The Branding Alphabet

American Alphabet (Installation; 2000), Heidi Cody.

An excellent high school activity by Carrie McLaren and built around Heidi Cody's art installation "American Alphabet."

This high school activity, originally developed for 12th graders at the Berkeley Carroll School in 2002-3, helps students explore the influence that the cultural environment has on us.

Course Introduction, PowerPoint "Alphabet" exercise:
On the first day of class, I ask students to try and identify several plants and trees common in our Brooklyn neighborhood. They generally fail to name one. Then I show a slide of the alphabet comprised entirely from brand logos and they name almost all of them. The purpose here is to illustrate the invisible influence of our cultural environment.

Open the PowerPoint presentation

Author Bio: 

Carrie McLaren is the editor of Stay Free!, is a print magazine focused on issues surrounding commercialism and American culture.

Heidi Cody creates light boxes with letters from corporate logos.