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Welcome Back…Change Should Be Welcomed.

January 22, 2013 in News/Updates

Welcome to the second semester. This course is going to be changing and evolving over the course of the next few weeks, just as you are hopefully changing and evolving in your design work.

To start everything off, now that everyone has had a chance to try out WordPress, create a basic site, and create simple posts, we will be incorporating our blogs/sites more throughout the remainder of the year. You will be evaluated on the content you post as well as ensuring you are keeping your working portfolio up to date.

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The Importance of Revision…

January 9, 2013 in News/Updates

I usually don’t start these posts out with an inspirational or applicable quote pertaining to our topic for the week for fear of being unoriginal (see Mike Scocko’s blog), but this quote IS pretty spot on for where we’re heading.

-Everything is designed. Few things are designed well. -Brian Reed

As we’re entering our second half of the year, we’re nearing a benchmark for your design skills. Some of your are going the extra mile with your designs (researching, asking questions, trying new things, reading tutorials, etc.), while some of you are more complacent with meeting the requirements. The second illustration assignment was your first opportunity at a revision of previous work of sorts. Quite a few of you stepped up with VERY much improved designs over your first project. We’re going to take a step back, however, to our logotypes, and begin making revisions to these. This is going to be both a welcome relief to most of you (in terms of complexity of the project), but also a challenge to develop a simple, effective, but professional looking design that represents YOU personally.

One thing about design is that you should NEVER be satisfied with your work. Think of every project as a work in progress. Challenge yourself to better your design, find ways to improve what you may initially think needs no improvement, and always be open to feedback. The second you start accepting mediocrity, that’s the moment when all creativity is lost.

You already have a gallery of our class logotypes from the first round, but don’t forget to research, research, and research more for ideas (here’s a GREAT start). You all have the ability to choose custom fonts now, so font choice should NOT be a limitation. Don’t forget to show CONTRAST (varying font weight, size, color, tracking, kerning, etc.).



Update:New Video Added:

-Tips for revising your logotypes

DD2-Typography-Sending a Visual Message

October 22, 2012 in News/Updates

The written word is one of the most effective ways to send a message. Words can persuade, entertain, sadden, inform, inspire, hurt, and even heal. Words, when combined with imagery can be even more effective at communicating a message.

Creating a Typographic Illustration

The idea behind this project is to communicate an idea that is meant to persuade, inform, entertain, inspire, etc. The underlying challenge of this assignment is to locate an image that represents the message you wish to convey within the words in which you will compose the illustration. The fonts you choose are almost as important as the words themselves. You will need to utilize tracking, leading, and even kerning in certain instances to truly enhance your illustration. Variation and contrast are the driving themes behind these designs, so remember the basic guidelines discussed in how we achieve this contrast.

Remember: The message you are trying to send is just as IMPORTANT as the design itself. Choose words and phrases that truly represent the thoughts and ideas  your image might invoke in viewers. Click here for full assignment detail.

Inspiration (LOOK HERE FIRST):

28 Examples of Typographic Portraits

45 Type Face Examples

35 More Examples


-Review these tutorials – Type on a Path | Area Type Tool | Vertical Type on a Path

-Rotate Tool *New Tutorial

-Skewing Text *New Tutorial

DDII Students-Week 4-Where We’re Heading

September 18, 2012 in News/Updates

Alright, by now, most of you are wrapping up your appearance panel tutorials, and hopefully, you are remembering to create graphic styles from these effects for use in later projects. Remember that these files need to be placed in your dropbox folder to receive credit.

Moving on, some of you are getting tired of the practice sessions and want to start another project. Well…good news and bad news. The good news? A new project is coming up. The bad? You have more practice coming up. We’re entering into the Pen Tool in Illustrator, and since this is by far the most powerful and creative tool within the program (not to mention one in which is involved in almost every project for the remainder of the year), you need to make sure you know all of the ins and outs of the tool before starting ANY type of major work. We’ll start off slow, and work our way through everything from straight lines to editing bezier handles.

So, here’s where you need to start.

First, you will need a few practice files (right click and “save as” to your G-Drive or personal dropbox.

-Pen Tool Exercise

-THE Pen Tool Exercise

-The Maze

After our class discussion about this tool and watching my demonstrations, please begin the practice sessions using the files above. Start with the first file and end with the maze (a true test of how much control you have with the pen tool). Each file needs to be submitted to my dropbox with your last name attached to it.

For further expansion upon all of the features of this tool, feel free to visit these comprehensive tutorials available via the Mac Lab and Mike Skocko.

For a greater, and more in depth explanation on the various features of the pen tool and anchor point editing/selecting, read more here.


Additionally, here is a set of tutorials you should watch if you’re struggling with the activities above. Watch them in order.

-Pen Tool Intro

-Creating Curves

-Combining Curves & Straight Lines

Photoshop CS6 Beta Released.

March 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

As of midnight (12:00AM EST), Adobe has released a Beta version of the soon to be released next generation of Photoshop – Photoshop CS6. This will be a seven week trial period in which anyone can download the software for free to try and test.—>Download available here. From the looks of this release, this will probably be a major renovation and change from previous versions (especially the visual layout and appearance). I’ve included a few preview articles outlining some of the major changes and additions to the new release as well as a few videos worth watching if you’re interested. Article Article

-Macworld Article

-Engadget Article

-The Verge Article