Friday, March 16


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Today is a work day for our Branding Project.

Let’s get to work in Illustrator!

Pen tool resources:


Friday, March 2: Illustrator 101

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

More pen tool tips

and another

Other general Adobe Illustrator tutorials

I will show many student examples today.

Remember that we are building a logo, business card (front and back), letterhead and novelty item. Start with the logo, then work from there to create a consistent and successful branding campaign.

Friday, Feb. 23 : Intro to Branding + Illustrator

Identity system PDF

Identity Branding FINAL

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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