Photoshop vector challenge

Photoshop handles vectors a tiny bit different than Illustrator. After I’m positive that Sean has done the heavy lifting of teaching the freshmen the pen too, we spend one day looking at vectors in Photoshop culminating in a 25 minute vector car drawing challenge with a $1 prize. Jaiden Ziegler from the M,W,F class and Sophia Jilek from the T,TH,F class both walked away a dollar richer.

Photoshop creatures

I make an attempt to come up with a replacement assignment for the Photoshop creature almost every year. I’ve modified the assignment a couple times, but eventually have come back to almost the spot where it started. This assignment does a good job of showcasing all of the skills the freshmen students have learned up until this point and provides some creative scenarios to learn a few new skills.

Jaiden Ziegler’s character. The parts blend together seamlessly.
Lauren Senescall created a dragon and added a few new skills along the way.
Luis Vilella recreated Mickey Mouse using textures and images. The eyes are made from images on human eyes. Clever use of images.
Sam Kraft created this mechanical insect with many images. Some of the pieces are very small, but add up to a great project.

GDC Club Enjoys Fargo Trip

Club members enjoyed a recent trip to Fargo where they experienced an afternoon of touring and accolades. Before the afternoon kicked off, the group enjoyed fantastic wood-fired pizza at Blackbird in Downtown Fargo. They also dropped in on GDC Alum Rob Burke’s business Yarn before heading to Spotlight Media.

Hungry members enjoy conversation as they patiently await their lunch at Blackbird Woodfire on Fargo’s Broadway Avenue.
Club Members watch Spotlight Media’s demo reel in the comfy confines of the seventh floor studio.

That evening the club members attended the gala AAF-ND Awards Show at the Avalon where Kylie Susag walked away with a Gold Addy for her Batter Life Campaign. The GDC Class of 2019 took home a Silver Addy for their totally awesome, 80s-inspired PROOF Magazine. Ty Betts also managed to pull down $75 in prize money for winning two rounds of heads-or-tails.

Club Members looking all fancy at the AAF-ND Awards Show.
Pictured (from left to right): Alyssa Simpron, Nathan Livedalen, Ty Betts (Vice President), Brady Braun, Carlee Gifford, Haylee Jones (President), Kylie Susag (Secretary), Marcus Taken Alive, and Jacob Schwarz (Treasurer).
Kylie Susag’s Ad Campaign, Batter Life, won a Gold Addy at the AAF-ND Awards Show.
The Class of 2019’s edition of PROOF Magazine took a Silver Addy. Ty Betts walked away with a first and second place victory (and some prizes) for his dominance in heads-or-tails.

50s Smart Phone

Imagine if the smart phone was a technology developed in the 1950s. How would the advertising of that era showcase this modern marvel? Students in the Typography class were challenged with this concept. Given a stock image they were to design an ad featuring a smart phone being careful to use typefaces and design trends common in the 1950s. It was a great way to stress how important design details are to the historical context of a piece.

Monster Masquerade

Halloween was the perfect time for the first-year students in Sean Thorenson’s Digital Illustration class to create a series of seasonally appropriate ‘masks’. Using symmetry and only two spot colors, this assignment demonstrated the challenge of designing with limited color as well as the efficiency of the reflect tool. We have a lot of scary-good talent in this year’s group! Here are just a few of the illustrations from the classes.

Clown by Regan Reidlinger
Bride of Frankenstein by Hailee Presser
Dracula by Adam Nicklay
Jason Vorhees by Cedric Parisien
Beetlejuice by Breien Berger

The Venus of Vector

After four weeks of analog illustration, our Graphic Design and Communications students opened Adobe Illustrator today — many for the first time.

I remember my first time launching the program — 28 years ago. Just a few things have changed about Illustrator since its inception in 1987. For one, the splash screen.

The unofficial covergirl of this vector workhorse was always a creative incarnation of Botticelli’s famous painting ‘Birth of Venus’. She graced the launch of the app up until Adobe went the way of the Creative Suite in 2003.

If you’re a designasaur like me, you probably remember these images.

Getting bigger …

This week we purchased a used printer from the great folks at McQuade Distributing. The McQuade sign shop is a pretty amazing place, printers are buzzing and computers are humming. The single room turns out an incredible amount of material. It’s run by Rhea Beto, who is a member of of the Graphic Design and Communications Advisory Board. Tasha Hager, a GDC graduate, works in the sign shop as well Both are all-around fabulous people. They helped us pack up and load the printer using a forklift with some help from another McQuade employee.

After a little tinkering, we have produced our first prints – they look great and it’s much faster than our old Epson. The big bonus is that it can print material up to 60-inches wide, that will simplify many tasks for us.

 

Cases on display

Design education of 20 years ago offered three-credit courses in production skills – using a razor knife, spray mounting art work and generally creating physical pieces in the most analogue ways. Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy spot in our day-to-day curriculum for those skills at this point, but the display case project helps fill the gap.

The display case project is a marathon – starting with planning, moving through design and into production. The project starts with the beginning of the fall semester and pushes through to the beginning of finals week.

The project is meant to teach a bunch of pieces – selling your concept to a group, getting behind an idea even if it isn’t yours and massive amounts of production skills.

The designs in the two cases below will be up for the next calendar year.