Hi Branding, Advertising and InDesign students,


You chose a class that meets on the weekend, and let's be real: this should be your time to relax and have fun. As your instructor it's important to me that you are not feeling like this is another thing on your 

to-do list, but it's something that you look forward to for the next ten weeks. So, here are a few points:


  • Creativity happens when you're relaxed. Bring a cup of coffee (or tea).

  • All pressure is off. You work at your own pace (though I might gently nudge you). 

  • Everybody works on their own individual project, so you will end up with a unique piece and you will not be compared to each other.


Here is what you can expect from your classes:


Branding & Identity and Advertising Design are workshops with lectures. These classes are designed around the needs of aspiring or working graphic designers/art directors. The main goal is to produce high quality portfolio pieces that give you an edge when you apply for a job at an advertising agency, design firm or freelance work. If you already have a job in the design field, this can help you get to the next level. I will pack as much learning, info, and resources as possible into these classes. Part of the class time will be taken up by a lecture and the rest of the time you'll be working on your project. During the part where everyone works I will walk around and work with each of you individually. After this 10 week course you will have all the necessary tools and information to generate more great portfolio projects without my help. 


That said, it's important that you have some understanding of Adobe Illustrator (or InDesign if you prefer) and Photoshop. You don't need to be an expert. I'm here to help and show you how to make your work look great, but you should be familiar with the basic functions. You can either work on your laptop or on one of the school computers. If you have an older version of the Adobe programs, such as CS 5, 4 or even 3, that's fine, it doesn't have to be Creative Cloud.  


(If you are in Intro to Advertising or Adobe InDesign keep scrolling down)



This class is about the visual aspects of branding. This is not a marketing or business class. While we may often cross paths with marketing, we will not get into the nitty-gritty, such as "Measuring Brand Value", "Marketing Leverage" or "Brand Equity". We are art directors, designers, and concept people. We get to do the fun visual stuff. Our goal is to create portfolio show pieces that are powered by strong concepts. Here is what we will do:


  • brainstorm businesses: services, products, restaurants or non-profits (if possible with a unique selling point)

  • decide on one that's worthwhile doing over the next 10 weeks

  • name the business and create a tag line

  • create a business personality, mission statement and determine the target audience

  • design a simple logo (if it's a product you'll design a label)

  • design an identity system and apply it to a business card and stationery

  • create a really cool ad with a clear message

  • design a website landing page

  • apply the logo and identity system to additional collateral pieces and/or an Instagram sample page


You will learn about unique selling points, identity systems, logo design, logo systems, touch points, iconic branding strategies, generational differences, and thin slicing. We will look at examples and have class discussions. I will encourage you to do some assignments during the week by exploring and observing brands. Besides branding, I will share with you my insights into working as a freelance designer. You will also learn about free or reasonably priced design resources, and tricks to showcase your work with impact . Along the way we will all share tips and tricks we learned on Illustrator and Photoshop.



Please note that this is not a marketing or business class. If you're looking for a class where you learn what's the most cost-effective way to advertise, how to buy ad space on social media etc., this is not your class, and you might be better off looking for a marketing/business class. Here is what we will do: 


  • pick two or three of the given assignments (I'll give you around 10 options, logos are included)

  • read the marketing brief carefully and research your target audience 

  • come up with ideas for ads and/or ad campaigns

  • find images, write headlines and body copy

  • create real looking, creative ads 

  • if you're advanced and would like to be challenged you can also add a TV commercial pitch


In this class you will learn how to brainstorm for ideas, the history of advertising, iconic ad campaigns, famous "mad men", and ethics in advertising. We will be analyzing good ads (and bad ones, too), and we'll be watching lots of commercials.



As a graphic designer it is important that you know Adobe InDesign. While it is not the most exciting course, it is your bread and butter. Without InDesign it will be difficult for you to produce mulit-page, print ready documents. Besides getting familiar with the program, you will also learn the basics of print production and you will get the opportunity to create some portfolio pieces. Regardless if you take this class with me or somewhere else, learn InDesign! It's the best thing you can do for your career.


I'm looking forward to meeting you!

Your instructor,

Angela Rubien



Here are some examples of branding projects. Also, be sure to click on the link Student Work.