BDes (Hons) Interaction Design

Exploring Identity


Exploring aspects of iconography, branding, and visual identity, this practice-based module investigates how design considers issues of character and personality and how these can be communicated graphically. By introducing students to core software packages (Photoshop, Illustrator…) students develop the skills required to realise their ideas using industry standard software, equipping students with the drawing skills needed to create assets for industry.

Students are introduced to the principles of branding in the widest sense, exploring brand identities in both small scale (personal brand) and large scale (corporate identity) contexts. Through staged delivery, students move through the development of personal identities, working as individuals, before widening their frame of reference to explore the creation of corporate identities, working in teams.

This module runs concurrently with the Imaging and Data Visualisation module, which provides students with a broader contextual framework, exploring imagery in a much wider sense, and designed to complement the content of this module.


The essential aims of this module are:

  • To introduce core principles of iconography, branding and identity, including: a history of icons, semiotics, and communication systems.
  • To introduce students to fundamental techniques, processes and technologies through workshop and lab practice.
  • To equip students with the skills to communicate their ideas through sketching and visualisation.
  • To encourage students to develop the team working skills required to complete a substantial piece of corporate identity coursework.
  • To develop the skills needed to create a range of assets to form the backbone of a comprehensive corporate identity campaign.


This module contains a series of practical, hands-on workshops, which equip students with both a theoretical understanding of iconography and identity, and the skills required to communicate their ideas visually. Paper-based exercises introduce students to the idea of rapid prototyping ideas and ‘thinking through paper’. Computer-based exercises take these sketches and prototypes and develop them further.

By introducing the various tools, both off- and on-screen, required to meet industry needs, standards, including Illustrator, Photoshop and other appropriate commercial packages, students are equipped for a career in industry.

The module combines studio and lab content with online resources, providing additional support and opportunities to build upon knowledge acquired during workshops. Students are supported through a weekly lecture programme that is designed to broaden their knowledge and understanding.

Indicative lecture content includes:

  • A History of Icons
  • Non Verbal Communication
  • Semiotics
  • The Art and Craft of Iconography
  • Wordbanks and Brand Dictionaries
  • Learning From the Apple Human Interface Guidelines (HIG)
  • The Transformer
  • Taxonomies and Lexicons
  • Personal Branding
  • Corporate Identity Systems

Reading List


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Module details

  • Code: IXD103
  • Year: 1
  • Semester: 2
  • Credits: 40
  • Delivery: Lectures, Seminars, Workshops and Self-Directed Study
  • Co-requisites: Imaging and Data Visualisation
  • GitHub Repo