Another brick in the wall


The white walls in the Graphic Design and Communications Department are different than many buildings on campus. Bismarck State College has done a wonderful job of decorating buildings like Jack Science and Schafer Hall with beautiful student-created art work.
The instructors in GD&C decided that it’s crazy we have bare walls. After all, the students turn out great projects. We decided to decorate with student artwork.
The photo shows the beginning of our decorating project. It’s pretty low-tech, the pieces are mounted to matte board or foam core board then pinned to the wall. The low tech, low dollar approach will allow us to post more art and do it quickly.
Many of the current pieces are from the previous year, but it gives us a start. Keep checking back, or stop and see us, to check out the creative work of the students – and maybe some instructor work too.

Sophomore blog headers

Learning about building Web pages can be very intimidating for a student primarily interested in print design or photography.

Sean Thorenson teaches the students to use Dreamweaver to create Web pages. It provides a graphic interface a little more familiar to students, but they still get a chance “to look under the hood” at the coding.

To accent the Web design course, the Graphic Design and Communications 201 course is dealing with Photoshop and Web design. The students just completed their first project – designing a header that could be used on this blog.

The assignment had very few parameters, just some strong encouragement to be creative. Click the small images to view larger versions.


















A new home

2010 has a wonderful science fiction ring to it. Technology may fall short of flying cars next year, but the Graphic Design and Communications Department will have a new home.

Directly across the street from the current Technical Center construction is underway on a building that promises to be state-of-the-art. The building is being built by Bismarck Public Schools and through an agreement with Bismarck State College, the Graphic Design and Communications program will be housed in it next fall.

Highlights of the project include:

  • Plenty of glass providing natural light in the second floor classrooms
  • New, smarter classrooms
  • An improved photo studio and commons areas

As construction progresses more photos will be posted.


Snowmen in August

Along with working on sketchbook projects and learning about Photoshop, the freshmen students are also learning about InDesign with Tom Marple.

The assignment seems strange for later summer – create a snowman using basic shape tools. It’s a great assignment that allows the students to use their new skills.


LPI, DPI and image size

Lines per inch, dots per inch (or pixels per inch) and physical image size are interrelated. The three concepts are so closely connected that they seem to conspire against students attempting to master them.

After a long, and potentially boring, lecture about the three attributes, the sophomore students seem to be grasping them.

The visual aids used to teach the concept hark back to days of light sensitive paper and stinky chemicals. An old PMT, or photomechanical transfer (the car image) and a mylar PMT screen were used.


Learning the tools

The two freshmen classes have been learning about Photoshop tools over the past few lectures. There are some students that have an extensive Photoshop background, others that have none.
Over the next several weeks the knowledge base will level out and the students will be at similar levels.
The first true Photoshop assignment involved modifying existing images with very few parameters. It’s exciting to see the creative pieces that came from an exercise meant to familiarize the students with the tools.