Famous Type ‘Face’

The freshmen Typography students in the BSC Graphic Design and Communications program recently completed some portraits using nothing but type. It may be unusual to look at type characters as a way to accomplish illustrations, but it was a great project to get students to really appreciate the design and shape that type has. See how many of these faces you recognize.




Mmmm, food







Food is considered the most difficult studio subject to shoot. Too much, too little, to dark, too bight – all those things can ruin the shot.

As consumers, our tolerance of bad food photography is minimal. We’ve become accustomed to perfectly exposed, heavily saturated food photos that look better than they would ever taste.

With that idea in mind, the sophomore Graphic Design and Communications students tackled their first food assignment. Much like the beverage photo assignment, they were encouraged to create an interesting image that represents the food well. The results are excellent and speak for themselves.

Adding structure


In the Graphic Design and Communications classes the topic usually revolves around published work – either on paper or the internet. As a creative exercise, the freshmen students attempted sign design with a twist.

The students formed into groups and were asked to create the look and design of the sign and then produce a physical model of it.

The concept came from “Caffeine for the Creative Mind” and was only modified slightly for this exercise. Students were offered three choices – sporting goods for the first Olympics, a caveman campground or a medieval knights training academy.

All of the finished pieces were interesting and very creative. The construction methods were particularly interesting and the students did an excellent job working in groups.

Following the steps


Friday, the Bismarck State College Graphic Design and Communications Department hosted David Molanphy, the Interactive Design Manager with Larsen (http://larsen.com/). There was also a surprise visit from Tim Larsen, founder of Larsen, former Bismarck resident and alum of the BSC Commercial Art program (now GDC). The lecture was presented via Skype video.

David walked students and faculty through the process Larsen uses when working with new clients.

David also took students through ten tips to remember when interviewing and presenting a portfolio.

Thank you Tim and David for taking time and dedicating resources to help students.

A new perspective


Bismarck Tribune photographer Mike McCleary spent his morning in the sophomore Graphic Design and Communications Current Imaging II classroom. McCleary talked with the students about portraits and the methods he uses to capture people using mostly natural light. His insight and examples were excellent.

Inside the Creative Process


Please join us on Friday, February 19 in the Bismarck State College National Energy Center of Excellence Auditorium for another video chat with interactive design director David Molanphy of LARSEN. The Minneapolis/San Francisco firm has worked with a number of reputable clients and David will take us inside their creative process. This event is free and open to the public. The room seats approximately 160, so come early to get a good seat. The presentation is planned to last approximately one hour. (Click here to view a campus map)

History as Inspiration

Freshmen students in the second semester are now experimenting with layout, design and typography as part of their projects. One unit in their typography class involves studying the different art movements and styles that have influenced graphic design over the years. To help reinforce this newly acquired knowledge, students were asked to design an ad for a modern product using era-inspired typefaces and limited color.







Looking at liquid

Working in the photo studio seems easy – the photographer gets to control the weather and the lighting. In reality, it is just as difficult as any setting to capture quality images. Being in control of the lighting opens the doors to many opportunities and potential problems.

In the Sophomore second studio assignment they tackled beverages. The goal was to shoot a beverage – warm or cold – in a setting that makes it look appetizing and could have commercial appeal. The results were very impressive, especially considering this was only the second studio assignment.

Hot chocolate, marshmallows and chocolate pieces.

Hot chocolate, marshmallows and chocolate pieces.

Jones soda with an apple.

Jones soda with an apple.

Mountain Dew throwback in a classic silver pail.

Mountain Dew throwback in a classic silver pail.

The primary Jones colors.

The primary Jones colors.

Perrier with lemon.

Perrier with lemon.

Red and blue bottles of water.

Red and blue bottles of water.

Pouring water.

Pouring water.

Working with light

Exposure can be a tough concept to understand. To help students understand how cameras use light to create an image there was a simple assignment – shoot images in very bright light and very dim conditions. The students came up with wonderfully creative ways to illustrate both concepts.

The long shutter speed makes an alarm clock look like a blur - the way most of us really feel.

The long shutter speed makes an alarm clock look like a blur – the way most of us really feel.

Sunrise in a new place - or maybe a glass bowl illuminated by a bare bulb.

Sunrise in a new place – or maybe a glass bowl illuminated by a bare bulb.

Lonely cart in a dark parking lot.

Lonely cart in a dark parking lot.