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.
Here is a good resource I stumbled across today if you teach advertising or visual/media literacy. The Key to Media’s Hidden Codes: Colors, camera angles and logos in the media can all prompt immediate associations with emotions, activities and memories. Learn to decode the intricate system of symbols that are a part of everyday life — from media messages to traffic signs. (via TEDed)
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.
I recently finished reading Just My Type by Simon Garfield. I usually don’t read books like this, but I’m glad I did. It’s entertaining and really interesting. Simon Garfield provides insight into the history of fonts as well as providing interesting stories that accompany them. Of course, there’s stuff like Helvetica vs. Arial & Comic Sans etc. and a mention on how the Obama campaign used Gotham. If interested, feel free to read my notes via a GoogleDoc here, but I’m not convinced you will find it useful. Pick up the book instead.
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.)
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!