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Exploring, Interpreting, and Applying Emotion-Driven Design in Brand Identity Development: A Design Student Case Study

Peter Kwok Chan , Elizabeth B.-N. Sanders

This paper is a descriptive and qualitative case study of the emotional brand identity design process of an educational experience. The main goal concerns the exploration of methods, techniques, and approaches that visual communication design students use to interpret and apply emotion-driven design to two client-sponsored brand identity development projects - Center for Automotive Research and The Supreme Court of the Ohio. The participants in this study include twenty senior level students of a design program at a major university, the general public, the prospective users, and representatives from the client organizations.

This study examines the design and application of a range of tools and methods for expressing, capturing, and applying emotion-driven experience to a brand identity development process from the design students’ perspectives during a 10-week academic quarter. In this case study, the emotional branding course outline utilized visual communication design problem-solving processes defined by four key design phases: Discovery Research, Design Definition, Design Concept, and Design Demonstration/Expression. The researchers of this study formulated a framework for the presentation of the various emotion-driven design tools based on adaptations of a reliable body of knowledge of pertinent literature. This study identifies emotion-driven design issues of concern to the participants and discusses the influences of these concerns on the design development of the selected projects.


Emotion Design, branding, identity design