Graphic Design Class
This is a project-based class is for students who have passed the ACA Photoshop Exam and are ready to tackle Illustrator.
How to Visually Communicate a Message
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."  -Steve Jobs
"Design is no longer — if it was ever — just about making stuff look pretty."
Assignment: Various Due Dates Throughout the Semester
Project MUST be 600 px wide x 800 px tall.
Other configurations will NOT be accepted!
ALL ADOBE LEARNERS - CLICK HERE for a sheet explaining an assignment that you will be responsible for no matter what software you are learning.
Week 8: March 16-20, 2020
Due to the Corona Virus, school has been dismissed for the year. I urge you to use this time safely and wisely. READ A BOOK. Go online and watch some Adobe videos. CONTACT ME if you did not gain access to Adobe software through their free Corona Virus program.
Week 7: March 9-13, 2020
  • Finish the theme project: "Fears and Tears". Do NOT do the theme projects: "Time Traveler" or "Uncharted Waters".
    I want you to concentrate on learning Illustrator.
  • The "Seniors 2020" logo is due Friday!
  • Want some extra credit points? Check out, do a letter, post it on instagram and show it to me. Follow the online directions or else it won't count!
  • CHECK THIS OUT! Joshua E's response to the assignment: Thing Found Under Car Seats
Week 6: March 2-6, 2020
Assignment: March 31
Project MUST created in Illustrator. MUST be VECTOR
Email your Illustrator file with all of the iterations of your design.
Other configurations will NOT be accepted!
Design by Natalie Garcia
Click on this image to download a higher-rez version from which you will do the final art. Hint: Use this as a base layer band build from there. Use layers. Try to keep to the design. Color choices are yours. Natalie Garcia, the artist, will be art directing your work (and so will I). Make your school proud!
Here is an example from Von Glitschka (of course). Your art will probably not be as simple, but done correctly, it will have an instant impact.
Logo Rubric - READ!
Week 5: February 24-28, 2020
  • Adobe's latest promo video.
  • Review Type Now posters.
  • Due Friday: Theme assignment #3: "things found under car seats". You MUST use Illustrator for this assignment. Stuck? You can create one of these instead: HARD CANDY, PENCIL, SCREWDRIVER, or WRINKLED PAPER
  • First round of Fish Factory logo sketches were due last Friday, but I have extended the deadline to THIS FRIDAY, FEB. 28 - no exceptions
  • Watch the videos and get proficient with Illustrator. If you wish, I can hook you up with Von Glitschka's videos - they're my favorite. If you want to pass the ACA, then I suggest you continue with Brain Buffet.
Week 4: February 18-21, 2020
  • Due Friday: Theme assignment #2- "grey side of life" You MUST use Illustrator for this assignment.
  • Continue learning Illustrator - it is the key to graphic design.
  • Login to Logo Lounge and take a look at Coffee logos. Ms. Durkin has the login information. This is for inspiration - sketch some ideas as you look. Creating logos is a long process. There are no shortcuts.
Assignment: Fish Factory Logo and Menus
  • An old restaurant is doing a new grand opening. Completely rebuilt, and they want a new logo, new sign and menus for their grand opening.
  • This is the old sign - pretty bad, eh?
  • Start with the logo (or new "Identity". Make plenty of sketches and show them to Durkin BEFORE you even think of going online. Go online to (ask Durkin for the login info.)
  • First round of sketches due Friday, Feb. 21st.
Week 3: February 10-14, 2020
Assignment: Coffee Cave Logo
Coffee Cave needs a new logo. A student worked on it first semester, but Ms. Piscitello and I both feel that we need to covey more of a "coffee" feel than a "cave" feel to the logo. Your solutions must be original. Do NOT COPY another concept. Show me your first set of sketches by Friday, March 6. Information HERE.
Week 2: February 3-7,2020
  • Type Only poster is Due Friday, Feb. 7th. Deadlines are EVERYTHING in the design industry. Late work WILL be penalized.
  • Theme Project 1: "in fifty years" is due Friday, February 14th
  • New Project: Due Friday, February 14th: Valentine's Day Card
DUE Friday, February 14th: Valentine's Day Card
This can be a valentine to the world, to an animal, to anything you like. Contact Ms. Durkin for some great Brushes & Valentine's art.
Technical requirements: 400x400 pixels (phone size), 96ppi (if using Photoshop), file name= YourFullName.png
Learn about the Graphic Design Process HERE
Illustrator Learners! I want to offer an alternative way to learn Illustrator. Check it out here: DesignDojo
Week 1: January 27-31,2020
Assignment: Various Due Dates Throughout the Semester
Project MUST be 600 px wide x 800 px tall.
Other configurations will NOT be accepted!
ALL ADOBE LEARNERS - CLICK HERE for a sheet explaining an assignment that you will be responsible for no matter what software you are learning.
  • Download the textbook HERE
  • READ & Sign the Syllabus HERE
  • Classroom Expectations: No Phones, No Music, No watching television online. Deadlines are absolute.
    This class is all about total immersion in Graphic Design. The learning goes way beyond this one semester class, so pay attention and improve your design skills. Learning software is one's how you use it to inspire & inform that will get you the job. Meeting deadlines is required- just like in the industry, NO LATE work is accepted-ever.
  • Key Skills:
  • Designing for a variety of audiences and needs
  • Problem solving that helps support multiple perspectives
  • The design process and effective communication
  • Technical skills with industry-standard design software
Assignment 1: Type Only Poster     Due Friday, Feb 7
We might as well dive right-in. You are going to use Photoshop, InDesign (recommended), or Illustrator to create a poster using type only to communicate. You may also use lines, shapes and color, but no images of any kind.
  1. BEFORE you start the software, read, watch and learn about type, layout, & color by visiting every site listed below.
  2. What is Typography?
  3. 50 Top Type Tutorials - check it out - you don't need to watch all the videos, you can definitely pick-up a lot of knowledge by spending time on this page.
  4. If you are going to understand Typography, you need to know a little bit about its history.
  5. Typography in ten minutes
  6. Practice Kerning Game
  7. Type War Game
  8. Watch the 3 videos below:
  1. Go to this website for a quick review on COLOR
  2. Go HERE for access to color schemes. I use them all the time.
  3. Visit this page and REALLY SPEND SOME SERIOUS TIME EXPLORING, because there is a wealth of information: color palette websites, and especially check-out the infographic on the right.
  4. 19 Graphic Design Mistakes that Novice Designers Make
  5. Finally, download the instruction sheet HERE.
  6. Rubric HERE. Read it, it will help you understand what is important in a type-only poster
  7. Samples of previous students' solutions
  • Watch this video below from one of the greatest. (It's 90 minutes long- it will take you 3 class periods)
  • 100 pts.: Turn-in all of your work using the bear button above (.zip it first)
Watch this video. This guy is THE MASTER
  • 100 pts.:Go to Jason Hoppe's site HERE and choose something to build. Some are easier than others. Just GO SLOW and follow EVERY direction CAREFULLY.