GDS 293 Portfolio Seminar
Project 3: Open Project
Instructor: Paul Young
To develop conceptual thinking skills. To communicate ideas visually and verbally. To become familiar with marketing principles. To explore illustration and photography styles. To apply design principles to real-world visual communication problems.
To utilize Adobe Creative Suite as layout and production tools.
Review your current portfolio samples with your instructor to determine its strengths and its weaknesses (by appointment). Address its weaknesses by designing a new project to be added to your portfolio. Your project proposal must be approved by your instructor before you begin.
Typical projects that are in a graphic design portfolio are:
- Publications/Editorial layout
Some designers also include these types of samples:
- Web sites
- Animation/Motion graphics
- Environment design/Displays
Your project must communicate a creative concept and show an understanding of design principles (unity, emphasis, balance, color theory, etc.).
Note: High resolution stock photos and illustrations are available from Photospin. Contact your instructor for more information.
Optional: Repeat this project to add additional samples to your portfolio.
1. PROJECT PROPOSAL: Write a project proposal using Google Docs or Microsoft Word. List the due date for each phase of this project. All projects are due on the final review date for this class (see Calendar), so plan accordingly! Email the proposal to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. RESEARCH FOR INSPIRATION: Research existing award-winning graphic design. Be sure to review trade publications (Print, How, Communication Arts, Lürzer's Archive, etc.) and art director's annuals. Look specifically for creative concepts and creative use of typography, photography or illustration. Publish your research on your personal process page for critique (be sure to caption each image and cite the source). Be prepared to explain why these examples are successful.
3. MARKETING RESEARCH: Research your client (or make up one). What is the client's history? Are there any unique selling points for this business? Who is the competition? If appropriate, visit the business. Analyze your research and write a written statement of objectives in the form of a memo (see sample brief). Be sure to include descriptive adjectives in the "character" paragraph (see vocabulary wheel ). Email your brief as a shared Google Doc or an attached Word file to email@example.com.
4. INCUBATION: Absorb the information you have gathered and sleep on it. Allow your unconscious mind to make connections for you.
5. DEVELOP THE CONCEPT: In your sketchbook begin to conceptualize ideas for this project (see examples of sketches). Make at least 10 sketches of all possible directions you might take this project. Edit your concepts down to your best three ideas and redraw them on 8.5 x 11 white paper using a felt tip pen. Scan (scale/crop in Photoshop: no wider than 800 pixels) and publish your concepts on your personal process page for critique. Be prepared to discuss how your design fulfills the client's marketing objectives.
6. PROOF: Based on the critique of the above, use the computer to execute at least two versions of your best idea (present at least one proof with an alternate font choice). Generate web-ready JPEGs (no wider than 800px) and publish your design on your personal process page for critique. Be prepared to talk about what design principles are utilized in your design.
7. FINAL CRITIQUE: Based on the critique of the above, revise your design (if needed). Produce a fully conceived "comp" of the finished designs. Add revised JPEGs of your designs to your personal personal process page for final critique (do not delete older versions). Prepare a presentation to "sell" your design to the client during final critique. Be prepared to justify your design decisions and talk about how your solution fulfills the marketing objectives outlined in your brief.
8. GRADING: Submit two fully conceived "comps" with your name on the back for grading. One proof will be returned to you after grading. Review your Process Page and make sure you have an accurate record of your process. You will not receive credit for this project if any of the above elements are missing.
9. PORTFOLIO PREPARATION: If you are happy with the results of this project, consider including it in your portfolio. If necessary, continue to make refinements until you are 100% satisfied with the project. Be sure to save all your files for future editing.
10. OPTIONAL: Submit your project into the annual student show by printing an art gallery quality proof and mounting it on foam board. Also prepare an archival quality JPEG (800px wide, no larger than 200K) and submit your project using the online entry form at gds.parkland.edu/show. Your project may win a cash prize and be published in a showcase of student work on Parkland's website.