Wednesday, December 10, 2008

teaching graphic design

This is the first of many posts to follow in the next few days about my adventures teaching graphic design. It is now the end of the semester at East Carolina University, and I have been dutifully grading my student's design process books. I've been teaching Art 2200, a broad survey of graphic design that is these students' first attempt at graphic design at ECU. These books have been their catch-all for the myriad writing and analysis assignments, all their thumbnails sketches (they'd lead you to believe I assign millions!), their comps, their rants, their raves. I have been a task-master with these process books this semester, and it has paid off!

As I was sifting through my students books I was amazed at the quality of their sketches, their thoughtful insights, and their cheeky notations. It made me happy. So, over the next many posts I'll be sharing the best of the best - exceprts from my students' process books that reveal their brilliance, quirkiness, and thinking.

To get you started, here's a tasty bit of verbal evidence of my students' being reflective practitioners. The class was introduced to Koberg and Bagnall's The Universal Traveler as a model of the design process at the beginning of the semester. To wrap it all up, at the end of the semester they had to revisit Koberg and Bagnall's theory and develop models of their own process as well as reflect on their strengths and weaknesses (up to this early point in their careers/education!) in the design process. Some were amazingly insightful. Enjoy!

Anna Vaughn Creech
I believe my strengths of the design process are accepting, selecting, and implementing. I welcome the challenge of accepting a new project and problem, sorting through imagery to find the best solution, and refining the imagery digitally. My weaknesses are probably defining and ideating. I usually want to jump right into the project with my preconceived ideas rather than spending time researching, even though it helps me in the long run. I also despise doing thumbnails sketches – part of ideating; however, it does help to generate ideas and helps me discern visual successes.

new nip/tuck promo

I was at one time an avid fan of FX's nip/tuck, but it lost me along the way... Well, I was surfing the channels this past weekend and caught a glimpse of the promo for season 6. It's brilliant in all its over-the-top, visually-excessive glory.

From the cheeky retro vinyl 50s diner mint green dresses to the corseted dancers to the sutured skin to the surgical instruments in brilliant pattern and repetition, I lurve this bit of design. It makes me want to watch the show again, and it makes me want to know who designed/directed it. You can check out a high-quality version of it at FX's web site here.