Week 6: Starting Unit 2

Illustrator is my favorite of the Adobe programs. I even have this T-shirt with the Align tools, and highly recommend Cotton Bureau if you have any interest in design-related shirts.
Illustrator is my favorite of the Adobe programs. I even have this T-shirt with the Align tools, and highly recommend Cotton Bureau if you have any interest in design-related shirts.

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, and the one I use most frequently in my professional work. 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: Critiquing and Revising

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.

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 if you haven’t already

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.

FAQ: Understanding the draft rubric

The feedback and revision phase is important for all four multimedia projects in this course. Along with the comments you’ll receive from your peers in the feedback assignment, you’ll also receive feedback from your TA about the strengths and weaknesses of your draft.

In Blackboard, you will see two rubrics for your draft project: one for your score, and the other for more detailed feedback. The following video explains the two rubrics and how they relate to the way the final version is graded:

Once your draft is graded, you can access those two rubrics by going to “My Grades” in Blackboard and clicking the “View Rubric” link below the assignment name.

view-rubric

The most important thing to note is that most assignments in this course (including your draft project) are graded for completion, meaning you get full credit as long as you successfully complete all parts. The final version of each multimedia project is graded to a high standard with a rigorous rubric. Earning a “C” is typical on the final projects, and this is balanced by all the other assignments where you can earn 100%. For this reason, it’s important to go through the feedback rubric for your draft project and ask your TA questions if you’re not sure how to improve on certain categories.

Tip: Citing your images

Photography by Dave Nixen via Flickr
Photograph by Dave Nixen via Flickr

Many of you are using our course list of Image Resources and other resources to find free-to-use images for your Graphic Design Project. We do not require you to follow a particular style of citation, but the following information must be clearly included:

  1. where you found the image
  2. who created it or owns the copyright
  3. how you know you have the right to use it
  4. a direct link to the image and its license information

It’s recommended that you list the citation information at the end of your post. You can do this explained in writing, or in a list format.

You can include this information in a written explanation. For example, to describe the image above, I might write:

I found the image at the top of this post by searching “photographer sunset” on Flickr. It was taken by Dave Nixen in 2012 and is labeled with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic license, which allows me to share and adapt the image as long as it’s attributed correctly and isn’t being used for commercial purposes.

Or, you can include this information in a list of citations. For example, I might describe the image above this way:

Image Citations
“Rough Water Shot” (waves image) by Dave Nixen, 2012. Shared on Flickr.com with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic license. https://flic.kr/p/b8X77B

If you are using images you found with Google using the license search feature, you must click through and get the link for the image that confirms its free-to-use license.

You must click through to make sure the image page includes information verifying the license.
You must click through to make sure the image page includes information verifying the license.
We're in luck! This photo's page clearly shows that it's labeled at Public Domain and free to use.
We’re in luck! This photo’s page clearly shows that it’s labeled at Public Domain and free to use.

Week 4: Starting the Unit 1 project

After trying out Photoshop tools and techniques last week for the tutorials assignment, it’s now time to start the first multimedia project in this course: the Graphic Design Project. You have a lot of freedom in how you decide to create this project, but please read the instructions carefully to make sure your idea will fit all the requirements.

This project has multiple parts with different deadlines. The first portion, the Image Collection, is due on Tuesday to show that you’re making progress and collecting raw materials to work with. The second part, your Draft Graphic Design Project, is due on Friday. We’ll finish the rest of the project next week.

There is also a short quiz due this week in Blackboard, which covers the Unit 1 readings for Weeks 3 and 4. You can take this anytime before the deadline.

Students sometimes feel that they’re not creative or artistic enough to do this project well, but it is more about thinking of multiple ideas and evaluating how to clearly communicate a message visually. If you are worried about this, please start the project early and ask for help early on so we can talk through your ideas.

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