Judging a book by its cover

The freshman Graphic Design and Communications students at Bismarck State College have been learning to use Photoshop for weeks. Each day their skills improve and they learn new techniques.

To put their new skills to the test, the students were asked to design, or redesign, book covers. The design had to include the cover (on the right), spine and back cover (left side of the image). The list of topics was wide open. Some students chose to create something for fictitious books, others opted to redesign books already in print.

The results are excellent  – the students did a great job of combining the technical requirements while being very creative.

Editorial Illustration

First year students in the BSC Graphic Design and Communications Digital Illustration classes recently demonstrated their understanding of the creative process to create illustrations based on the content in an article. Students were asked to read informative copy offering five brainstorming tips and then derive an illustration that would help communicate the article’s content to the reader in a creatively visual way. Students not only learned the strength of symbolism and visual metaphor in illustration but the challenges associated with being unable to communicate using text/words. Below are just a few of the various results submitted.

T_HaasS_ReiswigD_HendricksonR_SagmillerC_Ciavarella

The future of transportation

The Photoshop vector tools don’t get much attention. When it comes to vector illustration, most folks turn to Illustrator and for good reason. The vector graphics Photoshop generates work well, but the tools can be a bit clunky.

To introduce the Graphic Design and Communications students to the vector tools in Photoshop, they designed a car. All of the illustrations were simple – but very creative at the same time. Without a reference photo or many parameters, the cars took many shapes.

Crunch time

Graphic Design and Communications instructor Sean Thorenson helps students create graphics that will be used in video production.

Graphic Design and Communications instructor Sean Thorenson helps students create graphics that will be used in video production.

The sophomore Graphic Design and Communications students at Bismarck State College spent Friday morning creating graphics for video production work. Producing video graphics is a new skill for the students.

The chance to produce video graphics came from Dusty Anderson. He offered the students a chance to many of the components that would be used in a news cast, including a virtual set. The pieces will be used in his video production class.

The collaborative effort gave the students a chance to learn a new skill and try new design techniques while having a “client” to work with.

Arafa Visit Persuades and Inspires

Mahmoud Arafa, CEO and Creative Director of DesignFrame USA/Egypt, braved the Midwest winter wind and snow to meet with Bismarck State College Graphic Design and Communications students on Wednesday, October 27. Due to poor flying conditions, Arafa’s Tuesday connecting flight from Minneapolis was delayed until Wednesday morning. The weather was of little consequence to the group of students who were able to take in Arafa’s afternoon session in the department.

Arafa ended the evening with a public session from BSC’s National Center of Excellence Auditorium where he graciously shared his knowledge and expertise with an audience of students, campus staff and faculty, as well as members of the professional design community on how to use simplicity to persuade others in communication.

This visit served as more of a physical follow-up for Arafa who was featured in a publicly-attended campus iChat last October between BSC, his Washington, D.C. office and the design staff at his Cairo office. Despite the blast of winter weather, Arafa very much enjoyed his visit to North Dakota and was thankful for the ‘wonderful two days [he] spent in Bismarck’.

Arafa’s presentation is available for viewing on Bismarck State College’s iTunes U site. Click here to view.

mahmoud

Mahmoud Arafa addresses an afternoon design session

Arafa 'taps' a point home with the assistance of a willing student volunteer

Arafa ‘taps’ a point home with the assistance of a willing student volunteer