Graphic Design Portfolio-Builder: Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator Projects By Sessions.edu ............................................... Publisher: Peachpit Press Pub Date: August 12, 2005 ISBN: 0-321-33658-5 Pages: 384Table of Contents | Index Self-paced, self-guided instruction is all well and good, but at the end of the day, most people could use a little feedback--especially when theyre ready to build a design portfolio and hit the job market. Not to worry, this book provides actual instructor feedback along with the self-paced, individualized instruction in Photoshop and Illustrator that designers need. Written by the faculty of New York-based, accredited online design school Sessions.edu, the book uses the schools trademark project-based curriculum to teach essential design concepts with Photoshop and Illustrator. After a brief intro to the world of graphic design, Sessions instructors provide quick "refresher course" chapters on the two programs. Then, armed with Photoshop and Illustrator basics, readers tackle a series of projects that stretch their imagination and creative muscles involving logo design, magazine layouts, illustrations, poster design, digital imaging, book cover design, packaging design, and more. Best of all, readers are encouraged to post their work for expert feedback from Session.edu faculty on "Studio Sessions," the custom Web site created for this book.
Graphic Design Portfolio-Builder: Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator Projects By Sessions.edu ............................................... Publisher: Peachpit Press Pub Date: August 12, 2005 ISBN: 0-321-33658-5 Pages: 384Table of Contents | Index Copyright Art Credits and Contributions How to Use This Book How This Book Works Whats in It for You How This Book is Structured How to Post Your Work Building a Portfolio About Sessions About the Faculty Chapter 1. Intro to Graphic Design What Is Graphic Design? Defining Graphic Design Elements of Design Critique the Design Chapter 2. Photoshop Essentials Photoshop and Graphic Design Editing and Organizing Images Photo Compositing Project Chapter 3. Illustrator Essentials Illustrator and Graphic Design Creating Vector Art Outdoor Advertising Project Chapter 4. Digital Imaging Communicating with Digital Imaging Image Retouching Image Correction Abstract Imaging Brushes Photo-Realistic Imaging Project Chapter 5. Digital Illustration Illustration Fundamentals Watching the Clock
The Pen Tool Two Objects Interacting Illustrating with DimensionChapter 6. Poster Design Poster Design Fundamentals Achieving Unity Achieving Balance Creating Rhythm Using Proportion Using Typography Poster Design ProjectChapter 7. Logo Design Logo Design Fundamentals A Short History Early Logos Three Logo Categories Inside the Design Process Tips for Your Design Process Typographic Techniques Record Label ProjectChapter 8. Advertising Design Advertising Design Fundamentals Short History of Advertising Design Basics of Effective Ads Organizing Your Message Connotations and Context Tone in Advertising Reality Show AdvertisingChapter 9. Magazine Design Magazine Design Fundamentals Using the Grid The Art of the Layout Designing a Cover and SpreadChapter 10. Packaging Design Entering the Third Dimension Types of 3D Packages Product, Audience, and Placement Package Composition Mass vs. Prestige Design Mass to Prestige Carton DesignIndex
Many of the designations used by manufacturers and sellers to distinguish their products are claimedas trademarks. Where those designations appear in this book, and Peachpit was aware of atrademark claim, the designations appear as requested by the owner of the trademark. All otherproduct names and services identified throughout this book are used in editorial fashion only and forthe benefit of such companies with no intention of infringement of the trademark. No such use, or theuse of any trade name, is intended to convey endorsement or other affiliation with this book.987654321Printed and bound in the United States of America
Ford Detroit International Jazz Festival posterFelix Sockwell, illustratorwww.felixsockwell.comLava Life poster adsMarcos Chin, designerwww.marcoshin.comCar wash logo and Green Tea packageDesigner: Patricio Sarzosawww.psarzosa.comOutdoor adTarget Corporation1000 Nicollet MallMinneapolis, MN 55403www.target.comOne Step Contact SolutionWilliams Murray Hammwww.creatingdifference.comGabriela MonroyYWEML coverwww.m-o-s-t-r-a.comAzure Magazine "New Directions in Portugal"Concrete Mediahttp://concrete.caConsumer Explorers logoNin Glaister, designerwww.98pt6.comChampion Athletic Apparel adBilly Hackley,/Kris Hendershott, art directorsBilly Hackley, designer, Hayes Henderson, creative directorLee Reunion, photographerHenderson/BromsteadArtCo.http://hendersonbromsteadart.com"A Delicate Balance,"Developed for Seattle Repertory TheaterDesigner/Illustrator: Dennis ClouseDesign firm: Cyclone Designwww.cyclone-design.comCascade Festival of Music Postertbd advertising, Bend, Oregonwww.tbdadvertising.comCHAPTER 2Photoshop User cover
Designer: Felix Nelsonwww.photoshopuser.comCHAPTER photographsDonald GambinoRoom makeover projectsAdam BenefieldMelinda LangevinJohn MessingerCHAPTER 3Spacehogboy illustrationJohn Schwegelwww.email@example.comCHAPTER artMichael Hamm, illustratorwww.pointsandpaths.comEditorial illustrationsSonoma JoeHeidi Schmidtwww.heidischmidt.comRose and Bubble Self portraitRose Nuñezwww.lifeinvector.com"New" billboardLeo Espinosawww.leoespinosa.comBus ad projectsJeff WeinerPatricia BaumbergerStephanie AdamsCHAPTER 4Spengers and Late Afternoon imagesArtist: Bert Monroywww.bertmonroy.comCar compositePhotographer: Ken Milburnwww.kenmilburn.comGuitar and 3D imagesDesigner: Colin Smithwww.photoshopcafe.comGolf ball projects
Design firm: Cyclone Designwww.cyclone-design.comChampion Athletic Apparel posterBilly Hackley,/Kris Hendershott, art directorsBilly Hackley, designer, Hayes Henderson, creative directorLee Reunion, photographerHenderson/BromsteadArtCo.http://hendersonbromsteadart.comTrackstar Motorsports posterAnn Taylor, art director, Tom Kelly creative directorMartin/Williamswww.martinwilliams.comVitra PosterDesigner: Patricio Sarzosawww.psarzosa.comCub Scouts event posterDesign: Hunt Adkinswww.huntadkins.comSteve Madden posterChameleon-USAwww.chameleon-usa.comTurnaround and Cul-De-Sac postersDesign and Illustration: David Plunkert/Spurwww.spurdesign.comProfessional Bull Riders posterCourtesy R + R Partnerswww.rrpartners.comNYC2012 logo and outdoor postersImages courtesy NYC2012www.nyc2012.comCascade Festival of Music Postertbd advertising, Bend, Oregonwww.tbdadvertising.comConcert series projectsHammad IqbalWilbert RedditUlf FinndahlCHAPTER 7Menu Pages identitySlick City Media, Inc.Designer: Thomas McKenna, Flatiron Industrieswww.flatironworks.com
Fat Pipe, Inc.Salt Lake City, Utahwww.fatpipeinc.comFlatiron Industries logosDesigner: Thomas McKennawww.flatironworks.comCadbury Schweppes Americas BeveragesPlano, TXwww.dpsu.comPackiderm logoDesignKitchen, Inc.www.designkitchen.comANGEL LMS logoANGEL Learning, Inc.Indianapolis, INwww.angellearning.comMultiMed SolutionsCourtesy of Yigal RonDesigner: Thomas McKennawww.multimedsolutions.comCareText logoCourtesy of Steven Merahnwww.caretext.comWorldWide Studios logoDesigner: Thomas McKennai-silver logoCourtesy of Nathan Scott ChappellDesigner: Thomas McKennaShawnimals logoShawn Smith, designerwww.shawnimals.comSewing StarsTeresa Levy, designerwww.sewingstars.comBretford furniture logoPlanet Propagandawww.planetpropaganda.comDinny Bin Records logoCourtesy of Eddie ElliottDesigner: Thomas McKennaLogo projectsSean Lynde
Asa IversenJeff Jenkins, www.quirkdesign.comCHAPTER 8The Diamond Trading Company adDesigned by JWT U.S.A, IncOregon Chai adtbd advertising, Bend, Oregonwww.tbdadvertising.comMuseum of Latin American Art and City Place Farmers Market adsDesign by Nostrum, Inc.www.nostruminc.comGot Milk adPhotography by Jack AndersenDesign by Goodby, Silverstein, and Partnerswww.goodbysilverstein.comSteve Madden and Gelati postersChameleon-USAwww.chameleon-usa.comPlayland posterDDB CanadaCreative Director: Chris StaplesCopywriter: Ian Grais, Andy LinardatosArt Director: Ian GraisPhotographer: Hans SipmaPrint Producer: Betty Anne YuillWick Fowlers 2-Alarm Chili poster seriesBrock Davis art director, Tom Kelly creative directorMartin/Williamswww.martinwilliams.comShelti Pool Table adAgency: MOVE advertisingCopywriter: Richard VerneArt Director: Marco MoralesClient: Shelti Inc.www.moveadv.comSyngenta adMartin/Williamswww.martinwilliams.comArt director: Bryan MichurskiCopywriter: Linda BirkenstockPhotographer/illustrator: Chris SheehanPrint Production: Sandra StishSeparator: VertisRetoucher: Chris Sheehan
How to Use This BookSo you want to learn graphic design. Its a natural choice. If you love design, its a great time to bealive. If the 1920s were the Jazz Age, today is the Age of Design. Visual communication has ussurrounded. You cannot walk around New York or L.A., London or Tokyoany urban space,reallywithout encountering a welter of ingenuity and inspiration for your eyeballs. Head out of town,and even in the middle of the prairie, billboards scream for your attention. Figure 0.1. This book was developed by the faculty of Sessions.edu, a New Yorkbased online school of design. Figure 0.2. The appliance of signs. Graphic design is everywhere in the urban environment.
Who creates all this great design work? Thanks to the digital revolution, theres a new breed of artistin town. The advent of the personal computer, the spread of desktop publishing, and the increasingsophistication and relative affordability of design software applications have created a new generationof designers.The graphic designeralso known as the art director, brand manager, graphics coordinator, digitalartist, illustrator, Web designer, multimedia developer, and new media designeris responsible for thebrands you covet, the products you flaunt, the ads you eye, the magazines you devour, the sites youcrawl. Every visual communicationeverything you pay attention towas created by a designer.
How This Book WorksThis book is for designers, students, teachers, and other creative types who have a basic experienceof Photoshop and Illustrator and are looking for a new way to learn graphic design. Each chaptercontains a topic and a project based on an online lesson developed by a faculty member at Sessions,online school of design. Each chapter explores a specific design discipline, ranging from digitalimaging to logo design and packaging design.Figure 0.3. Each chapter in this book is created by a Sessions.edu faculty member. The Sessions.edu faculty is a team of industry-leading artists, designers, and educators.In each chapter, youll learn design principles and techniques, gaining insights into the professionaldesign process. Throughout, the text features artwork generously provided by award-winning artists,designers, publications, and agencies. In fact, some of the best graphic design created in the UnitedStates today is contained in this little book. We hope you like the pieces, because we lovedresearching them. Figure 0.4. Gloves offall projects in this book are hands-on! Digital illustration project by student Greg Hawthorne.
In the last portion of each chapter, youll find a step-by-step design project that challenges you toapply the skills and concepts youve learned. As in a real-world design job, youll be asked to workcreatively within constraints: for creative direction.What you do with that information (as in a real-world design job) will determine whether you too willproduce excellent design work. Working through each project in this book will expose you to a rangeof concepts and challenges that any professional graphic designer should be able to tackle. Take eachproject to its creative limit, and youll have a collection of design work to put in your portfolio andshow potential employers. note Projects in this book mirror the challenges encountered by graphic designers in the professional arena.And heres whats really new and different: Youre not doing this alone. Some how-to books comewith CDs inside; this one comes with instructors. Each project in this book can be posted in an onlinelearning environment for critique. Just complete each project to the best of your ability, and log in toa Sessions discussion forum to post your work for a critique from a Sessions instructor. Figure 0.5. Dont just read this booktry out the projects using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, and then log in to the Sessions.edu Web site to post your work for an instructor critique.
In the online forum, all readers also can post work and comment on each others work, so you canshare feedback and perspectives with other students and readers. This is an important feature of anygraphic arts program: the ability to learn from and discuss how other students approached anassignment youre working on. Constructive criticism is the rule; please show the same respect forother artists work that you would expect them to show yours.
Whats in It for YouYou could just read through this book the way youd consume any coffee-table design book, picking itup from time to time to gaze at the pretty graphics. You could do that, but you would be missing thepoint. To experience the full benefit of the book, we really recommend you set aside a few hours foreach project, do the work, and then get online and post your work for feedback.Here are three good reasons to do this: 1. You learn best by doing. At Sessions (the school that created this book), we believe that design is not learned on the sidelines. Futzing around in Photoshop or Illustrator can teach you important skills. But ultimately, the ability to create design is best acquired on the job: by trying to put together a piece of work that communicates a specific message to a specific audience. note Want to learn whats involved in designing posters, logos, outdoor and magazine ads, magazine layouts, and product packages? Use this book to find out. 2. Every good graphic artist needs feedback. You may think your work is brilliant (and it may well be), but unless youre designing for an audience of one, its important to get feedback from peers and senior designers. Critical feedback helps you assess the strengths and weaknesses of your work and see it as others see itits essential to your development as an artist. tip Having your work critiqued helps you develop a thick skin and prepares you for the experience of working with a clients feedback. 3. Start building your portfolio now. Every designer who wants work needs a portfolio of high- quality pieces to show prospective clients or employers. Many design students wait until theyre about to graduate to start thinking about career preparation. But why wait? Any design project, including school assignments, can be approached with a view of enhancing or expanding your portfolio of work. Pushed to the limit, school projects can be the launching pad for your careerthey show prospective employers or clients what you can do.
noteA portfolio piece looks like a finished, professional design project. If its not donefor an actual client, it should look like it could have been.
How This Book is StructuredEach chapter in this book explores a topic and then leads you through a project that will challengeyour design skills. The design projects are open-ended, so you can take them in many differentcreative directions. Carry them out with extreme flair, and youll have at least nine professional-caliber design pieces to pack in your portfolio.The book has three main sections: Chapter 1 begins with an exploration of the principles and elements of graphic design, and gives you a project that focuses on building your critiquing skills. If youre new to graphic design, this chapter will help you get your footing by providing an introduction to design principles. Chapters 2 and 3 provide a workout in some essential Photoshop and Illustrator techniques that any design student should know. Two practical projects will flex your technical skills. If youre relatively new to Photoshop and Illustrator, these chapters are a must. Chapters 4 through 10 focus on specific kinds of graphic design projects: digital imaging, digital illustration, poster design, logo design, advertising design, magazine design, and packaging design. Each topic and project will introduce you to important design principles for the medium.
How to Post Your WorkTo get feedback on your work, you can post your projects in an online learning environment forcritique. All work posted will receive a brief critique from a Sessions instructor. Readers can postcomments on each others work in this moderated forum too. 1. Create your user account. The first step is to go to www.sessions.edu/nextstep/PBnewuser.asp and create your user account. Only one account can be created per book. You will be asked to enter your first and last name and your email address, and then to create a user name and password. A reminder of your user name and password will be sent to your email address. Once youve created your account, you can log in right away; you can return to www.sessions.edu at any time to log back in. 2. Log in and create your user profile. When youre ready to log in, go to www.sessions.edu and click the Login tab. Once youve logged in, you will arrive at your course home page: Figure 0.6. Your course home page. [View full size image]
In the User Profile, you can upload your photo and enter your biographical data, your learninggoals and inspirations, a personal statement, and a quote. You can also include a link to youronline portfolio site so that other students and readers can view your portfolio and give youinput. Entering your profile information isnt mandatory, but its highly recommended to helpyou get the most out of your learning experience. Figure 0.7. Create an online user profile to interact with other students and readers. [View full size image]
3. Post your work. The online learning environment is very similar to other online forums you may have visited. When you post a project, you will start a new discussion thread, in which other students and instructors will be able to post comments and questions about your work. Check back to the forum to interact with other students and comment on their project threads in each chapter. Figure 0.8. Post your work to the discussion board for instructor feedback. You can view and critique work by other students and readers too. [View full size image]
Sessions faculty members monitor the boards and post feedback to student projects. A mailsystem and a logged chat room lets you communicate with other students and readers enrolledin this course. If you encounter a technical problem related to one of the book projects, you canalso use the mail system to request technical help.
Building a PortfolioOne of the goals of this book is to help you build a portfolio. Its an essential step for a designer, butit can seem a little daunting. Here are some quick tips to help you get started.The goal is of a portfolio is to compile your best work into a presentation that will land you a job orclient. A portfolio must be representative of the type of work youre seekingno sense in compiling anad portfolio if youre looking for visual identity work, for example.Figure 0.9. Approach the projects in this book with the goal of building a portfolio of work.The pieces you select for your portfolio must make an impact and be easily understood with little orno explanation. If presented on the Web (as opposed to in person) its important to accompany thepieces with a brief description of the client, the project goal, and your design approach. Figure 0.10. Many professional designers have an online portfolio too. This site was created by student Sean Lynde.
How do you decide what belongs in a portfolio? For most designers, selecting the right pieces is acontinual process of expansion and contraction. You put up the best pieces you have, and you replacethem with better pieces when they become available.Questions to determine whether a piece is portfolio-ready: Is it representative of specific design skills? (For example, logo design, digital imaging, illustration, or poster design.) Is it the category of work you would hope to get hired for in the future? Will it make a client say "Wow!" and will it stick in his memory? Are you proud to say you did the work and discuss how you created it?The projects throughout this book contain design briefs, art specifications, and step-by-stepdirections that mirror those of real-world design jobs. If you approach them with the sameseriousness you would an actual client project, we think youll be very proud to include some of theseprojects in your portfolio.
About SessionsThis book was created by Sessions, the first online school of design. Every chapter is adapted from acourse lesson and a project that a Sessions faculty member developed. The book features samples ofstudent work too.Sessions was founded in New York City in 1997 by a team of educators and design professionals fromthree continents. The objective was to create a design school that could offer a flexible, student-focused, and (above all) high-quality online education to students from all over the world.Like many dot-coms, Sessions was launched out of a small New York City apartment. Over the nextsix years the school grew and grew, attracting a distinguished faculty of experts and thought leadersfrom the design industry to develop courses and teach. The goal was to create a network of designprofessionals that could rival any serious art schoolteachers who were immersed in current methodsand techniques, pros who could give students critiques based on real-world experience. Figure 0.11. The virtual campus of the Sessions.edu online school of design. [View full size image]The Sessions educational model blends Internet technology with the signature attributes of atraditional art school education. All courses are asynchronous, project-based, and instructor-led: Students can log in at any time to study, complete exercises, and interact with an online community of design students and instructors. Projects simulate the challenge of a professional project, giving students the opportunity to learn and apply software and design skills on the job. A faculty of industry-leading designers and educators offer critique and feedback in an online
learning environment.Sessions went live in 1998 with just three courses. Today Sessions offers more than 60 courses andprograms in graphic design, Web design, multimedia, digitals arts, and business marketing design. Ithas delivered 25,000 courses to students from 90-plus countries. In 2001, Sessions was nationallyaccredited by the DETC (Distance Education and Training Council) and licensed by the New YorkState Education Department, the first online school in its category.
About the FacultyEach chapter in this book is adapted from a lesson developed by a Sessions faculty member. TheSessions faculty is a team of industry-leading artists, educators, and designers who combine anexpertise in design with a passion for teaching. COURSE DEVELOPER: GORDON DRUMMOND Gordon Drummond is the chief learning officer at Sessions.edu. Gordon is an editor and instructional designer with more than 15 years of experience in developing print and online courses. Prior to joining Sessions.edu, Gordon served as a curriculum director at Kaplan, designing courses for K12, precollege, and graduate students, and coauthoring two test preparation books. As knowledge architect at Boston-based learningbrands.com, he created interactive, adaptive Web-based courses for corporate clients. COURSE DEVELOPER: DONALD GAMBINO Donald Gambino is a computer artist, consultant, educator, and trainer who has taught students of all levels and abilities since 1983. Donald was the chairman of the computer art department at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where he taught innovative computer art courses for more than 12 years and created
the BFA Computer Art program. Since then, Donald has trained thousands ofstudents in the corporate, design, educational, and private sectors. An aviddigital photographer, he has presented seminars on creativity, productivity, andthe computer as an artistic tool.COURSE DEVELOPER: MICHAEL HAMMMichael Hamm is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator with more than nineyears of experience. He is a member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts(AIGA), and his work has been featured in various magazines and booksincluding The Adobe Illustrator CS2 WOW! Book. Michael is an Adobe CertifiedInstructor in Adobe Illustrator. He is founder of PointsandPaths.com, a Web sitethat grew from his passion for the illustration software and all things vector. Hehas served as technical editor on two books published by Friends of Ed(Illustrator CS Most Wanted Effects and Extreme Photoshop CS) and recentlywrote Web Design Using Macromedia Dreamweaver for Glencoe/McGraw-Hill.COURSE DEVELOPER: MATT KLOSKOWSKIMatt Kloskowski is an education and curriculum developer for the NationalAssociation of Photoshop Professionals (www.photoshopuser.com). He has authoredand coauthored several books on Photoshop and Illustrator. Matt is an instructorat the Photoshop World and Mac Design conferences and is featured on variousDVDs from www.photoshopvideos.com. Matt also writes regular columns formagazines such as Photoshop User, Layers Magazine, and Create Magazine, and for thePhotoshop Elements Techniques newsletter.
COURSE DEVELOPER: YOUNG MO YOONYoung Mo Yoon is a digital illustrator who hails from San Francisco and lives inNew York and South Korea. Young has worked on all kinds of design projectsfrom illustration to new media for clients such as JP Morgan, BowmanInternational, and Samsung Electronics. He has received an award from theSociety of Illustrators in L.A. and plans on producing animations in the future.Young holds a BFA in illustration from California College of the Arts and an MFAfrom School of Visual Arts.COURSE DEVELOPER: PIPER NILSSONPiper Nilsson is a graphic designer and information architect. In her four-yearcareer for a leading Web design agency, she blueprinted sites for such globalclients as MetLife, Pepsi, ETS, and Citibank. Her current projects include buildingan e-learning prototype for children with learning disabilities and teachingtechnology in New York City public schools. She received her degree in graphicdesign from Pratt Institute in New York.COURSE DEVELOPER: THOMAS MCKENNA
Thomas McKenna is the owner and senior creative director of Flatiron IndustriesLLC, a graphics and multimedia design firm based in New York City. Thomas hasmore than 15 years of experience in the graphic design industry, includingmultimedia and broadcast work within the advertising, design, and publishingworlds. His clients include American Express, AIG, Berlitz International, CCHIncorporated, JP Morgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, National City,Sports Illustrated, Thomson Financial, Thomson Publishing, Tower Air,TowerData, and the United Nations. As art director of Emerging Markets, amagazine covering the major IMF/World Bank and Regional Bank meetings,Thomas published editions on-site in 16 countries.COURSE DEVELOPER: CAROLINE ZARLENGO SPOSTOCaroline Zarlengo Sposto founded Sposto Interactive, LLC, with her husbandJames Sposto in 1996. Though it began as a cottage industry, Sposto Interactive(www.sposto.com) has become an award-winning interactive development studioemploying an outstanding team of media professionals. The firm providesstrategic interactive communications solutions to a wide spectrum of nationallyand internationally known businesses. Caroline holds an M.S. in Electronic Media.COURSE DEVELOPER: TARA MACKAY
Tara MacKay is the director of curriculum at Sessions, responsible for coursedevelopment and production. Prior to Sessions, Tara was a Web and multimediadesigner who has designed award-winning exhibit sites for the AmericanMuseum of Natural History and the Rose Center for Earth and Space. She hasworked with design teams at AOL, Yahoo, and other major online companies onproduct integrations with Sage Online and iClips.com, as well as building severalpopular e-commerce sites.COURSE DEVELOPER: LAURA SCHWAMBLaura Schwamb is the cofounder of the Steam Design Group (www.steam-design.com) and founder of Sign Off, a press-check quality control company.Before starting STEAM, she worked as senior art director for LOreals Europeandesigner fragrance division, running brands such as Giorgio Armani, Guy Laroche,and Lanvin. Laura has been responsible for the creative direction of severalfragrance launches, including all related packaging, print, point-of-purchase,promotions, parties, and events. With Steam she launched the Surface line ofmens skin care by Aramis for Estée Lauder and Maxwells Apothecary line ofmens skin care. Since 2000, when STEAM began, her client list has continued togrow and includes work for new clients such as Carolina Herrera, Davidoff,Georgette Klinger, Kenneth Cole, La Mer, Jennifer Lopez, Ralph Lauren andShania Twain.
Chapter 1. Intro to Graphic DesignIt was in 1922 that book designer William A. Dwiggins first used the words graphic design to describethe emerging field of visual communication. Students at the Bauhaus art school in Germany werecreating daring poster designs through the collage of photographic images and typography.Fast-forward to today, and graphic design is over 80 years old but still lookin good. Always a field influx, graphic design has undergone a revolution in the last 20 years as production methods havemoved from the pasteboard to the PC.Has design itself changed? Yes and no. New media have emerged, but the basic principles of art anddesign are still required to create good work. In this first chapter, we will explore what graphic designis and discuss the important roles of imagery, color, typography, and composition. COURSE DEVELOPER: GORDON DRUMMOND Gordon Drummond is the Chief Learning Officer at Sessions. Gordon is an editor and educator with more than 15 years of experience in developing print and online curriculum. Figure 1.1. Detail from a creative ad campaign by Viva Dolan Communications.
In this chapter you will: Learn some of the defining characteristics of graphic design. Get an overview of the professional graphic design process. Learn how design conveys a visual message. Explore how design can support a company brand. Learn how design communicates to an audience. Investigate the roles of imagery, color, typography, and composition in design. Critique two outstanding examples of visual design.
What Is Graphic Design?Graphic design is often associated with images. Billboards and magazine ads show us that designerscan speak volumes without using the written word. And yet, graphic design is not just about creatingpowerful picturesthats what artists, photographers, and illustrators do. Its about communication. Infact, "visual communication" is the most accurate way to describe the purpose of graphic design.Clients and employers approach the designer with some information that must be communicated to awide audience. The designers mission (should he or she choose to accept it) is to bring order andclarity to this information so that others may understand it. You might think of a designer as a specialkind of translator who turns dreary old words into an inviting, accessible visual message.In todays vast information jungle, this is no small challenge. Amid the neon blaze of Times Square ordowntown Tokyo, or in the luxurious, glossy expanse of a fashion magazine, simply organizinginformation is no longer enough. Designers must discover clever metaphors and creative solutions tomake their work stand out and grab the attention they are asked to grab. Figure 1.2. New Yorks Times Square. In a world saturated with visual messages, designers must create messages that stand out and are memorable.
As you begin to study graphic design, you will find that inventive ideas are as important as artisticskill. Award-winning designs are never merely decorative. The best work commands your attentionthrough the clever, artful visual communication of a concept. Visual design is just part of theequation; creative strategy and copywriting must work in concert with a mastery of graphic elementsto carry the message.
Defining Graphic DesignWhat are some of the defining characteristics of graphic design? Theres a lot more to design than thecreative process. Lets begin by exploring its role in the world of business.The Design ProcessMessage to all art school types: Graphic design is rarely created in a vacuum or through bursts ofrandom creativity. Most graphic design jobs begin with a commercial objective established through atime-tested process.A design firm or agency is typically hired by a client to create something: a logo, for example, or aCD cover, a magazine layout, or a Web site. Designers and project managers meet with the clientand work collaboratively to define the purpose of the project: What is its message? Who is its targetaudience? The initial meeting generates a document that provides the client and design team with awritten statement of the projects goals, often called a project brief or design brief. Figure 1.3. Visual identity developed for Bond Bath and Home Gallery, a Soho-based home furniture and accessory emporium. Designer Patricio Sarzosa was asked to create a visual identity that conveyed a luxury retail brand that was friendly and accessible.The project brief may contain abstract goals or statements that may not even be remotely visual. Ifyoure hired to redesign the Coke can, for example, your objectives may include increasing aperception of quality, making the product seem to taste better, or attracting a specific group ofconsumers. The brief will also include all-important information on the projects budget, deadlines,and production requirements. note The project brief is a formal document that is used as a benchmarking tool and often updated as a project unfolds.
The design team uses the project brief as a guide through the creative phase. Depending on the sizeand requirements of the project, a team of creativesdesigners, illustrators, photographers,copywritersmay be assembled to brainstorm ideas and develop a range of solutions for presentationto the client. In smaller agencies, a single designer may be asked to handle multiple facets of thecreative task.As a project evolves over weeks and months, critique of the work within the design agency andmultiple rounds of feedback from the client will refine and polish the message. No designer ever getsit right the first time. Client meetings help make sure that the client (the design customer) is satisfiedwith the art direction and that the work is addressing his or her business needs.Figure 1.4. Logo, colors, and icons were applied consistently to business collateral and the store frontage.
Once every detail in the project is finalizeda decision that rests with the clientthe design team isgenerally responsible for managing the printing and production of the work. This may involve workingwith the printer to finalize all specifications of the job, preparing digital files for printing, andmonitoring print quality. A working knowledge of production techniques and a good relationship witha printer is important to getting the best results.The Visual MessageHang around designers long enough, and youll get to hear the phrase "less is more," oftenaccompanied by sage nodding of heads. That is because economy of expression is an essentialcharacteristic of graphic design. Design must convey a visual message with minimum fuss andmaximum clarity.Consider the job of the outdoor ad designer. Her work must attract attention, be understoodquicklyoften literally at a glanceand communicate without any risk of ambiguity. This can be achievedonly if every element of the design is harnessed to support the message, and all unnecessary,potentially distracting elements are removed. Figure 1.5. This anti-war poster created by master designer Marty Neumeier conveys a complex idea through a deceptively simple visual message. Pure graphic design!Nothing in a design is arbitrary nor should it be. From image treatment to color swatches to papertexture, every element in a well-executed design has a motive. A shrewd designer is continuallyasking himself how the various elements and techniques at his disposal, such as color, cropping,contrastin fact, anythingcan be better used in service of the message.
Designers spend an inordinate amount of time stripping out extraneous details and simplifying adesign. Why does nearly every product photo in advertising have a white background? Its becauseany background detail would distract attention from the product, where the attention belongs. Whydo designers mutter the words "busy layout" or "text heavy" with such disdain? Because theyunderstand that removing clutter adds clarity. note "Less is more" is a principle that all graphic designers learn to embrace, sooner or later. Simplicity and clarity are essential in any visual communication.A great design looks effortless, like it was just meant to be that way. But as with many things in life,achieving simplicity in your graphic design work is harder than it looks, and sometimes requires yearsof experience. Almost any piece of content can be too much informationthe amount of text, thenumber of colors, the freckles on the models nose. If it doesnt contribute to your message, considerediting it out.Supporting the BrandHeres a reality check: Even if youre a freelance designer, youre rarely working for yourself. Letshope not, anyway. The vast majority of design jobs are commercial in nature; a designer is hired bya company or organization to produce items that will enhance its marketing, advertising, publishing,or promotional efforts. To put it another way, one major function of design is to support a brand.When you work with clients as a designer, you are not working with a blank slate. Quite the opposite:The more important the job, the more likely youll need to work creatively within constraints. Youmay be hired for your unmistakable artistic style, but ultimately youre working for the client, andyour design work needs to support his brand, not yours. Figure 1.6. Most design projects begin with a specific audience in mind. Magazine designers, for example, cater to the interests of well- established groups of readers.
Every large company has a visual identity system: a set of standards that dictate exactly how itslogo, colors, and typography will appear in all its communications to customers. To build a brand,consistency in these elements is vital. Repeated exposure to a consistent message makes customersmore and more familiar with a brand, because a brand that is easy to recognize is easy to remember.For companies that also deliver excellent products and services, repetition of a message leads to thatmagic phenomenon called brand recognition. tip Repetition doesnt always mean boredom for designers: Consistency in design is essential to creating product lines and establishing brand recognition.That brings us to the dilemma every designer faces: Be a genius, but do it in our house style.Packaging designers grapple with this constantly. Imagine you are hired to design a brand extensionfor a shampoo line. You may need to use that companys logo, signature colors, and cartondimensions to create a design that dovetails nicely with other company product packages on thestore shelf. At the same time, however, youll need to create some original, distinctive graphicfeature that attracts shoppers attention and says "This is new". Figure 1.7. A range of product packages developed for MaxwellsApothecary. Consistency in typography and graphic elements makes each package part of the product line.
Thats branding, and designers play a huge role in making it happen. Brands are always evolving, ascompanies perpetually redefine their values, refresh tired products, and reach out to new audiences.If you want to connect to the next generation, youve got to have designers on board.Communicating to an AudienceAre you talking to me? Youd better be if youre a designer; its your job to communicate. A skilleddesigner knows how to create messages that are understood by everyone but also appeal verydirectly to a specific target audience.The concept of designing for a target audience is a product of scientific marketing methods thatemerged in the 1960s. Recognizing that they could profit by marketing directly to specific segmentsof the populationas opposed to the mass marketcompanies began to classify customers into groupsbased on geographic location, gender, age, income, and so on, and advertise accordingly.Figure 1.8. The Wicks Fowler Chili ad series packs a punchand speaks to a very specific audience.
Today, a design firm hired for a project is often supplied with a marketing brief on the companystarget customers. Good designers zero in on this information and do their own research to getfamiliar with the customers tastes: What brands do they buy? What fashions do they wear? What aretheir lifestyles? Understanding the customers helps you find a visual language to reach them.Of course, many companies want their message to reach everyone, not just the nice folks who arecurrently their customers. And so designers also look for ways to make a niche messageunderstandable to the general public. A designer must be a scholar of how people read, how theyconsume images, and what they respond to. tip Create a mood board for every design project. Do some research and gather some design pieces that will give you a sense of how to address the unique tastes of your target audience.One key consideration is the context in which the message will appear. Where will people see it?What will they be doing at the time? What other messages will appear alongside yours? A magazinecover needs to pop out on a crowded newsstand. An ad inside it needs to catch the attention of areader casually flipping through. A billboard for the magazine may be viewed at a distance ofhundreds of yards, by drivers idling at an intersection or flying past in a hurry.
Elements of DesignEvery design weve looked at so far exhibits a skill in handling four elements: imagery, color,typography, and composition. Now well explore some basic principles for each area.The Role of ImageryThe use of imageryphotographic images or illustrationsis the most direct way to communicate to awide audience. Theres a scientific reason for this: Our mind processes any kind of picturea shape, arepresentation, even an outline of a figuremuch more quickly than it does a word or sentence.Theres a commercial reason, too. Design must speak to a wide audience and speak quickly. This ispartly because we are inundated with visual messageswe see graphic design everywhere. How muchtime do you devote to scanning a magazine ad, evaluating cereal boxes, or checking out someonescool new sneakers? Not a lot. A design often has a fraction of a second to command attention andcommunicate. If the message is not compelling or clear, the opportunity is lost. Figure 1.9. In this promotional leaflet design, Canadian designer Janine Vangool uses a visual analogy to communicate what typography is all about. [View full size image]
Read these words, then try to visualize them: Bowler hat. SUV. Convenient online services. Imageryis important in design because a picture (a cliché, but true) often conveys far more than mere wordscan. Almost any concept that you can imagine: a car, a refreshing taste, trust, fresh produce,retirementis more quickly (and better) expressed through an image than the written word. tip If a professional photographer is not available (or affordable) designers often use stock photography for high profile jobs. The quality of the source image is a paramount consideration.Simply showing a picture is not enough, however. Whether its a photograph or an illustration,imagery must be expertly handledcropped, edited, or simplified to bring out the essence of themessage. The more economical the message, the better it communicates. A simple approach withoutdistracting or irrelevant detail will determine whether the viewer grasps the concept or jumps to thewrong conclusion.At a psychological level, the imagery in an ad or layout does much more than simply conveying aconcept. It also communicates a general feeling, emotion, or mood that a viewer will associate withthe product or publication. Tapping this intangible quality of imagery is essential to brand marketing.It is why designers, some of them, get paid the big bucks.Photographic Images
To excel at design, it helps to immerse yourself in photography. The best designers understand thepowerful qualities in the photographic image. A photograph catches the eye because it is understoodby the viewer as capturing reality. The eye is immediately drawn to it, prompting questions of who,what, where, and why. It begs for interpretation.Show me a photo of a person, and I will try to identify who it is. (Two people? I will try to figure outtheir relationship.) A photo of a product? I will wonder what it does or who made it. If I see a photoof a place: I will want to know where it is or what type of place it is. Or if its a photo of an action orevent, I will ask why it is happening. Figure 1.10. Fashion ad, right? Wrongcloser inspection reveals that Viva Dolan Communications created this ad to showcase ArjoWiggins paper. The model is wearing clothing fabricated from high-end paper stock marketed to the fashion industry.What makes a photographic image successful in a design context? The subject of each photograph isimmediately clear and quite simple, and yet the image is rich in color or detail. The image is powerfulenough that it attracts the eye and explains itself almost without the need for accompanying text.The designer has integrated the image with the other elements into a pleasing composition.The designer has made sure the emotive qualities of the image that are most important to themessage stand out: a smile, the eyes, the reflective surface of the car, the play of light on adiamond. The scaling and cropping of the image and its treatment (color, black and white, orduotone), together with its framing, help direct the viewer to the salient parts.Of course, another compelling aspect of photographic imagery is that it can be altered, doctored,enhanced, or (to put it another way) Photoshopped. The digital image is so wonderfully malleable.Today, 90 percent of the photographic images we see in the media have been retouched: digitallyaltered, corrected for color, or otherwise made more appealing. This may include removingextraneous details, replacing backgrounds, and even creating whole new scenes with multipleimages.
Figure 1.11. This background image for the Sessions.edu Web site wascomposited from a series of New York City photos. The result is a larger- than-life background that evokes the excitement of the big city. [View full size image]
And boy, do we love it. Such digital imagery is superbly evocative precisely because we interpret it asrealistic, even when we realize that an image has been digitally altered. Many eye-catching adsintroduce subtle, unnatural elements to an image, playing on the tension between artifice and reality.And were fascinated. Our attention is drawn because we realize that something is not real and wewant to figure out what it is.IllustrationWhat role does the traditional art of illustration play today? One might think that as more peopledesign on computers, drawing itself would begin to die out.Not so. Digital photography is so prevalent now that anything drawn or otherwise crafted, sculpted,stitched, or fashioned by hand has a higher value. Line art and drawings suggest individuality, style,humanity, and a point of view. Illustrations are often used in fashion and publishing to create anostalgic association with the past, when everything was made by hand.Furthermore, you can draw on the computer. Digital illustrationscreated in vector art programs suchas Illustratorevoke many of the same feelings traditional illustrations do. They look hand-drawn, butthey fit neatly into any design context because they can be edited, replicated, and mass-produced atwill. Figure 1.12. Illustration is inherently creative, and so this wonderfully free Felix Sockwell illustration is a great choice for the Ford Detroit Inter-national Jazz Festival poster.
Digital illustrations have an inherent association with creativity. Illustrations are used when adesigner must communicate artistic, editorial, or business flair. The creative spark of the illustrator,his or her skill in handling the art of representation, can be associated in the viewers mind with thecompany or organization that is delivering the message.Digital illustration also is a crucial component of visual identity design. Since the first companiesbegan, illustrators have created symbols or marks that worked along with typography to convey theidentity of a company or organization. And further back in time, artists created flags and crests forkings and nobles. Unlike photographswhich we interpret as slices of realityan illustrators drawingsare understood as symbolic representations of a person, company, or concept. Figure 1.13. Logo design is a natural application for illustration. This playful Ecuadorean car wash logo was designed for a woman-owned business.Zoinks! Lets not forget that illustration can impart a tone that is playful, imaginative, or downright
fun. Illustrations and sketches resonate with the universal experience of our childhood attempts torepresent the world through pictures. They remind us of newspaper cartoon strips and animatedmovies. They are often associated with products or messages that evoke a playful experience orprovide a relief from the ennui of adult life.Figure 1.14. Designer Marcos Chins marvelous ads for online dating site Lava Life create an appealing image that refreshes the sometimes uncertain realm of dating. Stylish young singles are depicted in the process of becoming attracted to each other.As you can see, the choice of imageryphoto or illustrationis important for a designer. Who would wanta photo of a scaly fish on their can of tuna? Conversely, who would want to see a fun illustration usedin a serious context like an insurance ad? Its a choice between realism and representation. Onecompromise is to use photos and illustrations together in a project; one is usually the focus while theothers play a supporting role.ColorColor is the graphic designers best friend and most powerful weapon. In the digital era, color ischosen and deployed with a few clicks or keystrokes. The use of color can bring an immediate,emotive quality to visual communication. Color can help establish the overall genre and mood of apiece as well as the relative importance of the different elements within it.Good designers understand how to tap our universal associations with color. When we see green, wethink "healthy" or "natural"; when we see red, we think "dangerous" or "important." Blue is often
used to evoke calm, purple to convey luxury. While these underlying qualities of color vary fromcountry to country, they are surprisingly consistent in the West.Figure 1.15. Color is particularly important in food packaging. This GreenTea package design uses colors that are very appropriate for a Japanese audience.In addition to inspiring moods, colors are associated with brand identitiespolitical parties,nationalities, sports teams, and companies, to name just a few. Subtle variations of red could bringto mind associations as diverse as the Republican party, the country of China, the San Francisco49ers, or Coca-Cola. Being aware of existing color associations will help you avoid sending the wrongmessage.Based on how they reach the eye, colors, also known as hues, can be perceived as warm or cool,light or dark, active or calm. Some colors pop out, others recede. Designers can adjust the tone andintensity of a color (its brightness and saturation) to tailor how it is perceived.
Figure 1.16. Notice the use of color to both excite the eye and reinforce a brand in these billboard ads for fashionable retailer Target. The companys visual identity is both vivid and unmistakable.Complicating the issue further is the fact that color is relative. The perception of any color variesdepending on what other colors it is combined with. Designers must use great care to select colorschemes, or sets of colors, that are appropriate for a project and convey the right message. A toolcalled a color wheel is used to select harmonious color schemes. Designers must also consider thelighting and environment in which the piece will be displayed.Every designer should take some time to learn color theory: the principles that explain how and whycolor interactions produce pleasing effects and desired emotions. Deploying color appropriatelyoftenby using it sparinglyis key to the success of visual communication. tip Colors in design are never purely decorative; they are chosen for a reason. Its good practice for a designer to explain his or her color choices to clients.Typography
Typographybroadly defined as the art of type design and text layoutis essential to graphic design.Text and image must work together to create a message. Most design projects actually begin withsome poor, bare information that needs a designers touch. And without text, if you think about it, adesign project would simply be art, photography, or illustration.Like every other element in a design project, the written component, often called the copy, must behoned to capture the viewers attention. No use in creating a razor-sharp image to accompany someflabby prose! The field of advertising illustrates just how intelligently and creatively text and imagecan be combined. In ad agencies, copywriters work with visual designers to make sure that bothvisuals and copy work in perfect sync. Figure 1.17. Beautiful design concepts can emerge from the imaginative use of typography, as witnessed in this packaging design for a lens cleaner.To tap the power of type, a designer must understand how letterforms and typefaces areconstructed. The fonts that we so casually access from our drop-down menus are the product ofcenturies of evolution in printing, having been originally hammered out in hot metal (and before that,chiseled into stone). A typeface is still defined by certain distinct visual components.
One fundamental is the vertical proportion of the typeface: the distance between the baseline, uponwhich a row of letters sits, and the x-height, ascender line, and descender line. These points ofreferencethe height of lowercase letters, and the length of their upstrokes and downstrokesaregenerally consistent within a typeface. Figure 1.18. The heights and proportions of x-heights, ascenders, and descenders are among the major features that distinguish typefaces.Why should a designer care about such minutiae? The more you get to know typography, the moreyou realize that a typeface is just like a colorit has a very specific language and the ability to conveyspecific emotions or moods. In high-level design projects, typography is handled with as much careas imagery or color.Any graphic design begins with the important choice of typeface or font. Unless the typeface isalready dictated by the client or publisher, a designer must choose between serif and sans-serif fonts(with and without ledges on the ends of letters, respectively) and drill deeper into finer distinctionsbetween type families: Times, Palatino, Garamond, or Bodoni? Or perhaps a custom, avant-gardesolution from a type foundrya type design firmwill provide the required edge?Equally important to the layout of type are decisions about the hierarchy of information. The size,weight, proportions, and placement of text on the page are critical to helping the readers eyenavigate through the layout and intuit the importance and purpose of each piece of content. Figure 1.19. The choice of typefacetraditional, austere, or playfulis an important design decision.
Prominent text (titles, headlines, and company logos) may need fine-tuning for coherence andimpact, in which case the designer will adjust the kerning or spacing between pairs of letters. Inblocks of text (body copy), margins and justification (line length and left/right alignment) andtracking and line spacing (spaces between letters and lines) may all be tweaked to promotereadability and enhance the overall composition. note Any prominent text such as headlines and logos will need careful adjustments to letter spacing for maximum impact.Studying typography can yield enormous dividends. The more you immerse yourself, the more youwill discover that type itself is a graphic element. The shapes of letterformstheir distinctive contoursand the negative spaces they createare powerful tools in your work. A mastery of typography is themark of a designer. Figure 1.20. Expressive use of type is the hallmark of a designer, shown here in Gabriela Monroys work.
CompositionNow that weve explored how imagery, color, and typography each play a role in a design, lets lookat the big picture: composition. Composition is the art of layout or placement of all those elements ona page. Its the heart of graphic design, and yet when done well, it is invisiblethe feature a viewer willbe least conscious of.Most design projects begin with the arrangement of elements on a page: a two-dimensional surfaceor screen with defined boundaries. The page is a blank slate. You can place elements anywhere on it,and divide the space any way you like. Careful, thoughproportion and balance will play an enormousrole in the psychological impact of your message.Emphasis is a critical element in composition. Its particularly important in editorial design, in whichthe size, color, and grouping of elements are used to establish a visual hierarchy. In a magazinearticle, for example, the relative importance of different blocks of text or images helps the readerquickly scan and grasp the purpose of each item: headline, byline, body text, pull quote, and so on.Figure 1.21. This two-page spread for architecture magazine Azure does a wonderful job of creatively interpreting the article title to pull the reader into the story.
Depending on how you place objects on the page, you can attract the eye to a place of rest or lead itin a merry dance by suggesting movement. A single, centered object or set of objects will evokecalm, stillness, and equilibrium. Objects sitting to the left or right may connote movement or drawattention in that direction. Objects positioned toward the top or bottom of the page will pull the eyeup or down.When you place any object in a two-dimensional space, part of your image will be interpreted aspositive space (the subject of the piece) while other parts will be seen as negative space (thebackground). Using contrast will give due emphasis to the subject of the piece. But this doesnt meanto ignore the background. The form of the background plays a strong role in the viewers perceptionof the overall composition. Smart designers are often able to exploit the shape of negative space andthe ambiguity between what is foreground and what is background to add intrigue and impact to apiece. Figure 1.22. A half-munched apple or a marketing company that understands its customers? This identity developed by 98pt6 plays a clever game with negative space.The balance of your composition must complement the message too. Designs with elementsproportioned equally on a central axis (visible or implicit) are said to be symmetrical. Symmetricalcompositions suggest calm, order, and rationality. Everything has been neatly arranged for you.Compositions that distribute elements unevenly, by weighting the page mostly to the left or right, aresaid to be asymmetrical. These can feel unbalanced, energetic, and edgywhich could be the rightdirection for a certain kind of project.
Critique the DesignIn this project, youll develop your critiquing skills by comparing and contrasting two excellentprofessional designs. Learning to evaluate how and why a design works (or doesnt work) is a criticalstep in any designers development.This chapter has given you a foundation in essential aspects of graphic design work and the roles ofimagery, color, typography, and composition. This written assignment will challenge you to assesshow these elements are handled by the pros.Project Brief: The Big CritA major design and advertising magazine is preparing for its annual award ceremony. You are a luckydesign journalist employed to help the magazine critique hundreds of cutting-edge designs to identifythis years winners.To help the panel, you need to put together an intelligent critique that addresses not just the detailsof the visual design but also how creatively the designers addressed the clients overall businesschallenge. Critical questions are provided to guide your thinking (Figures 1.23 and 1.24). Figure 1.23. This ad for a new product line of Champion Athletic apparel exhibits masterful composition and use of negative space. Strong lines pull the eye to the top of the page, reinforcing a sense of the athletes poise and well-being.
Figure 1.24. "A Delicate Balance," a poster developed for Seattle Repertory Theater by Cyclone Design.Figure 1.25. Poster for the Cascade Festival of Music in Bend, Oregon, developed by TBD Advertising.
Project Summary Write down your initial emotional (noncritical) reaction to each piece. Try to see the designs through the eyes of an average person, not a designer. STUDIO SESSIONS www.studiosessions.net/portfolio Post this chapters project online for feedback from professional designers. access code: STUDIOp Critique each piece in terms of imagery, color, typography, and composition. Think about the project brief for each work, and critique how each piece addressed the companys business challenge. Post your critique in the online class area, and compare your thoughts with those of other students.
Extra credit: Find two comparable designs in another medium, and repeat the process!Project Steps1. First ImpressionsPut aside everything you know about design, and write down your raw first impressions: 1. What is the first visual element that you noticed in each piece? 2. What was your initial emotional response? Write down the first ten words (adjectives, nouns, or verbs) that popped into your head. 3. Look at each piece out of the corner of your eye, with other pieces, and from a distance. How eye-catching is it? 4. How easy is it to figure out the message of the each piece? Is the point immediately apparent, or does it take a few moments to click? Why?2. Design CritiqueNow put on your designer hat and think about how each element in the design contributes to theoverall message: 1. Summarize what you think the purpose or message of the piece is. 2. Comment on the designers choice of imagery. Why do you think the designer chose a photograph as opposed to an illustration, or vice versa? 3. PhotographsDid the designer do anything with the scaling, cropping, framing, or treatment of the photograph to bring out its emotional message? 4. IllustrationsDid the use of illustration contribute to a sense of creativity, a symbolic message, or a sense of play? 5. ColorDid the choice of colors evoke any strong emotional associations? How would you describe the mood evoked? 6. TypographyWhat emotions are evoked by the typefaces used? Did the designer do anything unusual with the text layout? What is the information hierarchyin what order is the text intended be read? 7. CompositionHow does the placement of lines, points, or objects guide your eyes through the page? Which elements are the subject (positive space) and which are background (negative 8.
7. space)? Does the composition feel balanced or unbalanced? 8. Does the design (your answers to questions 28) support the apparent purpose of the piece (your answer to question 1)?THE BIG PICTURENow try to think about the designers project brief. Considering the projects likely goals, think abouthow well each piece meets these business objectives: 1. Does the design communicate a specific message quickly and memorably? How? 2. Does the design support the brand of the company or organization? How? 3. Does the design try to connect to a target audience? Can you guess what the target audience is, and will the piece also be understandable by the general public? Why or why not?
Chapter 2. Photoshop EssentialsAdobe Photoshop, the professional painting and photo-retouching tool, is fast becoming a culturalicon. The product is now a household word and even a verb: "Let me Photoshop it to fix the color" or"Why did you Photoshop Donald Trumps head on Grandmas body?"The secret to Photoshops success is simply its ability to manipulate the photographic image:perfecting, enhancing, or reinventing bitmap-based (raster) files for maximum effect. Its by far theindustry-standard bitmap image manipulation tool, and a must-know for every graphic designer.In this chapter, well explore the fundamentals of Photoshopconcepts like layers, selections, masks,and using typeto build a foundation in techniques for editing photographic images. At the end of thechapter, youll tackle a fun and challenging photo compositing project. COURSE DEVELOPER: DONALD GAMBINO This chapter is based on a lesson developed by Donald Gambino, an educator and computer artist with 20 years of experience and former chairperson of the computer art department at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Figure 2.1. With Photoshop, you can turn a digital image into a tasty treat.
In this chapter you will: Learn about the role of Photoshop in design projects. Learn how bitmap images are edited. Learn to use layers to manage complex artwork in Photoshop. Learn to select areas of an image using basic selection tools. Learn to perform basic modifications on selected areas of an image. Learn to select complex areas using Quick Mask mode. Learn to input and format text using the Type tool, the Character palette, and the Paragraph palette. Learn to adjust lighting in a photo using an adjustment layer. Create a composite from a variety of images.
Photoshop and Graphic DesignAdobe Photoshop is all about image manipulationstarting with raw photographic material (or evenfrom scratch) and creating something unique. Artists often use Photoshop as a sort of digital brushthat can be used for photo-realistic imagesimages that look real but arentor fantastic, surreal digitaleffects.For graphic and Web designers, it is even more indispensable. The odd thing is that when Photoshopis handled by a professional, its use goes mostly undetected. Think about every photographic imageyou encounter in your busy day: in catalogs and glossy magazine ads, on Web sites and book covers.If those images grabbed your attention and enhanced the message, they most likely had work doneon them in Photoshop.Figure 2.2. High-impact graphic concepts are the hallmark of Photoshop, as shown on the cover of Photoshop User magazine.How does Photoshop fit into the graphic design process? In a design agency, conceptual developmentcomes first, digital imaging second. On an ad campaign, a creative director will meet with designersand copywriters and brainstorm a strong visual idea. If a photographic image is required, the
designer may obtain images from a stock photography company, hire a photographer, or evenconduct the shoot herself. Only afterward will the image be imported into Photoshop for editing. Figure 2.3. Photoshop projects start with a conceptwhat if your instructor were an appetizer?And then what? Well, the skys the limit. Sheer flexibility as a photo-retouching tool is what gavePhotoshop its name. You can change the lighting in an image, adjust its sharpness, modify colors,change backgrounds, and even compile multiple photos into a single, seamless image via a processcalled compositing. Then, embellish to your hearts content, using a variety of painting and drawingtools, effects, and filters.One caution: Just because you can doesnt mean that you should. Its important for design studentsto realize that endless tweaking in Photoshop does not equal good design. In fact, Photoshop is usedmostly to eliminate distracting detailto produce a simpler, clearer, more powerful, or moreappropriate visual. Less is more, remember?Figure 2.4. Less is more. Most projects are about clarifying a message by bringing out essentials and removing unnecessary detail.
Proficiency in Photoshop should be an essential goal for any design student. So many computer usersare familiar with Photoshop to some degree that graphic designers must attain a high level ofexpertise to stand out professionally. A fluent designer can recognize the graphic potential in anybitmap image (or part of an image), manipulate it at will, and take care of the details so that theviewer is convinced or even fooled.
Editing and Organizing ImagesIn this section, well work on the essentials of Photoshopthe ability to organize artwork into layers, toselect parts of an image for editing, to use silhouettes and masks, and to add and format text. Thiswill build a foundation for later work. Basic ads and posters (good ones, too) can be created usingjust these tools.About Bitmap ArtTo understand how Photoshop works, its helpful to know how bitmap art is put together. When animage is referred to as a bitmap (or "raster"), it simply means that its made up of lots of tinysquares of color called pixels. Pixels are generally so small that they are not individually visible in afinal, published image. Combinations of pixels are perceived as a continuous tone rather than a gridof squares.With a painting application such as Photoshop, you can create brushstrokes on any bitmap image justas you would on a traditional canvas, by changing the color information in a group of pixels. To thenaked eye, these brushstrokes will look smooth and painted, but zooming in will reveal that any editsto an image are indeed made up of changes to tiny dots.Figure 2.5. Pixels make up every bitmap image on your computer screen and every image taken by your digital camera.
Bitmap art is "resolution dependent," which means that the number of pixels per inch (onscreen) ordots per inch (in print) determines the images size. High-resolution images have many pixels,resulting in rich detail and fine print quality. Low-resolution images (typically used onscreen, such asfor the Web) have fewer pixels and are therefore less detailed.If you try to change a low-resolution image to high, or even try to enlarge any bitmap image, you willsee a loss of detail, so its important to always work at your intended size and resolution from thebeginning of a project.Using LayersGetting comfortable with layers is an important skill for designers. Using layers, you can isolate anypart of an image for editing, and stack different elements in an image on top of each other. Computerartists often use as many as 20 different layers to achieve subtle effects in a digital image.CREATING LAYERSManaging your artwork using layers requires some effort, its true, but Photoshop creates most layersfor you. Any time you copy and paste an image or drag a layer between documents, Photoshop willcreate a new layer. Thanks, Photoshop!To create your own layers, use the Create New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers palette. Ifyoure a shortcut junkie, Shift+Ctrl+N (PC) or Command+N (Mac) will create a new layer for you byopening the New Layer dialog box. Add the Alt/Option key into the shortcut, and Photoshop willautomatically create a new layer for you with a default name (such as "Layer 1").What if you want to create layers from an existing image? Photoshop allows you to create a newlayer from a current selection. This is a powerful shortcut, as it saves you the time it would take youto copy a selection, create a new layer, and paste it into the new layer.To create a new layer from a current selection, simply select something on a layer with one of theMarquee tools. Then choose Layer > New > Layer via Copy or Layer > New > Layer via Cut. The firstoption copies the contents of the current selection onto a new layer but leaves the original layerintact. The second option cuts the contents of the current selection and places it on a new layer. Theshortcuts for these commands are Ctrl+J/Command+J and Ctrl+Shift+J/Command+Shift+J,respectively. Memorize them well; theyll undoubtedly save you time. Figure 2.6. This image contains several different layers. You can have thousands if youre so inclined, but the more layers you add, the slower Photoshop will run. [View full size image]
ACTIVE AND HIDDEN LAYERSTo develop flexibility with layers, you must keep close tabs on which layers are active and which arehidden. An active layer is the one that is currently selected for editing. Hidden layers arent editable,poor things, until you make them active.You can determine which layer is active by looking at the Layers palette. The active layer will behighlighted. It will also contain a small paintbrush icon located just to the right of the visibility icon(more on this next) in the Layers palette. To make a layer active, just click the name of the layer.Remember, you can only have one layer active at a time. Figure 2.7. Three types of new layers you can create. Left to right: new blank layer, new layer via copy, and new layer via cut. [View full size image]Note the distinction here between selecting a layer and making a selection with one of the Marqueetools.
Layers can be hidden or shown very easily. The leftmost icon on a layer in the Layers palette,represented by an eyeball, toggles the visibility of a layer. Hiding a layer doesnt remove it from yourdocumentit just makes it invisible until youre ready to see it again.LINKED LAYERSIf you need to move or transform more than one layer at a time, then youll need to link layerstogether. A designer might use this technique to apply a color or effect to specific layers within animage.To link multiple layers together, click to the left of one of the preview thumbnails in the Layerspalette. This will display a link symbol that indicates that the active layer (the one with the smallpaintbrush icon) is now linked to it.Figure 2.8. The active layer is highlighted and has a paintbrush icon next to the thumbnail.Now you can move layers, transform them, or align them with each other. To move layers, select theMove tool and move them just as you would a single layer. To transform them, select any of theoptions from the Edit > Transform menu. To align layers, first select the Move tool. Then pick any ofthe alignment choices that are displayed in the Options bar.THE BACKGROUND LAYERThe background layer is like the cardboard backing of a drawing pad. It is added automatically whenyou create a new canvas in Photoshop; its locked, and no other layers can be dragged beneath it.The first thing I do when opening a new canvas in Photoshop is to create a normal layer from thebackground layer. To me, the background layer has so many restrictions that it usually becomesmore of an inconvenience than anything else.
To convert the background layer to a normal layer, just Alt-double-click/Option-double-click the layerand it will become Layer 0unlocked and ready to be used, moved, or discarded. If you like to be morein control, then leave out the Alt/Option key and just double-click the layer. The New Layer dialog willdisplay and youll be able to name the layer whatever you please.MOVING AND DUPLICATING LAYERSTo move a layer within a Photoshop document, just drag it up or down in the layer stacking order. Toduplicate a layer, select Duplicate Layer from the Layers palette options menu, and the active layerwill be duplicated.Alternatively, you can drag the layer to New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette. Also, ifyou dont have a current marquee selection, then just press Ctrl+J/Command+J. This will create anew layer from the current selection (which is nothing) and is a great time saver.To move a layer to another (open) Photoshop canvas, just drag the layer from the Layers palette tothe new document. Youll need to be able to see both canvases to do this, however. You can alsoselect the Move tool and drag the contents of a layer from one canvas to another.Often, moving a layer can leave you unsure where your moved layer was placed in the newdocument. To prevent this problem, hold down the Shift key when dragging the layer to the newdocument, and Photoshop will place the contents of the layer in the center of the canvas.Making SelectionsNow that weve got our layers under control, lets start having fun with an imaging project. We willstart with a picture of a Volkswagen Beetle (fabulous lime green, of course) that I took at dawn onemorning when I couldnt sleep but had the urge to take pictures with my new digital camera. Here itis, parked in the driveway. Shhhh! Its still asleep. Figure 2.9. Linked layers will move together, helping keep your image consistent while leaving the contents of each layer separate.
Figure 2.10. This Beetle photo will need some work before its ready for a slick, professional ad.
Nice, but we have to do a few things to this picture. We want to give it a professional look for anadvertisement, so the background must be eliminated (which means we have to silhouette the Beetlefirst). Then we will make the car face the other way, and finally, well give the windows a sleekreflection and touch up the wheels.THE SELECTION TOOLS note Each of these three tools has various options and settings that can be changed in the Options bar when the tool is active.The selection process reigns in Photoshop. Selecting an item or area enables you to perform anaction upon it. A selected item can be cut, copy, pasted, deleted, distorted, blurred, feathered, scaledown, rotated, duplicated, or made negative. To edit, first select. Lets examine the tools that do it: Lasso tool: Pressing L on your keyboard or clicking the Lasso icon in your toolbox will activate the Lasso tool. The Lasso allows you to draw a freehand shape around the area you want to select. This lets you precisely select only the parts you really want. Rectangular/Elliptical Marquee tool: The Marquee (press M on your keyboard) lets you select a rectangular or elliptical shape in your image. You can drag the rectangle or ellipse to any size you like. Magic Wand tool: Clicking just once with your Magic Wand (press W) will select all of the pixels whose color is similar to the one you clicked. If you click a white pixel, for example, it will "look for" all of the other white (and near- white) pixels and select them.MAKING A SILHOUETTELike many design projects, this one begins with isolating the subject of the piece. We want to makethe background disappear to white, silhouetting the car. We will do that by selecting the car first,then inverting the selection so that everything except the car is selected. Then we will clear theinverted part so nothings left but our shiny new Beetle. Lets do it!In Photoshop, open the image VW_photo.jpg that youve downloaded from the online download site.Start by selecting the car with the Lasso tool . If the Lasso you see is shaped differently than theone in this icon, click Shift+L until the right one appears in the toolbox, or hold down the button inthe toolbox and grab the Lasso from the flyout menu that appears.Click and hold your mouse button and carefully drag along the rear of the car (I started with the backbumper) to the top, down over the front, back around the front wheel, under the shadow, and under
the rear wheel, finishing at the back bumper again. Dont worry if your selection isnt perfect. Figure 2.11. Keep an eye on the "marching ants" that show you the selected area.If some parts did not get selected that should have been, do this: With the dashed selection outlinestill active (the "marching ants" crawling around the Beetle), hold the Shift key and add to yourselection simply by lassoing those little parts you missed the first time. You can do this any numberof times. tip The Shift key plus any selection tool (Lasso, Rectangular/Elliptical Marquee, Magic Wand) will add to your selection. The Alt/Option key plus any selection tool will subtract from your selection. To select all of your image, choose Select > All (or Ctrl+A/Command+A). To deselect areas of your image, choose Select > Deselect (Ctrl+D/Command+D).If you selected areas that you did not want to select, just hold the Alt/Option key and use the Lassoto similarly subtract the offending areas. You can do this any number of times until youve selectedjust the parts of the image you want.Now that youve selected the car, you must silhouette it by deleting the background and making itwhite. Do this by choosing Select > Inverse. You have now selected everything except the car. Pressthe Delete key, and the background should change to white. If it is a different color, choose Edit >Undo, then press the D key (setting white as the background color), and press the Delete key again.
Save this file as VWSilo.psd.With the selected area still on the screen, reselect just the car by choosing Select > Inverse. Good!Now that youve got just the car on a white background, we must make the car face the otherdirection. Choose Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal. If you see a trace of the green outline of the carafter you have flipped it, dont worry; you can clean that up by choosing Select > Inverse, thenpressing the Delete key. Finally, choose Select > Deselect.ADDITIONAL SELECTIONSNice jobbut we arent done yet. Lets clean up our act. We must select the windows and delete thegrass and dirt showing through them, replacing them with a sleek, showroom-type gradient blendsince we are creating an ad. Do this by first carefully selecting the front window with the Lasso tool.Then, hold Shift to add the rear passenger window to your selection with the Lasso tool. Now, deleteto make selected areas white by pressing the Delete key, or using a slower way, Edit > Clear. note This icon, near the bottom of your toolbox, allows you to change your foreground and background colors to the default Photoshop choices, which are black for the foreground and white for the background. You can either click the icon or press D on your keyboard to switch your current colors to the default.Figure 2.12. Deleting your selection will show the background color in its place.
OK, now well fill the windows with a black-to-white (foreground to background) gradient from thetop of the window to the bottom, using the Gradient tool. To fill with the gradient, make sure youhave the default colors in your toolbox (black as the foreground color and white as the background)by pressing the D key or by clicking the icon in the toolbar.Now press G for Gradient tool , or select it from your toolbox. Click within your car windownear the top, and drag your mouse straight down to the bottom of the window and let go. Adjust thegradient as necessary by undoing and trying the gradient again. Remember: To undo your mostrecent step, go to Edit > Undo or Ctrl+Z/Command+Z. note Gradient tool: This tool allows you to paint a gradient, a blending of two colors into each other. You can create a black-to-white gradient (or vice versa) to fill your selection, or blend any other colors of the rainbow.Figure 2.13. Get that showroom-sleek look with a swipe of your Gradient tool.Great! Whats next? We must zoom in and select the VW logos on the wheels and make themupright. (After all, thats what the client would want, right?)
note Zoom tool: Zooming allows you to move closer to or further from the actual size of your image to focus in on details or to fit something giant on your screen. Clicking the Zoom tool over your image will "zoom in" and center on the area you clicked. Holding down the Alt/Option key will zoom back out when you click. The percentage of your images size is noted at the top of your image window100 percent is actual size.Do this by selecting the Zoom tool and then clicking in the center of the front wheel logo until itis a good size for you to work with.Now, choose the Elliptical Marquee tool , and select the circular VW logo from the center. Do thisby holding down Alt/Option when you click and start dragging the marquee, and hold down the Shiftkey to make a perfect circle.Try it until you have it. If its not right, just undo or deselect to start afresh.Now, rotate your selection by choosing Edit > Free Transform. You will see a bounding box withcorner handles (little boxes) around your selected region. Position your mouse just outside of acorner until you see a curved, double-ended arrow, then move and rotate it until the VW logo isupright. If you grab and move a straight arrow instead of a curved arrow, you will change the size ofyour selectionwe dont want to do that now. Press the Enter/Return key to accept that choice. Nowdo the same steps for the other wheels logo, and then deselect and save. Figure 2.14. Attention to the details is important for a designer.