Week 6: Starting Unit 2!

After finishing up Unit 1 last week, we’re now moving on to Unit 2: Vector Graphics and Adobe Illustrator. The pattern of each unit should start to seem familiar — we’ll start with tutorials to explore the software, then apply those skills and principles from the course readings to create a multimedia project that relates to your course topic. In this unit, you’ll be making a logo.

Illustrator is my favorite of the Adobe programs, so I’m very excited for all of you to try it out! However, this is frequently students’ least favorite unit in COM210, because Illustrator is less familiar than Photoshop and less intuitive than audio and video editing.

It can be frustrating, and it’s important that you 1) read this week’s readings to understand how vector graphics work and 2) give yourself plenty of time for the tutorials this week. You’ll be reading about how vector graphics differ from the more familiar raster graphics, the principle of figure-ground, and the history of logos.

Week 6 Checklist

❑ Read the course materials listed for Week 6
Download Adobe Illustrator if you are using it on your own computer
❑ Complete the Illustrator Tutorials by Friday. Don’t wait until the last minute or you won’t get them done!

Due Last Week!

If you have not yet submitted your Final Graphic Design Project, make sure to do this! The final projects for each unit of this course are worth a lot of points. It can be submitted for partial credit through this Wednesday.

Other Reminders

Week 5: Feedback and Critique

Now that you’ve created a draft for your Graphic Design Project, this week you’ll get feedback and make revisions to improve your design. This is the final week of Unit 1 and Photoshop before we move to the next unit.

Feedback groups will be posted on Blackboard Announcements and sent via email today (9/16). Before you provide feedback to your group members, make sure to read this week’s chapter on Constructive Criticism & Feedback in Design to think about the best way to communicate your response to other students’ drafts. Giving useful feedback is one of the most important skills you’ll get to practice in this course.

Week 5 To-Do List

❑ Read the Week 5 reading listed on the course schedule
❑ Complete and submit the Graphic Design Project Feedback assignment by Tuesday
❑ Complete and submit the Final Graphic Design Project by Friday
❑ Earn your Unit 1 Participation Credit by attending your lab section, if you haven’t already (you must attend your lab session once per Unit, and be marked in attendance by your TA, in order to earn this).

Photoshop 1.0

For fun, here’s a video of Photoshop experts attempting to use Photoshop 1.0, which debuted 26 years ago in February 1990.

Week 4: Your First Multimedia Project!

Now that you’re familiar with Photoshop tools and techniques from last week’s tutorials assignment, it’s time to start the first multimedia project in this course: the Graphic Design Project. This project is intentionally left vague to allow each of you the freedom to create according to your chosen topics and interests, but please read the instructions carefully to make sure your idea will fit all the requirements.

The Graphic Design Project comes with multiple deadlines you need to be aware of, and checkpoints along the way. The first portion, the Image Collection, is due this Tuesday. This deliverable is intended to ensure you’re making progress and collecting assets (that are copyright free) to work with. The second part, your Draft Graphic Design Project, is due on Friday. The remainder of the project’s deadlines will come next week.

Also, please note, the Unit 1 Quiz is due this week in Blackboard, which covers the Unit 1 readings for Weeks 3 and 4. You can take this anytime before the deadline but, remember, the Blackboard submission portal closes on Friday at 11:59 p.m.

For this project, don’t worry about your artistic abilities or creativity – it’s more about communicating a clear and original message visually. If you are worried about this, please start the project early and ask for help early on so we assist you with plenty of time to work through the details.

Week 4 To-Do List

❑ Read the Week 4 readings listed on the course schedule
❑ Complete and submit the Image Collection by Tuesday
❑ Complete and submit the Draft Graphic Design Project by Friday
❑ Take the Unit 1 Quiz in Blackboard by Friday

Week 3: Diving into Photoshop!

LAB HOURS UPDATE: We’ve had a few students ask how they can access the Adobe Creative Cloud Software, if they do not plan on purchasing the software personally, to complete their assignments. Good news! I’ve posted lab hours for various locations throughout WSU’s Campus, where each lab is equipped with Adobe Creative Cloud Software. You will find these lab hours posted on the COM210 Syllabus under “Materials & Resources.” Please don’t hesitate to take advantage of this software access if you need it – that’s what it’s there for!

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With your course blog and selected topic completed, it’s now time to dive into your multimedia projects and the start of Unit 1! This week we will work through the same set of Photoshop tutorials to learn some tools and techniques. This will set you up well for Week 4, where we apply those skills to your own unique project.

Beginning this week, you will need access to Adobe Creative Cloud software. Students in Pullman can choose to use campus labs rather than purchasing the software (see the recently posted Open Lab Hours link at the top of the Syllabus), but all students who need or prefer to use their own computers will need to choose a software subscription. The options for this are explained on the Software & Technical Requirements chapter from Week 1. If you have any additional questions regarding purchase, please don’t hesitate to reach out to either your TA, or myself.

Everyone can also download a free 7-day trial of Photoshop, which gives you some additional time to figure out which subscription plan is best for you. Download each program from this Adobe Downloads page (which is also linked in the left menu on course website). Note that downloading Photoshop can take quite a while, especially depending on your internet speed or other installation issues with your computer. Leave yourself plenty of time to do so.

Week 3 To-Do List

❑ Download Photoshop if you plan to use it on your own computer
❑ Complete the Photoshop Tutorials assignment
❑ Go through the Week 3 readings listed on the Course Schedule
❑ Check the course blog for other new posts that may help you, such as tips for working in WordPress

Week 2: Your First Blog Post and Copyright Law

Congratulations… you’ve officially made it through the first week of the semester. Now, it’s time to dive into Week 2! Hopefully everyone has submitted their WordPress Blog Assignment (if you haven’t submitted it yet, please be sure to do so as soon as possible, with Wednesday being the final day to submit for partial credit).

During this week, you’ll cement your topic, publish your first blog post, and learn about U.S. Copyright Law. Be sure to read the Topic Introduction Post Assignment early this week so you have some time to think about your topic before formally committing to it.

When it comes to copyright law, there’s lots of misinformation out there, and it’s important you’re aware of the details so you can create unique and exciting materials without infringing on someone else’s protected work. Under copyright law, original text, graphics, audio, video and all other elements that make up the original nature of the material are protected, and are property of the original owner unless specific permissions and protocol is in place. It’s very important that all assignments and materials used in this course follow copyright laws. If you have a question regarding these regulations throughout the semester, be sure to reach out to myself, or your TA, to make sure you don’t include any illegal material!

Good luck on this week’s assignments, and don’t forget to do the readings before you dive in…

Week 2 To-Do List

❑ Read about Blogging Best Practices and User-Centered Design
❑ Complete the Topic Introduction Post assignment
❑ Read about Copyright & Fair Use, then take the Copyright Quiz