COMD 1100 flag project : see Milanote Board for all Visual resources


Overview: You will develop ideas and create a final image, 11”x14” on Bristol that expresses your self in a figure/ground flag style design. Present an understanding of Design Elements and Principles we’ve studied. Choose and develop  a color palette that has meaning to you and create personal logo/emblems integrated into a dynamic unified visual statement.


1) Research, and sketching. BEFORE THINKING OF YOUR PERSONAL FLAG:

  • Research : Background history of pictorial symbolic language.
  • Open each of the following links and pick a few images to post, take notes from and sketch from: (tip: you may also do your own search in these 3 categories but include a word to indicate your own interests: such as Logo designs related to nature..etc)
    • Pictograms– graphic symbols (you may also search for Pictogram subjects suited to your interests)
    • Heiroglyphs –pictorial language through ancient history-Flag Design- banding ideas, simple composition devices, color symbolism
    • Logo Designs – study styles, composites, symbolism, flow.
    • Flag Design: – study simple division of picture plane, color field design used in flags. You can research Color Symbolism in flags and shape symbols.
  • On 2 sheets of sketch paper, make roughly 3 small sketches each from above 3 sources. Drawing is to learn how these symbolic shapes are constructed and to get ideas for your own design. You may copy from sources to LEARN, analyze, then change, modify, recombine when creating your own unique designs.


  • Personal Ideation: Make Mindmap or outline in sketchbook pages
  • Write down 4-8 words in these 3 categories:
    • Likes and Interests (sports, music, politics, food, animals, etc)
    • Personal Attributes and Qualities (humor, honesty, messy, quiet, outgoing, etc)
    • Outside affiliations : religion, country, teams, organizations.
  • Make several individual sketches, on mindmap or sketch paper, to illustrate and symbolize your interests, attributes and affiliations.
    • Interests category: Find reference images, start by using descriptive realistic illustration to make your subjects, then proceed to translate forms into more graphic style symbols.
    • Personal Attributes category: In order to portray qualities, not things, you will have to use more Abstract lines, shapes and colors to represent who you are. Think about your doodles to music and how to portray emotions with varying line direction, line quality and shape.
  • Develop more graphic style shapes, pictograms, symbols, or logos, to represent these activities and categories.
    • Stylize or geometricize your shapes, use silouetted images.
    • Combine, make hybrids, use negative/positive shape etc.
      • See following link for previous student work related to translation from illustration to graphic images. Visual Language Project
    • Find examples in graphic design, search for your images in your specific interest areas and modify and change to make them your own.
  • Composition: Create 5 + thumbnails of flag design itself; the dividing up of the rectangle, where you will put your logos, how big etc. Color Palette and symbolism. Use your flag design research for ideas.
  • Color Symbolism: research and make palette swatches. Make every decision in hue/value/saturation to have a meaning.
  • Critique and revision


  • Final executed in acrylic paint or Digital format.
  • For this project you will use concepts related to abstract depiction of a mood or idea, such as in your Pattern Mashup Project where you drew lines/shapes to music.
  • This abstract process is important in order to represent graphically your personal attributes; for instance happy, serious, impetuous, moody, generous – to integrate a quality like this into symbolic form it requires abstract properties.
  • You can also use representational means to draw subjects.
    • It is important when creating graphics of activities/interests you enjoy to think about how literal and description do you want the form be vs abstract, using sillouette or simple graphic shape.
  • Use Color Symbolism. No Color should be arbitrary. Write out all the meanings.


  • Presentation of final and class discussion.