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Strategic Branding, Identity and Brand Experience

Strategic Branding, Identity and Brand Experience

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Marc Wood


Behind every successful brand, there is usually a well-defined, coherent strategy. In all reputable branding agencies, before a brand identity is created, and before any work begins on designing the brand expressions and envisioning the brand experience, strategic thinking analyses and defines all aspects of the brand: its proposition (what), its purpose (why), its brand positioning (where and how), and its brand personality and values (who). It is this intellectual foundation that governs the creation of an effective and relevant brand.

This course uniquely combines design & marketing expert information and aims to give you an insight, and hands-on practical experience of the whole process of branding—from strategic brand positioning and articulation to brand identity creation, brand expression and brand experience.

Strong strategic thinking turns good designers into great designers. As designers, we need to be strategic thinkers not only for our clients’ benefit, but also to earn and keep a place at the top table of our design sector when advising clients.

Topics covered:

The course will combine a series of short lectures, mini-workshops, hands-on demonstrations and exercises to highlight key aspects, alongside the running of one creative brief taken through all design stages. All taking place in a supportive environment with tutor/peer feedback and critiques.

• The fundamentals of branding strategy & design

• Brand positioning, brand purpose, brand personality, brand essence.

• The process of brand identity creation : from initial ideas to cross-media final applications

• Brand naming, brand language, tone of voice

• Brand identity: logo design, basic brand identity elements, (typography, colour, form).

• Adaptive and dynamic brand identity systems

• Brand expression: brand touch-points, media (digital, print, physical), basic principles behind UI/UX

• Basic principles behind digital / social media branding

• Brand story-telling and messages, verbal branding

• Brand experience: customer journey, branded environments

• Audience engagement: social media, marketing and advertising campaigns

• Brand management: brand guidelines, brand management (introductory)

Course Outcomes:

This course aims to give students an insight into the whole process of branding, from strategic brand positioning and articulation to brand identity creation, graphic branding, brand expression and brand experience. This course will arm students with a set of strategic principles and brand design knowledge that they can apply to just about any branding project, for companies or institutions of any size.

By the end of this course you will:

• Acquire a clear understanding about the strategic principles in branding

• Have a good knowledge of the brand identity design process

• Be better equipped to create, express, communicate your own brand and engage audiences.)

Who should take this course:

This course is ideally suited for anyone interested in branding and communication: graphic design students, graduates, creatives (junior level) in the design industry, business owners, start-ups or (junior level) marketing students. Anyone wanting to create a brand, and plan its strategic positioning, brand identity, expression and experience.

Level: Beginners

Entry requirements: Basic Mac skills and basic working knowledge of either Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop or InDesign are essential. Drawing skills are useful, but not essential.

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Tutor Description

After graduating in 1988 from Central Saint Martins, Marc Wood worked at the UK’s top agencies and consultancies including: Gary Rowlands Associates, Lewis Moberly, Michael Peters Group, Coley Porter Bell, Peter Saville Associates, Pentagram, Conran Design, Luxon-Carra and Contra, where he was creative director of a 110 people-strong global integrated creative agency.

Since 2004, Marc Wood has been running a small boutique brand consultancy specialising in brand identity creation , implementation and brand management. In the course of his career, Marc Wood has designed and managed branding and design projects for a large variety of international clients, in various fields of industry—from commercial brands to cultural bodies and corporate institutions—including, to name just a few: Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks, Bosch-Siemens, Aer Lingus, EMI Classical, Marks & Spencers, Philips, Sega, Alessi, Bowers & Wilkins, Thermos, Smithkline-Beecham, Cummins, Wärtsilä, M-Real, Kone, Coopers & Lybrand, Pilcher Hershman, Strutt & Parker, Factory communications, (French) Ministère de la Culture, Storm Model Agency, Wagamama, Warner Chappell, Warner Music, Yohji Yamamoto, London Fashion Week, Jil Sander, SCP, London Designer Show, Native Design.

Marc Wood’s approach centres around the creation of unique brand languages, original brand realms which convey the essence, express the personality and communicate the values and vision of the clients’ brands, be they products or institutions. Marc Wood’s practice strives to discover new ways to communicate identity, applying branding concepts on an array of media and touch-points to engage audiences, and exploring the new interactive possibilities of new technology to keep the conversation going.

Marc Wood has also been a senior Associate Lecturer at Central Saint Martin’s, University of the Arts London, since 1995. In his teaching, Marc’s focus lies in re-appraising and questioning the nature and experience of visual identity and branding, and in pushing the boundaries of branding beyond its current remits of practice.


Please bring with you to the first session:

• Pen • Pencil • Eraser • A4 (or A3) note pad or sketchbook.

Useful: black fine-liner pen

Available dates