Topic Studio 1: GD
Fall 2016
Debranding and Post-Identity Design

M: 8-11am Graduate Ctr Complex Bldg 1, Room GC2
W: 4-7pm SF Main Campus, Room E4

Christopher Hamamoto

Federico Pérez Villoro


This topic studio questions the current state of branding and identity design as developments in technology drive rapid changes in visual communication. We will analyze how information platforms are enabling complex shifts in governance as state and non-­state powers embrace surveillance, digital propaganda, and globally distributed networks of data, in their own brand strategies. Students will investigate the impact of this evolving landscape and challenge social norms of identity design on a personal, commercial, and political level.

Learning outcomes

• Analyze the current state of visual identity design

• Gain insight into the evolving landscape within information technologies

• Identify political relationships between brands and state powers

• Stimulate critical positions towards branding 


Class meets twice a week and centers on studio work and group critiques. Our activities will include:

• Studio projects supported by in-class critiques 

• Assigned readings and discussions

• In class mini-exercises

• Research projects and presentations

The course will consist of 3 primary projects and an end of semester exhibition. Projects can be revised and polished until the end of the term and final submissions will be regraded.


• Participation in discussions and critiques

• Punctual attendance

• Participation in end-of-semester class exhibition

• Timely completion of all projects


Your work will be showcased in the upcoming Hubbell Street Project Space Gallery from Dec 11-17 (dates confirmation shortly). Guidelines and format are open and will be decided upon as a class.


Week 1–4 (Sept 7 – 28)
Project 1

Week 5–9 (Oct 3 – Nov 2)
Project 2  

Week 10–15 (Nov 7 – Dec 14)
Project 3
Class Exhibition

Course Website

The course website will act as a record of the course and help facilitate access to resources. Make sure to check the website between each class meeting for updates.

Presentation and documentation

Work should be presented in an orderly fashion. Good presentation will allow us to focus on the process and evolution of the work. Projects should be clearly labelled and displayed in a considered manner. Students are expected to provide thorough documentation of their process and final outcomes.


30% Participation in group discussions

20% Preparedness and rigor of process

50% Final results of projects


Grades are assigned according to the college’s letter system: A through F

A = Excellent

B = Good

C = Satisfactory

D = Unsatisfactory

F = Failure

Grades of C- or less are considered a failing grade for the required courses within the major. Students will need to repeat the course and achieve a grade of C or better to advance to the next level.

Grading Late Work

You are required to complete all coursework on time: each assignment is to be finished by the start of class the day it is due unless specified otherwise. Work completed after this time, but before the start of the next class period will be marked down a full letter grade. If you have a scheduling problem regarding n project due date, please speak to the instructors as soon as possible in order to make alternative arrangements.


• Two unexcused absences will result in failing the course

• Arriving more than 15 minutes late, or leaving the class for more than 15 minutes, three times will count as an unexcused absence. 

This is a strict attendance policy. Do not print 5 minutes before the start of class. Do not tile your work, bind books, or finish coding a project during crit the day your assignments are due. Arriving without your project or materials necessary will count as an absence. Exceptions are based on the discretion of the instructor.

Students are expected to inform the instructors prior to missing a class, and are responsible for making up any missed assignments by next class. If you miss a class, please contact the instructors and a fellow classmate for notes, copies of handouts, assignment information, etc.

For an absence to be excused, please inform the instructors at least 1 day in advance. Observance of a religious holiday may be excused by the instructor.

Ethical and Academic Integrity

CCA expects students to conduct themselves as responsible individuals, respecting the rights & differences of others. Students are expected to be critical of their creative work; be sure artwork and written information is uniquely personalized and transformed. Plagiarism, or the intentional or knowing representation of someone else’s words, images, concepts or ideas is unacceptable and may lead to a judicial process within the school that could result in suspension or dismissal from the college.

Studio Guidelines and Etiquette

Please be *present* during class. Do not check your email, write text message, or do work for other classes during class time. It’s imperative you give the class and its fellow participants your attention during presentations and critique in order for class to be effective. We can experiment with break schedules in order to best accommodate everyone’s needs.