Calendar update

Thanks for the great live class today!

Here’s the plan we discussed:

Friday, April 16: Work day for Branding – email check in

Thursday, April 22: Upload PDF of your Identity System to the Google Drive by 8 p.m.

Friday, April 23: Illustrator Branding Critique – 8:15 a.m.

Friday, April 30 – Intro to InDesign

Friday, May 7 : Critique and Newspaper Design

Newspaper Design

This project supports the following learning outcomes:

  • Examine the basic elements of print especially type and image.
  • Incorporate the creative design process into a functional page layout solution.
  • Use industry relevant software to design effective and creative layouts by combining imagery and text in traditional and non-traditional formats.
  • Apply professional practices including the creative design process and design planning process; that help to ensure success, consistency and quality when developing a visual idea from a verbal communication or concept.
  • Use the skills you have gained (and are gaining) in typography, the grid
    and digital layout

1. Research newspaper/magazine layouts and pick 2-3 that you think are successful. Upload your inspiration for layout design to your Google Drive.

Research the following Layout Design websites: and Newseum

2. Watch these videos:

adobe indesign videos

beginning indesign + beginning indesign + newsletter

TIPS + HELP for formatting text

2. Assignment: Design a two-page spread of a fictional newspaper or magazine section. Think: Arts/Entertainment; Sports; News; could be a more specific hobby, etc.

It must include:

1. Mast Head : Type + Texture/color background. Subhead including website, date, weather, etc.

2. At least 4 headlines and 4 sub headlines

3. Unique column (at least 3 columns) layout using “placeholder text” (you do NOT have to “write the articles”)

4. Must use at least 3 different sized images. Images can be taken by you or stock images from or

5. two pull-quotes

Final Size: Standard size of (1)  11 x 17″ or (1) 8.5″ x 11″ saved as a InDesign document and a packaged PDF.


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DUE DATE: May 7! (uploaded to Google Drive)

Branding + Gradient

Here is the PBSC Branding Guide that we looked at

Here are some great resources on gradients – the new-ish free form gradient tool is a great tool to help you add depth once you are ready.


Gradient tool, panel + color stops

Check out the new gradient annotator and free form gradient tools.

Adobe gradients help

Another good one + adding to the swatches panel.

Additional video  – 4 min.

Excellent branding campaign focused on simple shapes + gradients


Collective Futures

Mock ups

Mock ups are a powerful tool for designers to use to visually present their designs to the masses. You may choose any direction of where you see your branding campaign/logo being used – ideas include but not limited to –

Textiles – pillows, bedspreads, towels, etc

Clothing – shirts, hoodies, swimsuits, etc

Products – backpacks, notebooks, mugs, etc

Packaging – tea, wine labels,

Here are some resources for free mockups – but lots of others online too.

Adobe Stock (10 free images)

If you’d like to challenge yourself to something more complex – try Dimension and this tutorial for 3D packaging visualization.

Friday, March 19 : Intro to Branding + Illustrator

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Design Project 2: Identity Systems Branding in Illustrator

Logo + Business Card + Letterhead  + one novelty (pencils, mouse pad, tote bag, t-shirt, etc.)

Step One: Research – Search online for examples of quality marketing and branding strategies. Make a PDF document of 5 logos and 5 identity systems that you think are interesting and successful in marketing their product as well as graphic design principles. Upload your research PDF by April 2 to the Google Drive.

See  and for inspiration and design research

Also see this site, I searched “Identity System” within the pins!

Iconic Logo Designers

hidden messages in logos! (Have you noticed these before?)

Check Vistaprint and Cafe Press for novelty item brainstorming

Step Two: Begin building your logo using vector graphics in Illustrator.

Final Step: Import vector graphics into an Illustrator document consisting of (4 ) 8.5 x 11″ art boards. Place your logo, business card (3.5 x 2″), letterhead and novelty item design each on a separate art board. We will critique them individually as well as an entire branding strategy.

We’ll spend today introducing the project, brainstorming and watching Illustrator training videos to prep for starting this project.

For tips additional tips on how to use the pen tool, see this link HERE.

Former Student Examples:

Pictographs + Illustrator basics

I’ll meet you on Friday, Feb. 26 at 8:15 a.m. on Blackboard to talk Pictographs and Illustrator basics!

I will give an overview lecture on Illustrator program basics such as :

What is Illustrator? What are vector graphics?

The PEN tool – the pen tool is one of the most important tools to master in Illustrator. Throughout the semester you will get better at the pen tool, but only with lots of practice!

Setting up new document

Selection vs. Direct Selection

Pen tool basics: add, subtract, convert, handlebars, curves, pencil

Creating/editing shapes + fill with color/stroke, Pen tool, Shape builder and Image Trace demo

Good link on drawing basics

Fun interlude: Play this game for a few minutes to practice the pen tool 😉 

More pen tool resources: 

         Pen tool tips

Other general Adobe Illustrator tutorials


For this introduction to Illustrator Project we will create a set of 12 Pictographic images. Pictographs have a long history of wayfinding symbols.

Are you familiar with wayfinding systems? You see them everyday, but there are designers that specialize in them! They are the traditional signage and icons that help you literally find your way – airports, streets, restrooms. I always think about that if you are traveling in another country and don’t speak the language, the “luggage” or “restroom” sign communicates without words. Through pictures – hence the term, pictograph.

This is a great article: How to Make Pictograms to Communicate Effectively.

And a few examples from Behance


Choose a theme + illustrate that theme through a series of 12 pictographs.

They should function individually as well as as a whole.

Limit your color palette to 2-3 colors maximum.

Layout can be horizontal or vertical – but please keep even spacing between symbols.

Use the pen tool and shape builder tool to build your pictographs

Artboard: 8.5″ x 11″ or 11″ x 8.5″ – save your working file as .ai

Upload a final file as a .pdf to the Google Drive

Due date: Upload a .pdf of your Pictograph set by 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 18 to the Google Drive

Installing Typefaces

Hello students! With this Illustrator typography project, you might want to consider downloading custom typefaces! Here is a great website that has thousands of options – DaFont

How to install:

1.Sift through to find a typeface you like

2. Press the “download” button

3. Find the file in your “downloads” – double click the .otf or .ttf file to instal in your FontBook.

4. Once installed in your FontBook – you can use the font on any platform on your computer!