You’ll be doing a lot of design thinking in this class. The exercises are intended to help you explore multiple ideas, possibilities, solutions.

Download packet of exercises for the class
Download the Visual Research Chart for Analyzing Brands.

Forced Connections Exercise
This exercise forces you to generate ideas using different categories/requirements to guide your thinking. We use forced connections to explore possibilities for products.

Mind Map
This exercise asks you to explore your audience. Who would use your product and why? You can use mind maps to quickly explore any problem, topic, or subject.

Visually Analyze Brands
This exercise asks you to collect and analyze examples of how other products communicate their brand through color, texture, image, language, and so on.

Concept Presentation Board
Another way to better understand your concept is to explain it to someone else. In this exercise, you’ll present your concept presentation board to someone who is not familiar with your idea.

Case Studies Q&A
This set of questions guides you to think about how designers and clients make branding decisions. What are they trying to say? How do they say it? Read a case study.

100 Logo Ideas: Rhetorical Figures, Sprinting, and Exploring Materials
Yep. It’s true. Start with 100 logo ideas. Images used in this handout are from Ellen Lupton’s Graphic Design Thinking. I highly recommend it!

Mood Board
The mood board as an opportunity to put all of your visual ideas for the brand in one place. An early mood board helps you visualize ideas and get consensus.

On-Site Research
When you’re developing packaging for your product, you’ll do some on-site research to see how other products in the genre are packaged and displayed.

Site-Specific Display
Use the on-site research pictures (that show where and how your product could be displayed), make tracings, design a site-specific display, and insert your product into the environment.

Site Map for Website
A site map is a shared planning tool. It shows the big picture for how everything fits together. When creating the site map, aim for clarity!

Nail down the placement of major layout elements, and figure out what the site will look like on both mobile and laptop/desktop devices. Wireframes should be meaningful, and should communicate content clearly.

Brand Book
A brand book (sometimes called a brand “bible” these days) contains the branding guidelines and rules you’ve established for your product. It shows other designers how to maintain your product’s identity. A brand book is more than an exercise. It’s a culmination of a semester-long project.

Process Book
A process book contains your process for the entire project. It shows potential employers and clients your ability to work hard, explore multiple solutions, and make design decisions. A process book is more than an exercise. It’s a culmination of a semester-long process.