhaus”. It’s actually called after an art school that was founded in Germany in 1919 by Walter Gropius. The main reason that the Bauhaus has its standing in graphic design history is because of the role it played in developing the sans-serif typography. The school preferred sans-serif fonts because it provided an alternative to the standard that was in Germany at the time: black-letter typography.

Herbert Bayer is one name that is highly connected to the Bauhaus movement. He worked as a teacher at the school and is known for his love of mixing upper and lowercase characters, an example his experimental universal typefact: architype bayer.

One current design that is heavily influenced by the school and era is in fact the first think that came to my mind when I read “the Bauhaus”.

Not only can we recognize the style from the mere name of the store, but the sans-serif fonts and the geometrical structure next to the name is very similar to the type of art Herbert Bayer created.

De Stilj

This movement was founded in 2017 and means “The Style” in Dutch. The group’s theories and most important graphic design works from the movement was published by Van Doesburg, the most recognized artist, in a journal called De Stilj.

The movement was all about ultimate simplicity and abstraction. They tried to reach harmony and order by reducing elements into pure geometric forms and using primary colors.

Doesburg, Theo van: Composition IX, Opus 18: Abstract Version of Card Players

Here’s some examples of “De Stilj” inspired designs from today. You notice it by the use of sans-serif fonts, simple geometric designs and strong colors.

Swiss Movements

The Swiss Movements are the base of the mid-20th century graphic design style. They were defined by simplicity, legibility and objectivity. The movement was led by two designers, Josef Müller‑Brockmann from Zurich School of Arts and Crafts and Armin Hofmann from Basel School of Design. The two schools developed the use of grids, assymetrical latyouts and sans-serif typography. They were also in the forefront of combining typography and photography for visual communication and their most influential work was in the form of posters.

Here are some designs inspired by the Swiss movement.

What all of these images have in common is the use of geometry. The posters on the left and the right are very different from the one in the middle. They’re more minimalistic and use colors in a way to make the geometric shapes to take form, while the middle poster at a first glance looks more chaotic and like it’s mainly using lines to create the geometric shapes. However, if you look at the blue in the picture you start to see the Swiss Movement.

These three styles have something in common. They focus on sans-serif fonts, geometry and simplicity and we can see all of them in our current desing climate.

Just take a look at wordpress’ new basic theme twentytwenty. The use of patterns, shapes and color together with the sans-serif font reminds me of all the different movements mentioned in this post. It’s clean and less abstract but still uses the same simple geometry and color. If rearranged with the different patterns and text on one page as a poster this could be a good example of Swiss Movement inspired Design.

Student materials provided by Noroff

Graphic Design Schoolwork

Acquainting yourself with the work process

Conduct research

When designing a product of working with a client it is important to do research. What kind of research depends on budget and product.

You may need to do some research before naming the product or company and then do some extra research when you need to come up with the overall strategy of the brand. Also keep in mind that the research should be focused and relevant, for example, you do not need to do global research if the brand is a little hair salon in a small town. The different forms of research will be handled in detail during this course, the important thing to understand at this point, is that a designer should not grab ideas from thin air, but rather build ideas on sound research. It is definitely possible to get ideas from divine inspiration or observation, but then again, these ideas should be backed by research.

So how do we do this? How do we gather information?

If you’re a student working on a project you should use the cheapest means. Use search engines or an online cyclepedia to define target audience and what speaks to them. You can also go out and look and analyze what is being done already. Are you creating a logo for a clothing brand? Is it a chain like H&M, is it exclusive or is it retro? Hand-made and one of a kind? Are you creating a brand stategy for a new or excisting restaurant? Visit similar brands businesses and look at what they’re doing. How are things placed? How are you being met by their employees?

If you’re working on a budget there are other ways to gather information. You can have study groups and have people answer questions and fill in forms. You can do individual interviews with members from your target audience to find out how to really speak to them. If you have a large budget you can and should do all of the above. The more research you do the clearer you will see the final product and the easier it will be to create.

Clarify the Strategy

Now that you’ve collected all of this data you need to apply it. It’s important that you explain the strategy, or the plan.

strategy: a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim.

How will you market this product? How will your designs market to the audience?

What’s important to me when creating a strategy is to clearly define the target audience. For example: generation Z. Explain what defines gen Z and how they differ from those who came before. How do we plan to share our product with them and why? What is important when purchasing for this target audience? What designs appeal to them and why? (Remember to include colors, fonts, layout etc.) On what media can we reach them the best and how will we use that media to do so?

In the strategic brief you should also clarify which direction your brand is going. This is something that should have been discussed with all design parties involved before put into writing. The brief is your best tool when communicating your thoguhts and designs with your client. When there are doubts and questions you can always go back to the brief and show why things are being done a certain way.

In conclusion: the strategic brief should work as a guide on how your brand should be portrayed and work as the backbone of your product.

Design the Identity

Now that the strategy is done it’s time to create the visual aesthetics of the brand you’re working with. How do you approach the findings from the research?

My first steps would be to start sketching. You probably got some sort of idea and vision of what you want to create after doing all this work. Create different types of design that are very different to properly explore where you want to take the product.

When you’ve created the final sketches (made them presentable) you need to develop a brand architecture. What is the most important aspect of the visual strategy? What colors identify the brand? How should the visual designs be applied on different elements?

Note: You don’t make any final designs in this step. You create sketches and mock-ups and present to the client and after that you go forward with the project.

Create Touchpoints

Before you can create them you need to know what they are.

Touchpoints are those areas and moments that the consumer comes in contact with the service or product or company itself. It also follows that these are the areas that consumers interact with the brand (such as the business’ advertising material and even employees).

I think that touchpoints are the key points on how you connect with your clients. How do you market? How do you present yourself? Do you intend to market mainly through social media? How are you going to do this? What are the key elements when doing so? How do you create engagement with your content?

Touchpoints could be how we structure our posts and the tonality of our brand. If we’re a “funny” brand then our posts intent are to make our customers laugh. How do we intend to structure these? One touchpoint here could be: create content on social media platforms that makes our customers laugh.

We also need to create internal touchpoints. What goals are the employees working for and what tone do we have at the workplace? Do we have a dresscode? Do we organize monthly get-togethers? Do our employees get birthday gifts? How should they meet with our customer?

The touchpoints should function as a way to help guide employers and employees to always present the brand in the same way so that it can build brand recognition and trust with the customers. This pahse should allow for development as the company grows.

Manage the Assets

This phase is the nurturing phase, so you need to grow the brand and make sure that everyone involved is constantly reminded of the goal, purpose and integrity of the brand identity. 

How I would nurture and grow a brand I’ve created depends on what type of brand it is. I would most likely create engaging content on social media to get to know the audience better and let them be a part of the journey.

If I had a clothing brand or a coffee shop (say I owned H&M) I would create contests where the community would submit designs that gets voted on by the audience. The winner gets their design on a limited T-shirt (or coffe cup) and the profit of that T-shirt would go to a charity organisation, probably one that helps with global things that the fashion industry help destroy. That way I create engaging content, involve my community and also create a brand that helps with taking care of our planet (as H&M is already focusing on with the concious collections) and the employees get to feel that they are apart of something bigger.

Graphic Design Schoolwork

LA: Shooting in Low Light Conditions

“Describe the steps that you will take to ensure that you take a high quality photograph in low light conditions. Refer to exposure, lenses, tripods, colour temperature, flash and ISO. Your answer should be a minimum of 350 words.”

To ensure high quality photos in low light settings there are several things you need to consider. First of all you need to decide what tone you want for your photograph. Are you going for a static photo or one with motion? What kind of depth of field do you want?

Color Temperature:

Different light sources have different color tones and your camera need to know what white looks like with different lighting. For that reason you can use the different settings built into your camera (like daylight, fluorescent etc) or you can use the auto function that will try to compensate for the different types of lighting. You can edit the white balance in your editing program later.


There is a time and place for a flash. In many scenarios, adjusting the settings on your camera (like having a higher ISO) is a lot better option than using a flash and in most scenarios you should never use the flash that is built in in your camera. You can buy different types of flashes that work for different situations.


ISO refers to artificial light. In a studio, or if you use a light tent, you want to have low ISO as the optimal environment the studio provides need no additional help with lighting. This enables you to experiment with shutter speeds and aperture to get the highest quality photo possible. In low light conditions you can experiment with ISO, and in some scenarios a more grainy picture (that high ISO provides) might be optimal for you and/or your client.


Different lenses give different results (go figure). A zoom lens will give you darker images as a result. The same will happen if you zoom in with your normal lens, as the more you zoom the smaller the aperture.

Tripods and Exposure:

The lower your shutter speed is the more light you get. But low shutter speed also make the camera more sensitive to movement. This means that if you have low shutter speed and move your photo will be blurry. If you want more light in your low light photos, lower shutter speed may be better, but if you want a static picture, the use of a tripod will ensure that you get a clear result.

Graphic Design Schoolwork

LA: DIY Light Tent

So! We were assigned to create a light tent, and that was quite the challenge when you don’t like to do “manual labor”. I have never been a fan of anything “DIY”. Anyway, since I was late with this assignment (I didn’t get help to buy the materials until late) the deadlined clashed with my stream-time. I decided to stream as I built the box and it became a fun experience in the end.

(my embed didn’t work but here’s a link to a clip from the stream)


f/4.5 1/40 s ISO: 100

The above image is not edited at all. Here’s the edited image.

blog edit smoll

I tried to remove some of the shadows to make the background more white and added some exposure to make the item a bit more clear. Here are screenshots of the exact changes I made.


The camera batteries ran out after this and seeing as I lent the camera to a friend (and didn’t get the charger back) I will experiment more with the light box later!

If you want to create your own light box here’s a link to how you can do it!

How to Make An Inexpensive Light Tent – DIY

Graphic Design Schoolwork

LA: Product Photography

“Draw up a list of the most important aspects of a product photograph. Refer to shadows, lighting, quality, ISO and editing in your answer. Mention at least five things.”

  • Lighting, soft shadows or no shadows.
  • Highest quality, use RAW on your camera and highest settings.
  • Lowest possible ISO, no higher than 100
  • Editing should be easy, if it’s not then a new photo is needed. Adjust exposure and white balance if needed, remove spots.
  • Background: white and smoothe, no harsh lines.
Graphic Design Schoolwork

Typography for a day

“Document one day of your life acting as an observer of typographic design. Produce a comprehensive diary of the typographic experience of your day from first thing in the morning to last thing at night.”

My day to day life and the typography I encounter is very similar. I sit a lot in front of my PC and I play a lot of games all from the same developer and the only show I’m currently watching is Breaking Bad.


This is pretty much the first thing I see when I wake up. I walk my dog, make coffee and turn on my PC and launch battlenet. I then start Hearthstone.


Later during the day I play some Overwatch and the Typography there is a bit more prominent.


I’m not a fan of the typography in Hearthstone. The font is very thick, heavy and almost like it’s from some old parchement. But I think that’s the purpose because Hearthstone is a cardgame based on Warcraft (which is a very old game).

The typography in Overwatch I love. The main font is called “Big noodle tilting”. It works very well both in italic and not and just by changing those things the font looks very different. I really love the Overwatch logo and what was made with the type there, having the V and A “fall out” from their letters.

In the evening I watch Breaking Bad and before we got this assignment I actually paused the intro to look at the typography. I think it’s really clever. For those who missed it breaking bad is about a high school chemistry teacher who becomes a meth cook.

breaking bad

I love the play on the chemistry table! I have paused many times to look at the intro in breaking bad. They also use the same green color on some letters in the names in the names of those working on the show. Like ‘Na'(in green)talie.