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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