Unit #2

Return to ENGW 2329 Syllabus


This assignment is adapted from an assignment designed by Dr. Quinn Warnick.

DUE DATE: March 25, 2013


Whether they know it or not, all organizations have a “brand,” and that brand shapes (and is shaped by) the organization’s interactions with its customers, clients, employees, and stakeholders. The concept of a brand can include many elements, but most people think of brands as the visual identity of an organization. For this assignment, you will develop a visual identity package to strengthen the brand of the First-Year Writing (FYW) Program at St. Edward’s University. I have chosen to modify this assignment—asking the groups to work on a single “umbrella” project—based on feedback from students last semester. We have access to the current Writing Program Administrator, Dr. Lynn Rudloff, and other ENGW faculty who are invested in the work completed by the FYW program. Finally, as ENGW majors, you should be invested in what people across campus this is the purpose and goal of a FYW program, as it reflects a larger belief about the role of writing across campus and across individual lives.

For some context, here are a few writing programs across the country that I would suggest have a  visual identity:

 Syracuse University

 The University of Texas—Pan American

 UC Santa Barbara

 University of Central Florida


 Eastern Michigan

Working with a small group of your classmates, you will create a visual identity for the FYW program. Your team can decide whether to collaborate with a member of that organization (Dr. Rudloff, other ENGW faculty, or me) or to work on your own. (There are pros and cons to both approaches, and we will discuss this more in class.)


Your visual identity package should contain, at minimum, the following items:

  • A set of “brand identity guidelines” that includes the following:

A logo or wordmark, with instructions for usage;
Recommended typefaces, with instructions for usage;
A color scheme, with instructions for usage; and,
A proposed slogan that enhances the visual brand identity.

  • At least two sample documents (e.g., observation template, business cards, informational brochures or pamphlets, advertisements for events) that demonstrate proper usage of the brand identity guidelines.
  • A one-page letter of transmittal to your client (real or fictional) introducing the visual identity package.

In addition, you will submit the following items to Dr. McCracken:

  • An analysis memo (roughly 400–600 words, single-spaced, using memo formatting) from your team to your professor that explains your work on this project and honestly discusses any challenges or difficulties your team encountered during this assignment.
  • Printed copies of your visual identity package and memo to me are due at the beginning of class on Monday, March 25. In addition, you should upload electronic copies of your files (as .doc, .docx, .pages) to my Dropbox before you come to class on that day.


Ideally, you and your team will create deliverables that will allow you to showcase all you’ve learned so far in the course. Think about the skills you showed in creating your posters—an understanding of how typefaces create a hierarchy and structure within a document, use of the six principles of design to guide users and reinforce messages for particular audiences—and think about the skills you’re just beginning to develop after our Illustrator workshop—working with words and images to create a logo.

Think about the similarities you see in the programs above. Do they all seem to be showcasing particular documents? What materials will you create to showcase how you consider not only the needs of clients but also users and stakeholders? Which documents will showcase your skills in controlling the rhetorical situations of documents? Which will demonstrate a variety of use for slogans and logos or wordmarks? What kind of document will highlight your color scheme?


I will evaluate your visual identity package using the following criteria:

Originality. Does the organization’s new visual identity stand out as significantly different from the old one? Has the team created something original, while still acknowledging the organization’s history?

Consistency. Do all materials in the visual identity package use the same typefaces, colors, and document design strategies to achieve a unified appearance throughout the package?

Appropriateness for Audience. Does the visual identity package acknowledge and respond appropriately to the client’s audience(s)?

Persuasion. Does the letter of transmittal effectively persuade the client to adopt the new brand identity guidelines?

Technical Proficiency. Do all materials show a level of proficiency with the team’s selected software programs that is appropriate for this stage in our course?

Correctness. Do all written materials adhere to the conventions of standard written English (spelling, punctuation, and grammar)?