Unreal Reality

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.

Jaiden Ziegler
Luis Vilella
Natalia Sotomayor
Scout Wheeler
LaDora Schmidt
Sam Kraft
Sophia Jilek

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.

Photoshop creatures

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.

Jaiden Ziegler’s character. The parts blend together seamlessly.
Lauren Senescall created a dragon and added a few new skills along the way.
Luis Vilella recreated Mickey Mouse using textures and images. The eyes are made from images on human eyes. Clever use of images.
Sam Kraft created this mechanical insect with many images. Some of the pieces are very small, but add up to a great project.

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

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!

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.

 

The hard sell

It’s easy to judge a logo – saying it’s great or terrible – but often very difficult to actually do the work and find a solution for a client.

The freshmen were handed a tough list of clients. The idea was to take a nontraditional sport and create a logo to represent it. The project was pushed a little farther to include displacing the logo onto a variety of projects. They did a great job finding creative solutions to the problems.

The sports included cup stacking, squirrel hunting, hog calling, lock picking and hot dog eating.