Friday, Feb. 1

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Today we will have a short critique on your favorite collage – as well as introduce the Book Cover project and start brainstorming.

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. 18

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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 4 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. 25) 

Friday, Jan 11


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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.

Friday, Jan. 4

Good morning! 

Today we will go over the course syllabus, introduce ourselves, show student work examples and talk about

Semester Projects:

  1. Image Adjustments (Photoshop)
  2. Digital Collage (Photoshop) 
  3. Book Cover Design (Photoshop) 
  4. Branding Campaign (Illustrator) 
  5. Newspaper Design (InDesign) 

In addition: we will also go over basics on your mac, just to get everyone up to speed. 

Intro to the Mac OS X operating system.

Mac specs

Are you new to Macs? See here for help

Understanding the Mac Desktop

Transferring Files, setting system preferences,

Getting Familiar with the Finder,

Intro to Mac OSX – SlideShare


Additional help: Apple Shortcuts

Apple Communities: online support

Additional help: Understanding the Mac OS X Operating System.

Homework: Learn 5 new keyboard shortcuts by next week! + explore and links on left.

Homework: Bring in 10 digital images to next class + 2 flat objects to scan