Graphic Design 2 | Spring 2018

The work we’ll do


T wo (very) general units comprise J465 this semester. The first features exercises and projects that generally relate to illustration in a variety of graphic design formats, while the second focuses on interactivity and layout concerns. Within these units are weekly themes, during which you can expect brief lectures and a series of creative, in-class exercises. Over the course of the semester, you will accumulate a healthy portfolio of creative, original work in this fashion.

These exercises serve as practice for the four graded projects, which you will produce outside of class time. The projects make up the majority of your grade in J465. Your fifth “project” is an ongoing, personal J465 website, which you will design, code and maintain over the course of the semester, adding your creative work as you go. In addition to showcasing your work in J465, with both exercises and projects, your site will feature your own design touches, including a header, background, typography, structure and colors, and eventually a 10-second introductory animation.

Below is a list of the project work for Spring 2018. Links to assignment prompts will be updated as the prompts become available, and you willo be able to see assignment prompts here as well as on Canvas.

Five projects


The work you will turn in for a grade will relate to a visual theme — one you will conceive, construct and maintain. Each is equally weighted, and unlike our creative exercises, you will work on your projects outside of class time. We will, however, reserve the class period before you submit each project for a pre-critique of your work-in-progress.

Percentage value of each project:

Logo 15%
Influence 15%
Conceptual 15%
812 Magazine 15%
Portfolio 15%

For the first (graded) project, you will create a brand name for an imagined publishing house that will “carry” all your work for this course. You will design logo variations, a color scheme and typographic style. Additionally, you will prepare a brief mission statement describing your organization’s aims, its audience and content.The remaining project prompts are very broad, giving you a lot of leeway to specialize in a certain kind of style and look for the output of your “publishing company.”

Your next two projects involve opening up your creativity and drawing abilities. You will create a poster that represents your interpretation of a strong design influence — Russian Constructivism or jazz albums of the 1950s, for example, or any graphic designer, living or dead, whose style you especially admire. Later, you will create a centerpiece illustration and layout for your “publication” based on your choice from among a series of stories — or selecting something you yourself have written.

We will continue to build on your skills in multimedia design with the next two projects, creating an interactive on-line magazine using InDesign and plug-in tools, and working with another class — Nancy Comiskey’s J481 — to create an iPad version of the Summer 2018 edition of 812 magazine.

Lastly, a final project will represent a culmination of all that you have learned and produced in this course. You will present your work (including the best of your projects as well as in-class exercises) as an interactive portfolio, complete with an animated introduction you will create using Adobe After Effects.