Shane Balkowitsch has been a great friend of the Graphic Design and Communications department at Bismarck State College. Each year he has generously welcomed students into his wet plate photo studio to see the process he uses to create amazing images. Thank you for your generosity Shane!
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First year students rose to the challenge of rendering an item using nothing but the tools offered by Adobe Illustrator to achieve realism. Time-consuming and rewarding work that pushes the boundaries of what can be done in software that is usually producing flat designs. It’s always amazing to see the results.
Photoshop vector challenge
Photoshop handles vectors a tiny bit different than Illustrator. After I’m positive that Sean has done the heavy lifting of teaching the freshmen the pen too, we spend one day looking at vectors in Photoshop culminating in a 25 minute vector car drawing challenge with a $1 prize. Jaiden Ziegler from the M,W,F class and Sophia Jilek from the T,TH,F class both walked away a dollar richer.
I make an attempt to come up with a replacement assignment for the Photoshop creature almost every year. I’ve modified the assignment a couple times, but eventually have come back to almost the spot where it started. This assignment does a good job of showcasing all of the skills the freshmen students have learned up until this point and provides some creative scenarios to learn a few new skills.
The class of 2020 created some spectacular beverage photos. I’m looking forward to seeing the food photos coming in a couple weeks, they will likely be even better.
What is that light in the sky?
We’ve all seen them, but nobody admits it … little green people in spaceships. Okay, maybe we haven’t – but it’s easy to imagine images of UFOs visiting good old mother earth. Here are a few that students created.
Getting bigger …
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.
Cases on display
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.
The end is near
Racing to the finish
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.