This week we purchased a used printer from the great folks at McQuade Distributing. The McQuade sign shop is a pretty amazing place, printers are buzzing and computers are humming. The single room turns out an incredible amount of material. It’s run by Rhea Beto, who is a member of of the Graphic Design and Communications Advisory Board. Tasha Hager, a GDC graduate, works in the sign shop as well Both are all-around fabulous people. They helped us pack up and load the printer using a forklift with some help from another McQuade employee.
After a little tinkering, we have produced our first prints – they look great and it’s much faster than our old Epson. The big bonus is that it can print material up to 60-inches wide, that will simplify many tasks for us.
Design education of 20 years ago offered three-credit courses in production skills – using a razor knife, spray mounting art work and generally creating physical pieces in the most analogue ways. Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy spot in our day-to-day curriculum for those skills at this point, but the display case project helps fill the gap.
The display case project is a marathon – starting with planning, moving through design and into production. The project starts with the beginning of the fall semester and pushes through to the beginning of finals week.
The project is meant to teach a bunch of pieces – selling your concept to a group, getting behind an idea even if it isn’t yours and massive amounts of production skills.
The designs in the two cases below will be up for the next calendar year.
Former students will probably recognize the class day countdown on the board of room 330 in the Career Academy. It tracks the number of class day left until finals week – today the clock is hanging at one day left. The semester has flown by!
The sophomore Graphic Design and Communications students have been designing new displays for the area outside of the classrooms for several years. A lot of time goes into researching topics, designing the pieces and producing the elements.
The goal is to have students complete the display case project at the end of the first semester. Each year, the three instructors feel like the deadline is going to be missed and every year the students have pulled through. Once again, this year, the teachers are worried about making the deadline.
With only two production Fridays remaining, the students will have to work hard to complete the cases outside of class.
Cutting and gluing – with a saw and a razor knife.
Working hard creating a display case design.
Tearing down the screen printing display.
Sophomore Megan Davidson prepares ingredients for her food photo. The production room table looked like a potluck buffet as she created the scene that would be moved to the studio.
It’s food photography time. That means beautiful photos, lots of offers of free food that has been handled too much and stressed out students.
Food photography is all about preparation – the students invest more time in the planning, shopping and setup than taking the photos. Editing is also important, getting color perfect and cloning out crumbs is a must.
It’s time for the annual Halloween Stop Motion Graphic Design and Communications at Bismarck State College Film Festival, also know as the HSMGDCBSCFF. Everyone knows about it, everyone waits for it.
Graphic Design freshmen get about an hour to create a stop motion animation using white board markers and their creativity. The three instructors give them very little input, just new markers and a lot of prodding to draw faster. Here are the results:
Group 1 video
Group 2 video
Group 3 video
Group 4 video
For many of our students, sitting in the Graphic Design and Communications classroom is the first time they have had to work collaboratively with other creative folks. It can be tough, everyone has an idea, but students need to rally around the best idea. GDC classes start with collaborative creative exercises very early.
At this point, some of the students have limited skills with design software, but they all know how to use a pencil.
This exercise focused on something bizarre – growing people to fill different roles. Small groups were formed and each member had to illustrate a seed packet centered around a particular industry. Those industries were transportation, the medical field, the entertainment industry, military and also science.
Check out the seed packets and see if you can find which occupations go together to for a set of four or five. Here’s a hint – watch for similar elements on seed packets design by a group.
It’s been a very busy week for the Graphic Design and Communications faculty and students at BSC. Monday morning students set up the Spring Show, Tuesday morning the GDC faculty talked with a great class from McIntosh, S.D. Wednesday was a little more normal, but Thursday was great – the show was disassembled in the morning and we were visited by a class of online design students taught by Kristy Horner. We wrapped up the day with screen printing at the Student Union, which is seen in Michelle Kraft’s photo below. The week wrapped up with mock job interviews for the sophomore students. Thanks a bunch to all of the volunteers and BSC staff that helped make this busy week a whole lot of fun.
Wet Plate photographers are a rare breed – it takes a long time to perfect the technical parts of wet plate photography, let alone the artistic components. Shane Balkoswitsch has perfected both, but still has the enthusiasm of a person who just made his first plate. He treats every project as though it is the most important piece he has ever created and that attitude helps him create spectacular work.
Balkowitsch spent a couple hours sharing his enthusiasm with the BSC Graphic Design and Communications students today. He talked about both the differences and similarities to shooting photos in the modern world. He showed the process from pouring a plate to composing a photo and finally developing it to a solid image.
Thank you Shane – nobody beats your skill, talent and enthusiasm.
Photo credit: Lindsey Willnow, BSC GDC sophomore.