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My design team had a lot of fun this semester, developing broadcast graphic identities for a proposed "Back to School" television production. We knew very little details about this project going in, possessing only a basic concept and a working title. For example, we knew that we were working on 5-6 broadcast half-hour pieces that each followed a single celebrity who had grown up in one of the five boroughs of NYC, attended one or more NYC public schools, and achieved significant notoriety in a particular career. With this information in hand, we tried to break down the content areas and find the common ground between them all. 


The entire process began with simple brainstorming techniques – what is known as ideation in the design world – and a whole lot of sketching!


Initial brainstorming and ideation began in three phases: brain dumps, mind maps, and logo designs.

Brain dumps

Brain dumps are essentially the spilling out of ideas – some good, some not so much – onto paper. They help get out everything floating around in a designer’s head to better organize ideas. Below are a few examples.

Mind maps

Mind maps are used to examine non-linear relationships between linear-derived ideas. To put it another way, though we normally think linearly – i.e. one thought after another – mind maps allow us to see how thoughts that aren’t sequential can nevertheless be related in unexpected and inspiring ways.

Logo Designs

As a central branding device, we felt that a solid logotype could encapsulate the overall spirit of the final broadcast package, and therefore was worth spending initial time in developing.

Narrative and Style Development

Title sequence

Garnering some common ideas that we think worked well, we decided to tackle the project beginning with the title sequence. A title sequence would likely be the most complex of all requested deliverables, and would also greatly inform the design of remaining deliverables, such as any logotypes, lower thirds, transitions, and bugs.

Narrative design

Crafting one minute stories that hit upon many of the ideas we uncovered during our ideation process: landmarks like bridges and buildings, the Staten Island Ferry, subway performers, and weaving different people in different boroughs together with a common theme or element (eg, a paper airplane flying through notable areas in each borough).
Students began developing these narrative designs with quickly sketched versions called thumbnails:

Style References

In parallel to narrative design work and discussions about logotypes, we also began to research styles that we liked and thought might be appropriate for the project. Below is a sampling of style references we were looking at.
The work of french designer and illustrator Malika Favre


The work of artist Charlie Harper


I AM HERE - a short film by Eoin Duffy


Boy and the World – animated feature by Alê Abreu


And miscellaneous design references that we arrived at through intense Pinterest research sessions:

Final Concept Work

After many critiques and work sessions, the final concept work for each student appears below.


Cecilia Walker


Debi Carmona

Emily Yturbides


Eric Ramirez

Concept 01


Concept 02


Kristopher Rodriguez


Cericia Thorne

IMG 6259IMG 6260IMG 6261IMG 6262IMG 6264


Katie Kilcommins


Malika Victor


Vivian Rohdenburg

Below are example from our initial brainstorming sessions, organized into two groups: brain dumps and mind maps.

Brain Dumps



Mindmaps are essentially graphical depictions of word and concept associations. They are arrived at by linear progression, moving from one central word or idea (e.g. pizza) to immediatly related words (e.g. cheese or pan) and so on, connecting to more and more words, concepts, or even images. The final outcome is a non-linear web of map of concepts, allowing us the designers to make non-linear connections between the them. Below are some examples we created.



Logo Design Sketches

In addition to brainstorming raw ideas, we also conducted a slightly more focussed brainstorming of logo concepts:


Welcome to Art 202/302/702 - Design and Advanced Design! Here's what I would like to go over today:

  1. Checking out your account on Schwittek.com
  2. The Course Description
  3. Introductions
  4. The Course Schedule
  5. Broadcast Design Research Exercise and Presentation
  6. Homework:
    • Create a Pinterest account if you have none – then create a board for broadcast design or similar and begin collecting examples of things you find interesting. 
    • Also, get a sketchbook!


Class 01 – Intro; Syllabus; Preliminary Research; research presentation.

Homework: Create a Pinterest account if you have none; create a board for broadcast design or styleframes and begin collecting examples of things you find interesting. Get a sketchbook!


Class 02 – Brainstorming techniques introduced, practiced, presented. Begin logo treatment sketches. 

Homework: Ten (10) logo treatment sketches for presentation next week.  


Class 03 – Sketch critique; discussion and decision about which ideas to pursue. Color and type discussion.
Homework: Over next two weeks, sketch out minimum of five (10) styleframes, each one exploring a movement exploration of ideas discussed in today’s class. Feel free to make a few different explorations of the same idea, or go ahead and explore completely different ideas. Use any medium you feel comfortable with, and any level of completeness (anywhere from sketches to fully rendered comps). Please digitize them for convenient class viewing on the projector. 
Have the five (5) styleframes ready for presentation in two weeks, after the Jewish holidays. Shanah Tovah, bitches!



Class 04 – Work in class on five styleframes


Class 05 – Presentation of 5 Styleframes. 


Class 06 – In class work day to refine and expand your 2 best styleframes


Class 07 – Discussion about developing design work into various broadcast items; Intro to After Effects;

Homework: Choosing one of your two styleframe ideas from last week, expand your concept into different assets, such as transitions, bugs, lower 3rds, titles, credits, etc. Depending on your available time and skill level This work can range from sketches and hand-drawn thumbnails to movement compositions in After Effects


Class 08 – Continuing with After Effects


Class 09 – Presentation to client – or – After Effects lesson


Class 10 – Presentation to client – or – After Effects lesson; Rendering in After Effects


Class 11 – Incorporating client feedback – work in class


Class 12 – Work in class

Homework: Take the next two weeks to animate a rough title intro and a few of the broadcast assets you have been working with. Be prepared to present renders in two weeks. 




Class 13 – Presentation of rough animations


Class 14 – Work in class


Class 15 – FINAL – Present to clients

*Please note that the above schedule is subject to change.