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Murdock, Jason E.Fluid identity: History & Practice of Dynamic Visual Identity Design
MFA, Kent State University, 2016, College of Communication and Information / School of Visual Communication Design
The main aim of this thesis is twofold. Firstly, this investigation seeks to broaden the scope of graphic design history as it pertains to visual identity design by documenting the existence of an alternative paradigm—dynamic visual identity design—which has developed alongside the prevailing visual identity design paradigm—static visual identity design—but which is not currently well documented or understood. To this end, case studies will be provided to demonstrate that these two schools of thought have existed contemporaneously since the inception of visual identity design in the first decade of the twentieth century. Secondly, this investigation seeks to assist graphic design educators and practitioners in finding practical application of dynamic visual identity design in the classroom and professional practice by examining the mechanics of visual identity design and delineating three generative techniques for creating dynamic visual identity systems. Prototypes have been developed as part of this inquiry, and are presented as a way of demonstrating how these techniques are used to design functioning dynamic visual identity systems. Promoting the hegemony of one visual identity paradigm over another is not a goal of this thesis, nor is it a goal of the author to suggest that one visual identity paradigm should supplant another. Rather, it is hoped that a pluralistic view of visual identity design has been advanced in order to allow designers the broadest possible landscape and greatest opportunity to modify and adapt their approach based on the specific needs of the stakeholders with whom they design.


Jessica Barness, M.F.A. (Advisor); Kenneth Visocky O'Grady, M.F.A. (Committee Member); Brian Peters, M.Arch. (Committee Member)


Communication; Design


Branding; Identity Design; Visual Identity; Dynamic Visual Identity; Design History