WEEK 2: Positioning, Trademarks & Logo Sprints

*Hand in homework from week 1.

Lecture: Brand positioning & brand promise.

Starbucks Sample: Starbuck corporate site, Starbucks brand positioning, 6 reasons Starbucks marketing communications strategy is so effective, How Starbucks became a social media model, Starbucks integrated marketing, Stanley Hainsworth (Tether) on Starbucks branding, Starbucks YouTube channel, Starbucks launches its first brand campaign: Meet me at Starbucks, Starbucks advertising, Starbucks logo refresh.

In class assignment:
Develop brand position statement and brand position attributes for your company (why your company is different).

Develop your brand promise (what the company will strive to do in order to make the brand statement and brand positioning come true)



Lecture: Review the different categories for trademarks. We'll take a sample trademark and as a class, we will deconstruct the trademark using everything we know from design history influences & gestalt principles to use of typography and color theory.


In class sprint: Trademark category #1: Monograms/Lettermarks
Random classmate name draw. Use the Brand Deck to help determine your classmates visual language. Then do a brain dump of 15–20 sketches exploring letter combinations for 1-2-and/or 3 initial lettermarks.

The first 5–10 sketches will probably be your normal sketching process. For the second 5 sketches you could use descriptive adjectives about your classmate to explore ideas, e.g. edgy, whimsical, childlike, etc. For the last 5 sketches try out the “Forced Connections” technique, where you take their 3 interests (e.g. hiking, baking, fishing) and make a list of visual attributes that can be combined with their initials to make an initial mark. For example, fishing=fish hook + the letter A

Choose your top 3 and transfer them to a new grid. Show all of your sketches to your classmate. Have them pick their top 3 choices and transfer them to the new grid next to your chosen top 3. Then create another 10–15 sketches experimenting with iterations in style/tone. Choose your top 3 and present them to your partner. Narrow choice down to one option.


PDF file: A sketch checklist when you run out of sketches for modifying letters.

Take it farther: Trademark category #2: Wordmarks

**Click here for a 3 minute video for iterating wordmarks on Lynda.com


Part 1: Either working solo or with your team member, generate at least 40-75 sketch ideas for your logo (40–50 ideas if you are working alone and 50-100 if you are working on a team). Try using the 5 trademark categories and short, timed sprints to generate a variety of approaches to your trademark. Then, if needed, use this PDF link: Techniques for Brandmarks (pdf) to help generate more trademark ideas. If you have a partner, trade your original sketches and iterate off of their ideas/sketches. If nothing inspires you so far, watch any of the video links below. Bring in all of your sketches next week. (estimated time ~2–3 hour per person)

Part 2: Finish your brand positioning, key benefit and brand promise. Let me know which territory your client primarily inhabits. Print this information and hand it in next week for me to read over/give feedback. (estimated time ~30 minutes total)

Part 3: Finish your tonal territories. Make sure you showcase photography, color pallettes, typeface(s), line quality/glyphs styles (e.g. bars, frames, rules, dingbats, icons), textures & patterns. (estimated time ~60 minutes total)


Click these Links:

Positioning (pdf)

Types of Brandmarks (pdf)
Brainstorming Techniques for Brandmarks (pdf)

PDF file: A sketch checklist when you run out of sketches for modifying letters.

Take it farther: Trademark category #2: Wordmarks **Click here for a 3 minute video for iterating wordmarks on Lynda.com


Skillshare: Brand Identity: Design Adaptable Branding Systems (Paula Scher)

Aaron Draplin takes on a logo design challenge (video)

Skillshare: Logo Design the Draplin Way: Building with Shape, Type, and Color (video)







Asye Birsel Quote (pdf)

Quarter Timeline (pdf)

Quarter Deliverables (pdf)

Final Presentation Template (pdf)

What is a brand? (pdf)

Company Character (pdf)

Positioning & Promise (pdf)

Types of Brandmarks (pdf)

Lettermark Sprint Checklist (pdf)

Abstract Mark Sprint (pdf)




What they don't teach you in design school...

Paula Scher on brand


The planning of a brand experience

The consumer decision journey

The brand touchpoint matrix


Finding your brand’s emotional truth

Creating Value Propositions


Sample brand style guides


Famous Logos
CreativBloq: many branding articles


Brand Quarterly Magazine

Branding Magazine


Thinkmap’s Visual Thesaurus

Skillshare: Brand Identity: Design Adaptable Branding Systems (Paula Scher)

Aaron Draplin’s logo design challenge

Skillshare: Logo Design the Draplin Way

George Bakhua: Logo Design with Grids

George Bokhua—Mastering Logo Design: Gridding with the Golden Ratio


Brand Trends

Big Brands to Watch Out For

Trendwatching (Asia & US/Europe)

Landor: Trendwatch

Packaging: Brand Trends

Marketing & Branding Trends

1 Graphic Design Trends

2 Graphic Design Trends

Slideshare: The Future of Retail


Pantone: Color Trend Forecasting 2019

WGSN: Infuential Trends for S/S 18

WGSN: Macro Trends for 2019


Case Studies: How Brands are innovating on YouTube

Case Studies: 30+ Instagram Brands, Campaigns

1 Brands and Snapchat

2 Brands and Snapchat

2 How Brands are using Snapchat

1 Brands and Twitter

2 Brands and Twitter

3 Brands and Twitter

Case Studies: Brand Ambassadors

Brands and Influencers

Forbes: Brands and MicroInfluencers rates



Brand Case studies

Brooklyn Fare

Fred Hutch

Apple ”Think Different” Steve Jobs

Apple ”Think Different” Ads

Apple "Think Different" Commercial

The Story behind Apple ”Think Different” Campaign Ad

Nike ”Just Do It” Campaign





Brand agencies

Ferro Concrete


Chermayeff and Geismar and Haviv

Ogilvy and Mather


Wolff Olins

Landor Associates



Liquid Agency

Wieden + Kennedy

Total Identity


siegel + gale

Starter list of Brand Agencies


Seattle Brand agencies


Hornall Anderson





Phinney Bischoff




Urban Influence


States of Matter

Wick & Mortar



Fell Swoop


The Hilt

Belief Agency




Designing brand identity

Building better brands

The brand gap


Brand Bible

Logo design workbook

Logo design love

The logo brainstorm book

How Brands Become Icons: The Principles of Cultural Branding

Unbranding: 100 Branding Lessons for the Age of Disruption