Second year brief: Symbol Design set by Michael Johnson


The second years are lucky enough to be working with Michael Johnson this term as he has set a symbol design brief. More and more in life we communicate using fewer and fewer words – think of memes and emojis – soon perhaps we’ll revert to hieroglyphics! But seriously, designing symbols is deceptively difficult, but incredibly useful if it is done well. Johnson Banks’ recent design for Action Against Hunger (final symbol shown above) not only unified all the different arms of the charity worldwide (original logos shown below), it also meant that anyone can ‘read’ and recognise the symbol regardless of what language they might speak.


There is an art to designing a great symbol—one that really communicates something about the brand. With Action Against Hunger, Johnson Banks have done that in a beautifully simple, yet clever way. Its perhaps no surprise that Johnson Banks started working with the charity three years ago, as communicating so much through such minimal means is deceptively difficult. We’ll see if the second years rise to the challenge…



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