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.

The end is near

Former students will probably recognize the class day countdown on the board of room 330 in the Career Academy. It tracks the number of class day left until finals week – today the clock is hanging at one day left. The semester has flown by!

Racing to the finish

The sophomore Graphic Design and Communications students have been designing new displays for the area outside of the classrooms for several years. A lot of time goes into researching topics, designing the pieces and producing the elements.

The goal is to have students complete the display case project at the end of the first semester. Each year, the three instructors feel like the deadline is going to be missed and every year the students have pulled through. Once again, this year, the teachers are worried about making the deadline.

With only two production Fridays remaining, the students will have to work hard to complete the cases outside of class.

 

The hard sell

It’s easy to judge a logo – saying it’s great or terrible – but often very difficult to actually do the work and find a solution for a client.

The freshmen were handed a tough list of clients. The idea was to take a nontraditional sport and create a logo to represent it. The project was pushed a little farther to include displacing the logo onto a variety of projects. They did a great job finding creative solutions to the problems.

The sports included cup stacking, squirrel hunting, hog calling, lock picking and hot dog eating.

Caught in the act

Sophomore Megan Davidson prepares ingredients for her food photo. The production room table looked like a potluck buffet as she created the scene that would be moved to the studio.

It’s food photography time. That means beautiful photos, lots of offers of free food that has been handled too much and stressed out students.

Food photography is all about preparation – the students invest more time in the planning, shopping and setup than taking the photos. Editing is also important, getting color perfect and cloning out crumbs is a must.

Creepy Creations

Among the many basic production skills covered in the first semester, digital illustration students are currently busy working with vectors in Adobe Illustrator. In a recent assignment they were to create Halloween-inspired two-color illustrations using symmetry and transformation tools to simplify construction. They’re constantly applying the creative process to implement and refine their productions while adding to their mastery of the application. Below are just a few of this years’ creations. Happy Halloween from all of us in GDC!

©Marcus Taken Alive

©Alyza Yasenchack

©Kylie Susag

©Tyler Betts

©Carlee Gifford

©Bethany Reitan

©Shane Spilker

The Halloween Film Festival

It’s time for the annual Halloween Stop Motion Graphic Design and Communications at Bismarck State College Film Festival, also know as the HSMGDCBSCFF. Everyone knows about it, everyone waits for it.

Graphic Design freshmen get about an hour to create a stop motion animation using white board markers and their creativity. The three instructors give them very little input, just new markers and a lot of prodding to draw faster. Here are the results:

Group 1 video

Group 2 video

Group 3 video

Group 4 video