Branding with Type

Students need to understand GROUPING and HIERARCHY with text.

You have been hired to create branding and identification by a company that opens for-profit schools. Each school needs a logo that represents its unique identity. The logo needs to work large painted on the side of a building, and also small as a patch on a shirt.

For each school, start a Photoshop file 400px wide by 600px high. On this file you will create three different logos for that school. Use different typefaces for each logo. Use different layer styles, patterns, shapes. You cannot use images or cartoons. Make successful designs relying on the letters.

School 1: SnobHaven Academy for Proper Young Ladies & Gentlemen
This is a very expensive school that boasts personalized service to its students. The school wants everyone to know how exclusive and expensive it is. The parents who spend a lot of money to send their children to SnobHaven want everyone to know how rich they are and how special the school is. Use type and design elements that look and feel expensive. Make sure you get the name correct! Consider HIERARCHY in the size of the different words.

School 2: Einstein Science Institute
Students here have the best microscopes, centrifuges and computers. They all work on advanced experiments. This school only accepts the very brightest students and gives them challenging work to do. Design should reflect: Serious. Scientific. Technologically Advanced.

School 3: Learn thru Play Pre-School
This school wants to project an image of being fun and playful, but also a place for the youngest students to learn. Bright colors and shapes that appeal to little children. The logo should show what a happy place this is.

School 4: Oldenburg Institute of Fashion & Design
This school only accepts the best artists. They expect the highest quality of art and design work and their logo/identity must reflect that. What colors and design elements would send a message that says: Artistic. Remember Hierarchy.

GROUPING: One of the four principles of layout presented at the start of this semester (Grouping, Alignment, Repetition, Variety). Lines of type should not float disconnected in the image. Create a relationship between the lines of type. This is best done by putting individual lines (or individual words) on their own layers.

HIERARCHY: If you make every word large and extra-bold then nothing will stand out. Hierarchy refers to “rankings.” In the name “Galileo Academy of Science & Technology” the word with the highest ranking would be “Galileo.” The word with the lowest ranking would be “of.” As the designer, you need to help the viewer know where to look first.


  • Use Alignment where appropriate
  • Don’t mix two typefaces that are too similar (two script typefaces, two serif typefaces). Use a serif with a sans-serif. Use an unusual typeface with a very plain typeface.