Vexillology and Flag Design

Explore the world of vexillology with an in-depth study of flags design and their implications on society and culture at large.
InstructorLaura Scofield
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Sep 29, 2022Oct 21, 2022

Thursdays from 11:00 pm 1:30 am UTC

On Zoom
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InstructorLaura Scofield
Date icon

Sep 29, 2022Oct 21, 2022

Thursdays from 11:00 pm 1:30 am UTC

On Zoom
Be a PAL to save 10%
This item could not be added to your cart.

People are naturally drawn to symbol making [...] From the Nike swoosh to the Christian cross, abstract symbols play an important role in human society. Elementary shapes such as the circle, triangle, the line, the arrow, and the cross have been found in 35,000-year-old cave drawings on different continents. This would suggest that some symbols are universal, although their meaning is definitely not universally shared.” Ruben Pater, CAPS LOCK

One of the strongest visual and symbolic forms that represent ideologies, territories, nations, and beliefs through simple graphics is the flag. Even today — in our fragmented age of globalism, fluidity, and multilayered identities — people strongly identify with flags. How are these symbols able to survive the ever-changing circumstances of human societies?

Together, we will discuss about how people make meaning through forms in graphic design with a focus on flags and their role in our lives.

Each week, a short lecture covering theories and practices will be followed by hands-on exercises using flag design methods.

Students will also have the opportunity to create their own flag using the skills they’ve learned.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn vexillology theories and flag design methods.
  • Research, and translate complex concepts into a flag.
  • Discuss and analyze how symbols shape our culture and society.


5 Weeks
Thursdays 7 – 9:30pm EST
September 29 – October 27, 2022
Artwork by Laura Scofield



Session 1: Introductions Lecture: Symbols + Flags Throughout the Ages and Across the World

Session 2: Vexillography: Lecture: Five Basic principles of Flag design & case studies Individual Design Exercise & Group Discussion

Session 3: Vexiworld: case studies & group discussion Final project workshop Individual Design Exercise

Session 4: Vexibits: Lecture: Flag stories & case studies Final project workshop Individual Design Exercise & Troubleshooting

Session 5: Project Presentations


Watch A Film of Flags by Daniel McKee
Watch Flags Explained on Netflix (Season 3, Episode 3)
Watch: Why city flags may be the worst-designed thing you've never noticed Read Good Flag, Bad Flag by Ted Kaye
Read Points of view, in search of visual quality by Theun Okkerse
Flags Through the Ages and Across the World by Whitney Smith

Required Materials

Computer. Figma or Adobe Illustrator for sketching and prototyping your concepts.

Instructor Bio

Laura Scofield is a Brazilian-born, New York-based creative strategist, graphic designer, and educator. Since 2018, Laura has immersed herself in the vexillology world through researching, writing and lecturing about flags.

She's currently Sr. Design Manager at The Atlantic Re:Think , Part-Time Lecturer at The New School (US), Design Professor at UNI-BH (Brazil), and currently serving as a board member of AIGA-NY (US). Previously, she had worked at Pentagram and DesignStudio.

Laura’s work has been recognized by D&AD, Cannes Lions, Red Dot, Print & How, iF, and Brazil Design Awards. Her master research on the AK-47 rebrand was awarded Honorable Mention from Museu da Casa Brasileira and had projects showcased in Novum Magazine and Print Magazine.

She holds a MA in Design Research, Writing and Criticism from the School of Visual Arts (USA), an MFA in Design from UEMG (Brazil), and a Bachelor's degree in Graphic Design from FUMEC (Brazil).


Index scholarships are designed to benefit underrepresented groups, BIPOC members of our community, and those for whom the class price is not accessible. These need-based scholarships will go to the candidates who best demonstrate why they should be chosen for the free spot to our class based on the following criteria:

  • Belong to groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the graphic design and creative industries
  • Do not have jobs that would pay for these courses as professional development
  • Cannot independently afford the class at list price
  • Share our value of intentional community

The number of selected applicants chosen is subject to the discretion of Index and the instructor, but every course will select at least one. Applications are due September 22, 2022 and recipients will be notified September 26, 2022.

Apply here!

Refund Policy

We get that things come up, but we rely on headcounts in our programs to survive as a business. If you request a refund...

More than 4 weeks before class begins → 100% refund

More than 2 weeks before class begins → 50% refund

Fewer than 2 weeks before class begins → No refund

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