70 152 GK5 Design and Identity


Two years at Institute of Design

Course content

This project-based course consists of developing individual solutions on a current topic. Solutions that have good correlation between brand, service, visual identity and physical object. It consists of a theoretical and practical task where understanding of brands, services and products are in focus.
The students get lectures and exercises in market understanding, brands, services, and emotional values in design, products and services role in branding and visual identity. Students should create the conditions for experiences of products and services, through applied aesthetics.
We start with a concept and work our way out to the smallest detail; through exploration and experimentation the students deliver results regularly throughout the semester. This course provides an orientation in professional ethics.

Learning outcomes

Students will:
• gain knowledge about methods to describe their own concept for brands and develop skills through applying user-oriented or experimental methods.
• have developed critical thinking around the role of brands in today's society and explain their role as designer.
• gain knowledge about what to include in a strategy and argue for solutions with a market oriented language.
• learn methods to define possible target groups and competitors to their brand and position themselves in relation to these.
• learn methods to develop visual identity in line with the overall strategy.
• develop a service and visualize this through a service journey.

Application of previously introduced methods gives the student:
• repetition and further development of methods for the development of physical object. They shall explain how the physical objects relate to the brand.
• skills in design and model building.
• knowledge and skills in conveying the brand through design in all deliveries.

Students will gain knowledge and skills in:
• Development of a visual identity for their service and the related physical object. They get methods to define design elements such as name, logo, colours, typography, visual expression etc. These shall be implemented in the relevant contact surfaces / touch point.
Students should reflect on their own design process and use their own and others' research in project development. The processes are to be reported.

Working and learning activities

It will be given a project task as a frame for all lectures. Lectures are distributed in the course as students develop their suggested brands. The process is emphasized; the course topics will trigger an exploration that can consist of anything from user observation to material experimentation. Students will submit a project description early in the term. The course consists of a number of individual submissions. The course responsible invites guest speakers from industry, organizations and research in branding and design.
Specific tasks will be posted on Moodle for each block and all submissions are counted in the final assessment. The grade is based on an overall assessment of all deliveries throughout the semester. The process shall appear in the report.

Professor in charge

Vera Pahle

Mandatory work requirements

Work requirements Number Number of approved Mandatory presence Comment
Project 100% Ja

The grade is based on an overall assessment of participation and all deliveries throughout the semester.


Assessment Date Duration Grade scale Oral examination
Prosjektoppgave Individual A-F

The course consists of several deliveries throughout the semester. To be accepted they need minimum 80% attendance in compulsory lectures, tutorials, reviews and exhibitions. All deliveries must be passed and the level of all deliveries is taken into account in assessing the student's final grade.
Process as well as all deliveries, are to be included in the final delivery.

Reading lists / teaching materials

Required reading:

Course Booklet


Recommended reading:

Chapman, J. (2005). Emotionally durable design: objects, experiences and empathy. London, Earthscan.

Hestad, M (2013) Branding and product design: an integrated perspective, Gower

Karjalainen, T.-M. (2004). Semantic transformation in design: communicating strategic brand identiy through product design references. Helsinki: University of Art and Design.

Lindstrom, M. (2005). Brand sense: how to build powerful brands through touch, taste, smell, sight and sound. London: Kogan Page.

McDonough, W. and M. Braungart (2009). Cradle to cradle: remaking the way we make things. New York, North Point Press.

Samuelsen, B. M., Peretz, A., & Olsen, L. E. (2007). Merkevareledelse på norsk. Oslo: Cappelen akademisk.

Stickdorn, M. and Schneider, J.  (2012) This is service design thinking

Wheeler, A. (2013). Designing brand identity: an essential guide for the whole branding team. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.



Other relevant literature:


Beverland, M.B (2009). Building Brand Authenticity: 7 habits of iconic brands. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmilian

Hestad, M. (2008). Den kommersielle formen: merkevarekonteksten som utfordring for industridesignernes behandling av form. [Oslo], Arkitektur- og designhøgskolen i Oslo.

Bryan Lawson, 2006. How Designers Think: The Design Process Demystified Elsevier/Architectural.

Lupton, E. (2010). Thinking with type: a critical guide for designers, writers, editors, & students. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.

McKeown, M. (2012). The Strategy Book. London FT Publishing. 

Mollerup, P. (1997). Marks of excellence: the function and variety of trademarks. London: Phaidon.

Roberts, K. (2004). Lovemarks: the future beyond brands. New York: PowerHouse Books.ASpiekermann, E., & Ginger, E. M. (2003).

Smith, K. (2008) How to be an explorer of the world, New York: Perigree.

Stop stealing sheep: & find out how type works. Berkeley (1993), Calif.: Adobe Press.

Color works: An Essential Guide to Understanding and Applying Color Design Principles

Web pages: http://www.logodesignlove.com, http://thinkingwithtype.com, http://www.lovemarks.com  

RKBT, 2015-03-15