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!
The first year Digital Illustration students recently completed an analog assignment where they were pushed to illustrate an object using different illustration styles and traditional mediums. For many it was an experimental voyage into trying something new. For others it was continued practice in an area they already excel. Below are just a few of the images captured from this assignment.
I appreciate the fact that my education in the Commercial Arts involved a fair amount of analog. In fact, my college class was one of the first to straddle the growing void between the old analog ways and the dawning digital age of the Macintosh.
Every once in a while we stumble upon these reminders from yesteryear in our storage room that clearly show the evolution of the iconic present. If you have ever wondered why Photoshop’s crop tool looks the way it does… I present to you the Brandt Scaleograph. I didn’t read the lengthy instructions on how to properly use it, but I can tell you the modern equivalent is much, much better.
On a recent trip to the Heritage Center, the sophomore Graphic Design and Communications class had the unique opportunity to learn from Genia Hesser, Curator of Exhibits with the ND State Historical Society. Hesser gave students an in-depth tour of the most recent exhibit in the Governor’s Gallery, The Horse in North Dakota. The class learned of the many challenges that faced the curators, preparators and designers as they brought the exhibit to life. Hesser stressed the importance of generating content that is descriptive but also very efficient – so that every word written is necessary to tell the story. In turn, the design, or form, of the exhibit must visually reinforce the content. Hesser’s wealth of knowledge will prove useful to the students as they begin the process of creating two new display cases for the program area this semester.
Photos can tell us so much – emotion, time, location and more. Sometimes it’s very hard to convey something specific, even a couple words with a photo. In this case, the goal was to illustrate a specific saying using a few photos and a lot of Photoshop work. The sophomore Graphic Design and Communications students did a great job, can you guess the sayings?
The Graphic Design and Communications Program will occasionally receive requests from the community to do graphic design work as either pro bono or as limited budget freelance work. One such opportunity was presented to all students in the program as an optional project to pursue if interested.
The Bismarck Burleigh Public Health (BBPH) Tobacco Prevention and Control Department and Tobacco Free North Dakota (TFND) were looking to engage college students in tobacco prevention efforts with designs for a poster and social media banner. Students were to use Big Tobacco’s court-mandated corrective statements as themes for posters, social media banners, as well as in Off the Wall Advertising throughout Bismarck. Four second-year Graphic Design and Communications students, Alexis Glass, Josh Schaefbauer, Witney Nielsen and Isaiah Lindsay submitted finished concepts for the project.
University of Mary Health Pro students judged poster submissions and selected the winner. Lindsay’s winning poster will be displayed at United Tribes Technical College (UTTC), U of Mary, and BSC during Kick Butts Day. You’ll also see it among Off the Wall’s Indoor Advertisements in local Bismarck restaurants through April and May.
Graphic design is one of the few professions that places a high premium on the appearance of professional documents used to land jobs in the creative field. On occasion I’ll hear others outside our industry criticize the way our design students challenge the mold of the traditional, templated resume.
‘That type is way too small. You should use 12 point text.’
‘You don’t need that much color.’
‘What’s with the logo?’
‘Everything should be in one column.’
What they fail to understand is that the design of the resume, cover letter and stationery present the designer with an immediate opportunity to demonstrate to a prospective employer their mastery of typography, layout design and visual identity. In my experience there is really no better way to evaluate how well a candidate can do such tasks than for them to show it.
True, the content, spelling and grammatical perfection of these documents is equally important – and don’t forget the adage: it’s not always what you know but who you know – but if you hire a candidate to do design that visually demonstrates poor graphic design skill …well, you asked for it.
Graphic Design and Communications Sophomores at BSC spend a great deal of time honing their personal brand identities to match who they are creatively and professionally. They learn about how to assemble an impressive stationery system, build a resume and write cover letters so that they can apply for creative jobs with confidence. Combined with an impressive portfolio, the ultimate goal of the class, designers stand a much better chance of being hired to do what they’ve so clearly demonstrated they can do and happen to do very well. Design.
A few hundred students have worked on creating display case designs in the Graphic Design and Communications Department at BSC. The project came around in an interesting way, partially out of frustration.
The display cases outside the classrooms sat empty for awhile – long enough that other faculty in the building started asking if the GDC faculty had a plan for them. We didn’t like them being empty either, but at the same time we recognized filling the cases would be a big undertaking.
The first design was a collaboration between all three instructors – Sean, Tom and Jason. The goal was to display student work and advertise the program. The first design looked good, although it was a little flat. The first design was completed in September 2010.
The display started feeling stagnant in about a year. There were a lot of ideas considered, we wanted students to be involved in the project, but we weren’t sure how. The second version of the display case came in January of 2013.
Each students was given a space in the display. The spaces started with a 24-inch-square piece of foam core and the freedom to design whatever they wanted that would represent them as a student. That was a great start, but it still felt like we wanted the students involved more.
In the fall of 2013 we changed the curriculum to include display case design, creating more elaborate designs each year. The goals today are to teach production skills, collaboration, design on a larger scale, working with dimension and dealing with a budget while designing.
BSC GDC Students Win Share of Awards
The North Dakota chapter of the American Advertising Federation, AAFND or AdFed, recently held its annual awards show – the Addys – in Fargo. BSC Graphic Design and Communications students competed in the juried competition against other students of two and four year institutions represented in the district.
This year, seven BSC sophomore students won nine awards for their outstanding demonstrations in design and photography. MiKayla Pfaff won a Gold Addy for a digital illustration of a gold pocket watch. Josh Schaefbauer won a gold for his studio photography piece entitled ‘Let’s Drink’. Parker Bachmeier won two Silver Addys for his personal stationery design and a poster design for the BSC Theatrical Production of ‘The Foreigner’. Brandon Veen won a Silver Addy for his poster design for the BSC Theatrical Production of ‘How I Learned to Drive’. Aaron Bechtle won a Silver Addy for his studio photograph entitled ‘Coffee Delight’. Jessica Edinger won two silvers for her studio photographs entitled ‘Spice Your Life’ and ‘Drink’. Larree Janssen won a Silver Addy for her photography ‘Dragonfly’.
All Gold Addy Award winners are automatically forwarded for judging at the District 8 Addy Competition that will take place in Green Bay, WI on March 23.
The GDC graduating class of 2017 won a Gold Addy for the sixth edition of PROOF Magazine, an all student designed and produced publication. Since 2012, PROOF magazine has collected three Addy Awards. The seventh edition of PROOF is currently in production.
Several Graphic Design and Communications graduates were also part of award-winning projects this year. Rob Burke, Jamie Vetter, Caleb Hauff, Nathan Long and Jade Neumann were among the alumni honored with Addys as well. Neumann, a 2017 graduate, was awarded two Silver Addys. One for the ‘Shortcuts’ Poster Design and the other for ‘Create’, an illustration. Long, a 2016 graduate now attending Moorhead State University, shared in a Gold Addy for a web site design for ‘The Fargo Project’. This entry also received the only ‘Best of Digital’ Student Award. Burke, 2009 graduate and owner of Yarn Media, received 3 Gold Addys and 1 Silver for his cinematography and editing work. Vetter, also a 2009 graduate, netted four Addys – a Silver with co-creator of the Shortcuts Poster, Jade Neumann, and three Addys as part of his work with Agency Mabu. Hauff, 2014 graduate and co-founder of Threefold, shared in over ten awards – four Gold Addys, five Silver Addys and the only Best of Show given this year.
Congratulations to all award winners and all of the students that entered. Because the Addy is universally recognized by the creative industry as a signature achievement, receiving one is great validation for the professional and creative work produced by our GDC students.
I don’t know how I missed this shortcut for so many years, but it has made my photo editing workflow a little smoother.
I really like the tools in the camera raw editor for photo toning and color work, but I don’t like the way that it handles cloning and the lack of layers. The drawback with the raw editor for me has been that after I click the Open Image button at the bottom of the screen, my raw editing tools are gone.
There is a way to go back and forth between the raw editor and Photoshop seamlessly. With the raw file open in the raw editor, hold down the Shift key, the Open Image button will change to Open Object. The raw image is opened in Photoshop, but it is a Smart Object, you can modify the image in Photoshop and double clicking it will allow changes to made in the raw editor again. You can go back and forth between the Photoshop and the raw editor as often as necessary.
Unfortunately, if you do your raw editing in Lightroom, I don’t believe there is a way to work back and forth.