The icons of Thanksgiving

Simplifying the holidays, that’s something everyone wants to do. That’s also a job that designers take seriously – solving visual problems by removing the clutter.

The assignment for this group project was to take a classic Thanksgiving menu item and create it as a stand-alone icon. Some are pretty logical, like turkey, but items like stuffing are much tougher. Check out the student work below and see if you can guess which menu item is tied to.

Words of wisdom

Bismarck native Karl Becker talked to the GDC students today via Skype from his home office in Minneapolis.  Becker is a successful self-employed developer of applications mostly for portable devices, like tablets and phones.

He talked about developing projects and how he moved from working in the corporate world to starting his own business and joint ventures, like Third Iron, with partners.

Becker is also the source of information and background for a current iPad design project the sophomore class is working on.



Learning the process

Tuesday the folks from iGear in Mandan gave both freshmen Graphic Design and Communications classes a tour of their design and printing facility. The company specializes in silk screening and embroidery on apparel and promotional items. Two Michelles, Jesse, Amy and Troy did a fabulous job of showing the facility, the products they create and the processes they use.

A huge bonus to the tour was the t-shirt in the picture. Students were asked to create a two-color design a couple days ahead of the tour. The classes voted on their favorite design, then iGear provided each student with a free shirt to print the design on. Jesse from iGear had the screens set up when we arrived and showed the students the proper way to print the shirts, then each student was able to pull the squeegee and try it out.

Thanks so much for the great tour.




Vector Realism


First year students in BSC’s Graphic Design and Communications program recently completed an assignment where the goal was to use vectors to simulate product reality. Utilizing foundational skills to draw accurate paths, students then mapped color, gradients and texture onto their illustrations to provide more depth and believability. As the video reveals, none of these images are photographs but entirely comprised of vectors.

Simple movement

Photoshop can easily create simple animations in the form of .gif files. These types of files are the earliest animations on the web and have a number of limitations. This year the sophomore Graphic Design and Communications took .gif animations to a new level creating some of the most complex little pieces imaginable with this old technology. Click on the thumbnails below to see the animations.