Friday, Feb. 23 : Intro to Branding + Illustrator

Identity system PDF

Identity Branding FINAL

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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.

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.


Friday, Feb. 16

Lab day for

Book Cover Design!

Use your time wisely and remember to think about the following design questions while you are working:

1. Am I using type in a unique way?

2. Am I remembering to take into account the Principles of Design?

3. How does my color scheme set the tone for the narrative of the book?

4. Is the layering and seaming of imagery cohesive?

5. Am I considering the front cover, the spine AND the back cover?

Calendar Update:

Feb. 16 – last work day for book cover design

Feb. 23: Critique and Intro Illustrator branding project

Friday, Feb. 2

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Design Project One begins: Book Cover Design Collage in Photoshop

Objectives: Use Photoshop knowledge of scanning, sizing and manipulation of images and color to create an original Book Cover Design. The final design should be a collage of images and a unique layout of type.

Final project includes:

1. Brainstorming (5 downloaded book covers that inspire you) and 5 thumbnail sketches for composition, type and layout. This brainstorming should include any visual research, mind-mapping and inspiration and can be hand drawn. Place a PDF document of all 10 brainstorming images in your folder labeled, “Brainstorming – Book Design”

3. A final .jpg and PDF document of design.

4. Size requirements: 8” x 10.5” at 300 dpi-

Remember you will not only be designing the front cover, but the spine and the back cover as well. This should read as one cohesive design.


1. Use a variety of original images.

2. Use selection tools to clip photographs and arrange these on layers.

3. Add color through Hue and Saturation to each layer.

4. Add text that correlates to the Book Design, title, author, etc. Be sure to think about typography design to create an artistic arrangement of the words.

8. The design layout should be original, yet balanced.

9. Create unity by repetition of color, type styles and sizes and texture technique.

For inspiration: Check, Book Cover Archive , NYTimes Book Design Review and your bookshelves! Also see CORALIE BICKFORD-SMITH, a highly celebrated book designer for Penguin Classics, Anna Dorfman




Friday, Jan. 19

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Beginning of class: Finish your Image Adjustments. Start Digital Collage Class technical demonstration: Selection Tools. Our Digital Collage Assignment addresses the following learning outcomes for this class:

  • Create projects in software used for illustration, image editing and page layout.
  • Demonstrate/use current technology.

Mastery of Photoshop selection tools including: Quick Selection Tool, Magic Wand, Healing Brush and Spot Healing Brush, Layers.

Photoshop HELP

Photoshop Layers

Photoshop Effects

Photoshop Tutorials

Fundamental Tools

Assignment 3: Digital Collages: Using selection tools and magic wand make (2) 8” x 10”collages using sections and pieces of your original images/scans/color alterations from Tuesday.  Use at least 5 different images in each collage – think about how to compose an interesting design with the images that you have. Remember to assess the formal Principles of Design – Balance, Repetition and Rhythm, Scale and Proportion, Contrast and Directional Forces. Be sure to save two versions – a .psd and a .jpg Think of a way to create a collage with any of the following themes: 1. Memory 2. Documentation 3. Texture (see above links for free texture images) 4. Fantastical Landscape 5. Self Portrait See Maggie Taylor’s work or Jerry Uelsmann’s b/w photo work for inspiration on fantastical digital collages.

More links:

Tebe Interesno

Matt Wisniewski

Sandy Skoglund (not digital but super interesting)

Joseba Elorza

Eugenia Loli

Alexey Kondakov

Due date for 2 digital collages: end of next class (Jan. 26) 

Friday, Jan 12


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Editing your first photos

Photoshop HELP

Additional Image Adjustment HELP

Applying corrections to a set of photos

Check out Smashing Magazine for more basic photoshop tutorials and effects.

Image Adjustments Assignment:

In this preparatory assignment, we will use your personal photos to experiment will all of the image adjustment possibilities that Photoshop has to offer. Be creative and adjust your images using Levels, Color Balance, Contrast, Brightness, Duotone, etc.

We will have class demonstrations at the beginning of class about Image Adjustments.

You need 2 total files of each original photograph. Save the original photo and a duplicate copy (for a total of 20) that have been adjusted using Levels, Color Balance, Contrast, Brightness, Duotone, etc.