Introduction to graphic design 3


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Introduction to graphic design 3

  1. 1. Art shows us that human beings still matter in a world where money talks the loudest, where computers know everything about us & where robots fabricate our next meal & also our ride there. – JOHN MAEDA Introduction to Graphic Design Tuesdays 6:05–8:05 PM 15 sessions Jan 28-May 6 Sierra Siemer / This course is an introduction to the study of graphic design as a communication tool on a professional level. AREAS OF EXPLORATION The designer’s role as a communicator & innovator of design; creative, technical, & business skills will be developed to reach a specific target audience; the steps in creating a project from concept through execution; the visual quality of the final artwork through the use of high-resolution imagery & dynamic composition; the importance of graphic design as an informative & promotional presence in both commerce & society. TOPICS The graphic design field: high resolution vs. low resolution (including the internet) imagery; creating high quality artwork: conventional/digital techniques; color usage: visual, emotional and cultural; the use of appropriate fonts to enhance concepts; establishing brands and identities; advertising techniques and campaigns. Adobe Creative Suite: InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator will be used. GOALS & OBJECTIVES The goal of this course is not necessarily to create finished products, but rather to explore many different aspects of design; including current trends, principles, technical skills, and some light theory. These exercises are intended to foster skills in graphic design, as both art form & communication tool. Students will build familiarity with typography, hierarchy, branding, relationship of images & meaning, & develop an understanding of how to design across multiple platforms. Students will also be excpected to represent their ideas in a logical & articulate fashion, through brief presentations.
  2. 2. ASSESSMENT Grading is based on the individual progress of each student. Students will be expected to come to class prepared with progress on weekly assignments & complete project deadlines to receive a passing grade. Participation in class discussions, critiques, & the course blog are also expected. ATTENDENCE Attendance & participation in all class meetings is mandatory. If a student has more than three unexcused absences during the semester, upon the discretion of the instructor the student may receive a failing grade. Multiple ate arrivals will also have adverse effects on final grades. MATERIALS Basic studio tools & materials are required. Basic computer skills & computer access are required. Students are encouraged to compile a library of digital fonts, graphic design & typography books, & illustration & photographic collections. PROJECTS Projects include logo & branding for product or service; digital campaign development & design; interactive design for screen-based devices. Please note: Course will meet in a Mac lab. Computer facilities fee: $25 CLASS SCHEDULE January 28 Overview of the semester. Lecture: Design Basics (career paths, print vs. digital, image formats (PNG, GIF, JPEG), tools (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Wacom). Introduction to Project #1. Assignment: Begin work on Project #1. Bring in a logo re-design you think was successful and be prepared to discuss why. February 4 Lecture: Design Systems (typography, hierarchy, grids, colors). In-class exercise: Creating typographic systems (InDesign). Assignment: Continue work on Project #1. February 11 Lecture: Branding (logo vs. brand, building identities, logotypes, style guides, custom typefaces, packaging, systems, symbols). Discuss progress of Project #1. Assignment: Continue work on Project #1. February 18 In-class exercise: Tracing images, drawing icons (Illustrator.) Discuss progress of Project #1.
  3. 3. Assignment: Continue work on Project #1. February 25 Tutorial: Image masking (Photoshop). Discuss progress of Project #1. Assignment: Continue work on Project #1. March 4 Project #1 due. Group Crit: Project #1. March 11 Lecture: Advertising (history, techniques, strategies, campaigns, nontraditional marketing, guerilla marketing). Introduction to Project #2. Assignment: Begin work on Project #2. March 18 Lecture: New graphic design trends (Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook). Discuss initial concepts for Project #2. Assignment: Continue work on Project #1. March 25 Tutorial: Animated GIFs, stop motion using Vine and Instagram. Discuss progress on Project #2. Assignment: Continue work on Project #2. April 1 Tutorial: Photo retouching (gradient maps, levels, saturation, noise, lighting). Discuss progress on Project #2. Assignment: Continue work on Project #2. April 8 Project #2 due. Group Crit: Project #2. April 15 Lecture: Web Basics (sitemaps, wireframes, HTML). Introduction to Project #3. Assignment: Begin work on Project #3. April 22 Lecture: Mobile Basics (Android vs. iPhone, retina display, responsive design). Discuss progress on Project #3. Assignment: Continue work on Project #3. .
  4. 4. April 29 Lecture: Design Future (creative coding, arduino, future trends). Discuss progress on Project #3. Assignment: Continue work on Project #3. May 6 Final critiques and discussion. *course schedule subject to change. PROJECT #1 IDENTITY REBRAND Pick a company, person, or event (or create your own), that needs a brand refresh. Be sure to choose a brand that you are familiar with; understanding the company’s mission and personality will be vital in creating a new identity for them. You can either choose to keep the brand’s current voice, or decide to bring the company in a new direction, as long as your message is clear and consistent, and is reflected visually. The first aspect of this assignment is to create a new logo for the brand. Consider what the logo will look like in black and white and color, and across different platforms (web, print, business cards, etc.). Avoid logos that are descriptive (ie: a logo for books that is a book), but rather, consider abstraction and symbolism (interlocking circles for a company whose mission statement is about unity). After a logo has been established, create a simple style guide for the brand. The style guide should cover the colors and typefaces the brand will use, along with its voice. Is this brand silly? Serious? Sophisticated? Funny? The final part of this assignment is to create a visual system for the brand. This could be a stationery set (business cards, letterhead, envelope), YouTube/Facebook/Twitter skins and backgrounds, t-shirts and tote bags, or something else. Examples will be covered in class. PROJECT #2 ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN Working with the brand you established in Project #1, create a campaign to promote your services. This campaign should work as a series of at least 3 things (print ads, subway posters, billboards, animated GIFs, Vine videos, public interferences, mailers, etc.). Traditional print techniques may be used, though digital and non-traditional (ie: guerilla marketing) are encouraged and will be covered in class. Consider your target audience, and advertise your product accordingly. Is your product for college students? Consider wheate pasting posters or using digital platforms (Snapchat). Make sure to stick to brand guidelines and make a series that’s within your brand’s voice. A funeral company probably wouldn’t be making whimsical Vines (unless you can argue a logical reason for this). Be mindful of hierarchy (what’s the most important piece of the puzzle?) and clarity (when in doubt, simplify).
  5. 5. PROJECT #3 INTERFACE DESIGN Continuing with the brand you’ve been working with, create a one-page app or website. The overall aesthetic for the site should already be established, so instead focus on user experience. Web and mobile design can be a lengthy process–even when working with an experienced team–so don’t worry about creating a “finished” product here. Instead, use this as an opportunity to get familiar with the challenges of designing for screens. Things to consider: Organization: How should the information containted within your website be structured? Hierarchy: What information is most important? Color: Be sure you’re working in RGB and using web-safe colors. Typefaces: Not all fonts look good on screens. Experiment with options that will be legible even at small sizes. Scale: If designing for mobile, make sure buttons and icons are large enough to use easily.