Grade 9 students have begun their graphic design unit and were asked to create a composition using only the letters of their name. They selected whether to use Photoshop or Illustrator. The purpose of the task was for them to become familiar with fonts, layout as well as some of the text editing tools. The task was done without any instruction on the teacher’s part, except for the information below.
Task: What Type Are You? (60mins)
Using Photoshop or Illustrator, create a document/composition using only the letters of your name.
-You should experiment with various fonts.
-You should experiment with size.
-You should experiment with rotation, overlapping and/or mirroring.
-You should experiment with kerning etc.
-You should limit your colour palette, but may use colour in any way you see fit.
-You should consider layout, spacing and/or white space.
-Your composition should have an attractive balance.
-You may use repetition.
-You may play with orientation.
-You may play with opacity.
View the images below or directly through Flickr here. During the next class, we will critique the work.
Grade 9 have finished their unit on graphic design. To become familiar with Photoshop/Illustrator, tasks were set where students created a business card and a magazine cover. Students were encouraged to experiment and explore the different tools on their own. Their final project was to design a cover for the school handbook. View the slideshow below or via Flickr here.
OK, I’ll be the first to admit that my intro video on graphic design is not the best I’ve done. I made it for my grade 9 Art Foundation class as a back-up resource to use at home. I won’t really be using it in class as a lesson (click here to view the week by week lesson breakdown). It’s a real challenge to teach graphic design as well as some Photoshop and Illustrator skills in ten 80 minute lessons. No time to waste.
However, I do recommend the book I gathered the info from. My co-worker Jamie R. once summarised it perfectly by saying you could read it in 15 minutes. This is actually true. The other book is not so bad either, and their website is rather good in offering design problems to solve. I’ve also uploaded a more basic version of the video in slideshow format below, though I’m not so sure you’ll find any use in it. It is very basic and does not go into much depth regarding layout, colour or type. If you teach graphic design and have some resources/projects on hand, I’d love to hear from you! Really, please. (And yes, I know the slide designs aren’t great even though it is on design!)
It’s the time of year for people to compile their ‘best-of’ lists. Here’s mine for best album artwork of 2009. I limited myself to only albums I own so if you have a recommendation, I’d love to hear from you too. This may be an interesting way to introduce graphics to students and look kind of hip ; ). I simply used Screenflow and recorded my iTunes folder for the video. (Feel free to use the resource via Slideshare here as well.)
OK. Here we go. True story. A coworker is cleaning out his class, disposing of old materials. I walk in and lo and behold, what do I see? The instructional booklet pictured left. It’s a how-to for a construction kit toy from 1992. It’s geared towards kids. What were they thinking? I’m not even going to discuss the catchy title. Are the instructions clear to you? It’s a perfect example on why design is so important and what it’s like when it’s not done well. Click on the photos to enlarge them.
I received a proof copy of this book. It will temporarily have to sit on my shelf until the summer when I get some time to read it. I requested a copy from the publisher as the book’s website provides some interesting activities. Have a look at them here. Each section is broken down with a brief explanation and a design problem for students to solve. Has anyone else looked at it?
Typography Two Ways: Calligraphy With a Twist
The phrase on the bottom can be read two ways: right side up and upside down. It’s called an ambigram, and it’s the hottest trend in typography since Helvetica. See more here.
I love this map concept and Tokyo could benefit considering the lack of street signs! Click the map to enlarge the view or go to the link.
Here & There is a project by S&W exploring speculative projections of dense cities. These maps of Manhattan look uptown from 3rd and 7th, and downtown from 3rd and 35th. They’re intended to be seen at those same places, putting the viewer simultaneously above the city and in it where she stands, both looking down and looking forward.
I love it when I find a great resource after I taught the topic and no longer need it.
If you want a basic introduction to what makes good design, go here for blurbs about colour, line, shape, scale and size, space, texture and value. Remember, the purpose of graphic design is communication. There’s also50 Totally Free Lessons in Graphic Design Theoryas described below.
While many of us can create something that looks good in Photoshop…do we actually understand the design theory behind what we create? Theory is the missing link for many un-trained but otherwise talented designers. Here are 50 excellent graphic design theory lessons to help you understand the ‘Whys’, not just the ‘Hows’.
The topics include:
Grid Based Design
UI & Usability
Since I’m at it, there are more resources here that may be of use. The last plug will be for an Australian show that was passed onto me from a coworker (thanks Luke) called The Gruen Transfer. ABC television describes it as…
…a show about advertising, how it works, and how it works on us. Hosted by the inimitable Wil Anderson, TGT decodes and defuses the commercial messages that swirl through our lives, with the help of a panel of ad industry experts.
It has a comedic touch with that Australian sauciness that we all love but occasionally deals with adult themes so be warned!