Ixd103 Week 4: Lecture Reflection

Visual Identity

This week’s lecture was all about developing visual identity/ marque.

One of the first things that was touched on was the importance of being unique and distinguishing yourself from other designers with the traits that set you a part. There were some things I hadn’t considered before like how this can actually help you end up in the places that suit you best. (Not sure if that made sense or not but anyway.)

After that we took a  look at the different kinds of identification and how brands having identifiable logos like Twitter and Nike are an example of graphic excellence in a way. It’s also a reflection of how much money these companies put into advertising.

I don’t need to aim for all of these but I think uniqueness, graphic excellence, value and reputation are probably the best to focus on for my personal brand.

We looked at what  design programme is and what it consists of. From my understanding it’s all the different design or graphic elements that come together to make the visual identity of a brand.

We then went on to look at pictorial and abstract symbols. In learned that pictorial marks are not abstract and are a lot more iconic in nature. Examples would be Twitter’s bird and Starbucks’ mermaid. The probable with pictorial marks is that they can be too literal and so they’re not most original and so are hard to trademark. Pictorial logos are good for brands were the the name is a bit abstract as they help give away their purpose. Pictorial marks can also be used as a sort of short hand like how Apple’s logo is an apple.


Abstract marks usually consist of geometric shapes like circles, rectangles and triangles etc. These work better for brand names that are descriptive enough on their own so all they need is a recognisable mark to go with it since their name already sums them up pretty well. Then we have combination marks which are essentially just the word mark combined with a symbol or lettermark.


Since my name doesn’t necessarily give away what I’m all about, I think I’d be best going with a mark that is more pictorial as opposed to abstract.

For an example we looked at Slack and essentially the glow up process of their visual identity. Their first logo with the multicoloured octothorp was nice on white but on any other coloured background it looked really bad and it would as looked bad if but in any other angle than the prescribed rotation. It pretty much looked terrible with any kinda of tweak or change made so it wasn’t very adaptable.

They then developed different variations of the logo to compensate for that lack of adaptability. They may have looked good but they weren’t cohesive and made the brand look too inconsistent and not easily recognisable. This is why they went on to develop the new logo that we see today.


I think looking at Slack was good for seeing what’s important to consider when developing a symbolic mark, like how well it can can work with different backgrounds, positioning and colours. It is also important to consider how it could possibly be perceived in a way you don’t want like how people that the new slack logo looked like something for a bad medical insurance company at first. I think with my visual marque, I want to develop something that is easily adaptable since that it one of the values I had decided on.

After that we were given a list of some people to look at for their visual marque designs and we looked at how a lot of these are built from just simple shapes. We also looked at the design process of the Dream Ranch Brand which was designed by the studio Airside. This was good to see as it’s a kind of helpful guide to the approach I should take to designing my visual marque.


We then looked at the idea of doodling and sketch noting and how we as human process visual information so much quicker that words.


Studies show that sketching and doodling actually improves our comprehension and creative thinking so it’s a good idea to start incorporating them even more into my development work.

We then finished off by looking at some real world examples.


The lecture finished early to make room for individual tutorials. We were given a couple tasks to work on while waiting for our turns. The first was to sketch objects using the various drawing techniques we’d looked at. The second was to pick 5 of our brand values and explore a range of ways to represent them visually. Here is a link to my post on Bothe of these tasks: http://blogs.ulster.ac.uk/laurabfoy/2021/02/18/ixd103-week4-sketching-task/


This Week’s Tasks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.