Symbols: Art Badges



For your final project, you are to design a series of badges for the School of Art at Texas Tech. This should represent a visual system that uses consistent imagery to convey the concepts associated with the areas and the school itself.


  • To familiarize yourself with the process of designing a visual system
  • To understand concepts of symbolism and simplification
  • To design for specific production processes
  • To create expressive and efficient symbols


Always begin with research. Think back to our visit to the Vietnam Archives. Visit the TIOH website. What did you notice about those badges? What made them interesting, boring, creative, expressive, unique…? How can you translate those characteristics into ideas that represent the School of Art? Once you have established a few visual directions this project could take, begin to make visual decisions on which path to follow. Visual decisions can only be made with visual evidence. Then, as you move into Illustrator, keep in mind the production process for badges of this sort. You wouldn’t use super fine lines, gradients, or tiny letters.

Your badges will end up in color. Design them in black and white, and once they are digitized, color comes into play. At that point, you can use four (4) colors at most. This includes black and white. Look at the examples of Luke Drozd’s below… they use four colors each. Sometimes they include black and white, and in those cases, there are two more colors, totaling four.


  • 1 badge for the School of Art
  • 2 badges for program areas (Graphic Design, Studio, Foundations, Art History, Visual Studies, Bachelor of Arts in Art)
  • Project Folder (sketches PLUS research material, google images, etc.)


Each badge is to be presented on a 4″x4″ square. Output must be clean, sharp and of professional standards. A description must be indicated below as shown in the example. The design will be mounted on a black board measuring 10″x15″.



  • Wed April 20 – Critique Thumbnails
  • Mon April 25 – Critique Drawings
  • Wed April 27 – Digital Comps Due
  • Mon May 2 – Refine Digital Comps
  • Wed May 4 – Critique Digital Comps / Discuss Symbols Booklet
  • Mon May 9 – Work on Badges & Symbols Booklet (Last Day of Class)
  • Wed May 11 – Class Will Not Meet
  • Sat May 14 – FINAL at 9:00am


Look around at The Institute of Heraldry site

Don’t forget these beauties, by Luke Drozd

drozd-patches-01 drozd-patches-02  drozd-patches-03  drozd-patches-04

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