Tag Archives: design

Book Jackets

Working with our school librarian, I secured a number of library books that had long since lost their protective book jackets I brought these books to the art room and asked students to choose any book that caught their attention, take it back to their seats and peruse it with an eye toward de­signing a book jacket. There were books on numerous topics ranging from sports, plants, animals, biographies, works of fic­tion, drawing and dancing. The books themselves served to stimulate and excite enthusiasm for the artwork that was to fol­low.

The size of the jacket was determined by the size and shape of the book itself. Stu­dents added a 3″ (8 cm) flap on each end of the jacket for folding under the cover of the book, enabling it to stay in place. I taught students a basic block style of lettering so that the name of the book and its author could be incorporated into the design.
After the designs were carefully com­posed, the lettering blocked, and the picture and letters painted with great care, the stu­dents applied their own names to their book jackets. Then each jacket was laminated by our school aides. A special presentation ceremony in the library allowed each stu­dent to personally present his or her book to the school principal

This project involved a great many people within the school, creating interest for the art department and in what the students were doing. It instilled a sense of pride in the students for the books in the library and at the same time provided an opportunity to learn the importance of community service.

Architecture Deconstructive Model

When planning an architectural project for my Advanced Studio art students, I wanted to chal­lenge them artistically and require them to think critically. Because Deconstructive architecture is a style that challenges traditional views, I felt it would fit the goals I had in mind.

I gave a brief lecture on the origins of De­constructive architecture (founded in 1908 by Russian architects) and showed slides of con­temporary work by Gehry, Eisenman and Hadid. An active discussion on structures built by these architects followed. Students were asked to design a structure (home, commercial build­ing or school) using Deconstructive style and to consider the environment and the location (urban, suburban or rural).

Project components included: (1) two dimensional exterior perspective drawing in pencil, pen and ink; (2) floor plan showing each level; (3) three-dimensional model of the structure. Materials included foam core board, balsa wood, glue gun, acetate, X-acto knives and sandpaper.

The model had to be constructed so that the finished structure could be seen from all viewpoints. Models could be left open or have a removable roof to show interior. Some stu­dents applied math skills and created a scale to which their models were built. Some added exterior details such as balsa-wood trees, tennis courts and swimming pools. Students made changes while they worked, evidence of the critical thinking component I was hoping for. When students realized they had not spent much time on their drawings and their models were great, they wanted to make all three components of the project equal in quality.

The project took about four weeks, but I felt the multiple objectives were well worth the time, and most important, my students were very proud of the results of their labors.

Design elements

All designs have certain basics elements or building blocks chosen to convey the message — beyond the actual words or photos used. The five elements of lines, shapes, mass, texture, and color are the building blocks of design. Other terms which you might hear described as elements of design are form, space, and value (as in lightness or darkness of color). Your first assignment is to create a folder (not on your computer, a real paper folder) or a notebook to hold your samples. In your folder, put printed samples of:

  1. display ads and fliers
  2. logos
  3. newsletters
  4. brochures of all kinds
  5. business cards
  6. letterhead
  7. magazines
  8. newspapers
  9. labels and packaging
  10. books, book jackets

Include the good and the bad — don’t worry about the quality. Sift through your junk mail, magazines, newspapers, and your business card file. You can even include work that you’ve created yourself. Aim for a variety of materials.

LINE

Lines can be long or short, straight or curved. Lines can be horizontal, vertical, or diagonal. They create patterns. Lines in graphic design can be solid, dashed, thick, thin, or of variable width. Sometimes a designer uses a line alone to divide or unite elements on a page. Lines can denote direction of movement (as in diagonal lines and arrows) or provide an anchor to hold elements on a page (such as lines at the top, bottom, or sides of a page). You can use lines in conjunction with other elements of your design. One well-known example, the AT&T logo, is a pattern of thick and thin lines arranged in a circular shape. Go through your sample folder of ads, newsletters, business cards, books, and other projects with an eye on lines. I want you to find as many different examples of lines of all kinds used in these pieces. Are the lines used prominently? Are they part of a logo or used in other ways to divide the page or add decoration?

Exercise 1: Find examples of each of these six types of lines:

  1. horizontal lines
  2. vertical lines
  3. diagonal lines
  4. curved or freeform lines
  5. lines used in a pattern
  6. non-solid (dashed, dotted, etc.)

SHAPES

Circle, square, and triangle are the three basic shapes used in graphic design. Perhaps the most familiar shape to desktop publishing is the square (and rectangle). Paper is rectangular. Most text blocks are square or rectangular. While you may encounter printed projects cut into other shapes, most circles, triangles, and freeform shapes in desktop published materials are found on the page within the graphics or in the way the elements are placed on the page. Go through your sample folder of ads, newsletters, business cards, books, and other projects looking for a variety of shapes. No doubt you can find many examples of squares and rectangles but keep an eye out for other shapes. Are the examples you find actual graphic elements or can you find examples of lines or text arranged in geometric shapes?

Exercise 2: Find examples of each of these six shapes:

  1. square (not-rectangle) graphic element
  2. square (not-rectangle) text blocks
  3. circle graphic element
  4. triangle graphic element
  5. circle, triangle, or freeform text blocks

MASS

Mass is size. There is physical size and visual size. Size can be relative. A physically small brochure can have a great deal of mass through the use of heavy text and graphic elements. A physically large brochure can appear smaller, lighter by using text and graphics sparingly. While the paper projects you create have a certain size because of the size and weight of the paper, visual mass — how light or heavy it appears — is also an element of the design. Go through your sample folder of ads, newsletters, business cards, books, and other projects and look at each piece and analyze mass in terms of physical size of the piece and the visual mass. Does it have a heavy, imposing look due to the size or weight of the paper or the density of text and graphics? Is it small and compact or light and airy? Hold the items in your hand to see if they feel light or heavy. Compare the physical size to the visual mass of each piece.

Exercise 3 : Find four examples of mass as follows:

  1. physically large
  2. physically small
  3. visually massive
  4. visually small or light

TEXTURE

For desktop publishing, actual texture is the feel of the paper. Is it smooth to the touch or rough? Textures can also be visual. On the Web, especially, backgrounds that simulate familiar fabrics, stone, and other textures are common. Certain printing and finishing techniques such as thermography and embossing can add both actual and visual textures to a printed piece. Go through your sample folder of ads, newsletters, business cards, books, and other projects looking for as many different types of actual and visual textures as you can find. Can you tell by looking whether a paper will be soft and smooth or rougher? Are the visual textures used in place of actual papers of that texture or do they relate in some way to the purpose of the printed piece (such as a stone texture for a tile company)? See and feel the difference in textures on embossed pieces or other types of raised printing.

Exercise 4 : Find four examples of textures as follows:

  1. actual smooth paper
  2. actual rough paper
  3. visual texture (simulated fabric, stone, or even water etc. printed on the paper)
  4. browse the Web and find a Web page with a simulated textured background.

COLOR

Color is everywhere. Every single piece in the samples you’ve collected so far, even if it is black and white, exhibits the element of color. Color is used to attract attention. It can be subtle or bold. Color can be found in the paper, the text, or the graphic elements and photos. A monochromatic color scheme uses a single color, perhaps in various tints, while other layouts utilize combinations of two, three, or more colors. Color can be used to ellicit specific emotions and reactions. Red is typically thought of as an attention-grabbing, hot color. Blues are more calming or convey stability. Some color combinations are used to create a specific identity (corporate colors, school colors) or may be used in conjunction with texture to simulate the look of other objects (the look of plain paper wrapping or neon lights, for example). Color may provide cues for the reader. Sometimes considered a separate element of design, value is the relative lightness or darkness of an area compared to the surrounding area. Tints of gray or red are different values of the same color. Changing values can create contrast, movement, and emphasis. Go through your sample folder of ads, newsletters, business cards, books, and other projects and look at the variety of colors, color combinations, and the way color is used. Does the piece derive its main color from the paper? Are colors used throughout in specific ways such as just for graphic elements or only for headlines?

Exercise 5 : Find four examples of the use of color and value:

  1. subtle use of color (monochromatic or very little color)
  2. bold use of color (bright color, many colors, etc.)
  3. black and white only
  4. strong contrast in values other than strictly black and white (light and dark areas using tints of the same color or different light and dark colors)

Illustrative Lettering

Illustrative lettering attracts attention: It builds perception of letters and can be an important part of caching graphic arts.

Construction paper, scissors, glue and imagination are all the materials that are needed.

Begin by choosing a word. Action words, proper names, Vegetables — virtually any word could be the catalyst to start the activity. Having the students select several words, and drawing thumbnail sketches of three of them gets the project going.

Useful guidelines appropriate for illustrative lettering are:

Strive for a consistency of style. Each letter belongs to a family so they have similar characteristics. This applies to height and width as well as general shape. Some words can be augmented by using what the word represents or means as an Integral part or individual letter. For exam­ple, an octagon in place of the “0” in the word STOP, or using the image of eggs in place of the “G” in the word EGGS. Spacing should supplement or enhance the word. Color schemes—analogous, comple­mentary or split complementary as an example, could be emphasized. Some words can be composed of a repeat­ed symbol or letter. For example, the word SLEEP could be composed of numerous “Zs”; or the image of a watch is repeated to form the letters that spell SWATCH.

For some students, it is an enjoyable challenge to develop a complete alphabet from the letter style made for this project.

This activity goes right to the heart of creativity. It encourages students to look at letters in new ways, to recognize and develop patterns, and to derive a new and unique solution to illustrative lettering.

Logo Design

For this project you will be investigating the history of icons and logo designschanging a poorly designed logo into a well-designed onere-designing a company logo, and developing and creating a personal brand logo of yourself.

· Investigate and research the history of icons and logo design. Find examples to support your research.
(1 page in your journal)

· Review the ‘types of logos’ document and find two examples of each of the three types of logos. One example should be a well-designed logo and one a poorly designed example (total 6). Be sure to review the document ‘characteristics of logos’ to support and explain why each example is good or bad.
(2-3 pages in your journal)

· Choose one of the poorly designed examples you have documented and redesign it to become a well-designed logo. Be sure to review the reasons you have provided in your journal as to why it is a poor design as a guide to improve upon the design. Re-create the logo from start or place the poorly designed logo  as a template and edit it from there.

The re-created logo design should be an adobe illustrator print document 6 inches x 6 inches.

· Go to the website logoorange: http://www.logoorange.com/logodesign-A.php
and choose a company logo from the famous brands glossary to redesign. Be sure to include in your journal the company informationprevious logos the brand used, and two detailed color sketches for the redesign.
(2 pages in your journal)

Be sure to review the ‘logo design evaluation’ and ‘psychology of color choices’ files before you start your color sketches.

· Pick the best example from your sketches to scan and place into illustrator as either a template or live trace.

The updated design of the company logo should be an adobe illustrator print document 6 inches x 6 inches.

· Finally, you will create a logo brand about yourself. Gather information about yourself that may be used to create a personal logo. Things to consider:your full name, nicknames, sport interests, hobbies, music interests, zodiac/birthdates, family crest, ethnic background.

Make a word and visual list of ideas to consider.
(1 page in your journal)

Find examples of icons/logos to help with the brainstorm.
(1 page in your journal)

Review the following links to help you with further ideas regarding your logo:

http://www.logoorange.com/logo-design-09.php

http://www.logoorange.com/logo-design-08.php

http://www.logoorange.com/logo-design.php

Create two detailed colored drawings of your personal logo in your journal. (1 page in your journal)

Choose your favorite drawing and scan it to be placed as a template or as a live trace into adobe illustrator to be developed as a final design for your logo.

The final logo design should be an adobe illustrator print document 6 inches x 6 inches in size.

“Me” Magazine Advertisement

Review various magazine collections to study what magazine ads/covers look like.

Choose two examples from which to draw inspiration for how to arrange your advertisement.

You are the star, the subject to this piece. Gather and take pictures of yourself for this advertisement. Generate a list of interests, hobbies, credentials, and quotes about yourself for this work.

Your name should be large and clear. Be sure to add text and images, which are all about you.

Remember to use your knowledge of the design elements and principles used throughout the school year such as: balance, emphasis, rhythm, proportion, line, color, and texture.

To receive credit for this assignment you need to have completed in your journal the following:
· two magazine advertisements as reference to your final design
· pictures of yourself  that were used and considered for the ad
· lists/comments about your interests, hobbies, credentials, and other information that would be suitable for your advertisement

Music cover art design

For this project you will be investigating the history of album cover artreview and analyze six examples of music cover art using emphasis, create a band logo, and create a art board to include a CD cover, back, and inset to a band of your choice.

· Investigate and research the history of album cover art. Be sure to include the early history of music albums, formats used leading up to the compact disc, and design and packaging elements. Also include visuals to support this research.
(1-2 pages in your journal)

This site reviews album cover art history and some famous examples of censorship.
http://www.rockartpictureshow.com/vinylgallery/

This site also has a brief history of music cover art as well as an interview with renowned graphic artist, Michael Wrycraft, about the industry of music cover art.
http://www.suite101.com/content/cover-to-cover-a213629

· Review the link about emphasis. Find six different music covers that display an example of each of the six types of emphasis (contrast in shape, temperature, dark/light value, intensity of color, converging lines, and isolation) and describe how it works within the example you have chosen.  
(3 pages in your journal)

Below is a list of links to examples of music cover art:

Scroll down to the thumbnails of the music covers to receive in-depth coverage about the picture art, band, and circumstances leading up to the work.

http://sleevage.com/

Nearly 100 examples to look through for inspiration

http://inspiredology.com/99-best-designed-album-covers/

Categories of some interesting and zany cover art

http://2leep.com/srch/m/u/s/music+album+cover+design.html

 

· Choose a music group as the subject to your project. Provide a brief history of the group and include examples of cover art they have produced for albums they have recorded in the past and any band logos that are used.
(1-2 pages in your journal)

· Develop a band logo design. Create two sketches of potential ideas for the logo. These sketches can be a re-design of a current logo the band has, a word ligaturegraphic, type, or illustrative logo idea. The final logo design can be used in one or all of the parts of your art board.
(1-2 pages in your journal)

· The final music cover art will consist of a COVER (12cm x 12cm), BACK (12.5 cm x 12cm), and an INSET (12cm x 24cm). Each design should display one of the six examples of emphasis that was reviewed earlier in this project. Describe and sketch out your ideas for these designs in your journal before you begin. You may choose an album that already exists, or create a new one. A song list and album title should be included into the design.
(1-2 pages in your journal)

You will hand in the following for this project:

JOURNAL WORK-
· The history of cover art
· Six examples of cover art that use the different types of emphasis in art
· Music group research
· Band logo sketches
· Cover, back, and inset design sketches

STUDIO WORK-
· Adobe Illustrator file (.ai), print document (300dpi, CMYK)
· An art board to include:
COVER (12cm/width x 12cm/height)
        BACK (12.5cm/width x 12cm/height)
INSET (24cm/width x 12cm/height)
· Each of the above parts of the art board should display one type of emphasis
within the design
· In one, two, or all three of the above parts of the art board the band logo should
be placed with album name and/or song titles