Graphic Design / Interactive Design / Fine & Applied Arts / Parkland College

Graphic Design Exercises
Illustrator: Zen Clouds


To learn advanced Illustrator drawing techniques. To create art in the style of an influential designer. To work in a collaborative team environment.

Download InDesign template


This is a group assignment. In your assigned teams, discuss a strategy to complete the assignment. The winning team will receive bonus points.

Each team will create a suites of laser prints. The suite will illustrate a zen lesson about awareness. There are five different images in each suite (the title page and the first and last page will not be illustrated).

Each student will create all five images. As a team, you will decide which is the best image for each page. Because every team member must be represented in the suite, consider working in a compatible style so that the completed suite will look unified.

There are several restrictions: You must use the template provided, with no changes to the layout, no exceptions. You must work in Illustrator and you must use the Middle Ages color palette (window > swatch libraries > art history) found in Illustrator. You must work after the style of A.M. Cassandre, using only basic geometric shapes found in the tool palette in Illustrator. 

Important: This assignment is due at the end of the class.


Suggested sequence

  1. meet as a team, choose a team leader
  2. discuss strategy and direction (schedule, research, reference, thumbnails, critiques, revisions, etc)
  3. in Illustrator, create a document with five 2.5 x 2.5 inch boxes
  4. create the art
  5. review the art, revise as needed
  6. using the downloaded InDesign document, place the final art
  7. print a copy of the final document for each student on your team
  8. submit one extra copy to the instructor for grading

Here are the prints in the suite:

  1. Title page
  2. Can you see the clouds on this piece of paper? No? Ah. (blank)
  3. This piece of paper came from the paper mill.
  4. The paper mill used the tree cut down by the lumberjack.
  5. The tree that grew in the forest under the sun.
  6. The tree that grew in the rain.
  7. The rain that came from the clouds in the sky.
  8. Now can you see the clouds? (blank)

Last updated: 3/1/17 ■ Webmaster: Paul Young