Welcome to MMA 100! Week #1

Welcome to MMA100 – Foundations of Digital Graphic Design! Fall 2021

Dear Students:


Im really excited to meet everyone and share this first class to connect, break the ice and for us all to learn a bit about each other. There is a lot of exciting and compelling content to cover, which will happen beginning tonight – Wednesday 8/25 at 5:30pm via Zoom. (the zoom link and password can be found on our BMCC blackboard course page – and I have also e-mailed that to your bmcc e-mail address’s)

If it is possible, please turn your camera ON for the zoom class. It would be helpful for me to see you as I am Deaf & Hard of Hearing and very dependent on all things visual. I read lips, and speech read from facial movements and expressions. I use my voice for speaking and I will always have real-time closed captions enabled for our class so that I can follow along in real time as everyone speaks. (you can turn off the captions if you wish from your end) I would greatly appreciate it if you would keep your cameras on. If it is not possible, I also understand, we also can use the chat feature for communication but please be patient with me. Thank You so much!

*Our Class Website Linkhttps://openlab.bmcc.cuny.edu/mma100-fall-2021

The link above is super important as that is where all of the course content will be published each week. Im not a big fan of using blackboard so only password sensitive things (like the zoom password and the shared google drive folder link) will be placed there. Only the minimum info needed will be placed there mainly as reminders. I will go over this in full during our 1st class.

The Class Structure – MMA100 will be taught synchronously on Wednesdays at 5:30pm and also asynchronously via this website. I am here to help you be the best that you can be in our course. And we are all here to do the same for each other. A big part of our class is being experimental with design and its relationship with the Internet. We will cover the many tools that are available to us. We do quite a bit of the fun and creative work from our own personal work spaces as we integrate the class work into our lives. Please know, I will screen record each and every “how-to” and “assignment tutorial” for all assignments and share those videos here on our class website.

The Class Website – Our class website takes place here on the BMCC OpenLab! You will soon discover that the OpenLab is a huge resource and regular source of inspiration! I promise.

*Class Website Linkhttps://openlab.bmcc.cuny.edu/mma100-fall-2021

Class Time: 5:30 PM – 9:00 PM – USA Eastern Time

Meeting Day & Dates: Every Wednesday, as per the CUNY academic calendar (please be aware of the cuny calendar for this semester)

If you have questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to me here – rseslow@bmcc.cuny.edu

Everything that we cover this semester will be posted and published to this website as a weekly blog post (like this one) and as individual pages that host specific content (like assignments and their details). You will be asked to visit this website each week. At the bottom of each page and post there is a section for comments, please feel free to use it to ask any questions that you may have.

One of the most well known logos around the world, by Milton Glaser

Week 1Introductions & Discussion –

What is Graphic Design?
Design Solutions: Strategy, Concept, Design, Execution & Production
Exploring the Design Process: Thumbnails, Roughs & Comps.

Software skills this semester will focus on– Adobe Photoshop & Adobe Illustrator as well as a few other apps and non-conventional methods of image-making.

Logos by Paul Rand

What is Graphic Design?

“Graphic design, also known as communication design, is the art and practice of planning and projecting ideas and experiences with visual and textual content. The form it takes can be physical or virtual and can include images, words, or graphics. The experience can take place in an instant or over a long period of time. The work can happen at any scale, from the design of a single postage stamp to a national postal signage system. It can be intended for a small number of people, such as a one-off or limited-edition book or exhibition design, or can be seen by millions, as with the interlinked digital and physical content of an international news organization. It can also be for any purpose, whether commercial, educational, cultural, or political.” (Via – Juliette Cezzar)

*Watch this Video Definitionhttps://vimeo.com/10532686

Great explanation of Graphic Design, but what about the speed of the video??

Poster Design by Milton Glaser

The History of Graphic Design – We will be exploring and referencing Design history in our class. Lets explore these two references below over the course of this week.

Design History.org – http://www.designhistory.org

Key Moments in Graphic Design / Timeline – https://www.thoughtco.com/key-moments-in-graphic-design-history-1697527

Lets talk a bit about assignments – Most assignments are broken down into 2-3 parts. For example, assignment #1 has 3 parts. For each assignment, I will be sharing a series of video tutorials during our Zoom time. Each assignment has its own page with all of the details and specifications needed to work on, complete and submit the assignment. The Assignments page is here

* a video tutorial from week #1’s Zoom class of assignment #1 – part 1 will be posted on the assignment #1 page shortly after our class ends.  

We are going to ease into assignment #1 with just a few easy tasks. Lets check out the assignments page for that here.

Becoming familiar with terms and items like: “design briefs, project sheets and project specifications” are essential to the design industry. We will become familiar with this process and following a simulation like experience 🙂

We will discuss the progress and submissions process of your finished assignments and how to send and share them via google drive. We will discuss the maintaining of your files and data and how to keep it safe and easy to access.

Assignment Submission guidelines:

When your assignment / assignments have been completed please add them to our class google drive shared folder (the google drive link is located on blackboard)

Please create a folder for yourself with your first and last name. And, please name your files with your name, assignment# & assignment status – here are a few Example file names – they may looks like this:




Tutorials – I will always share a few video tutorials each week that coincide with our assignments. This one below is about getting further acquainted with Photoshop – (Terry White is one of my favorite Adobe evangelists!)

Ill also share Designer Inspiration each week? Let’s be inspired and see Who’s Who in the field? There are so many great designers out there to follow these days! Each week, lets showcase one and talk about how their work functions.

50 Graphic Designers We all Should Know About 

Who is Aaron Draplin? Surely by now you have heard of Aaron Draplin?



Assignment #1 – Discussion continued – lets chat about vocabulary

Assignment # 1 will introduce you to The Elements & Principles of Design Vocabulary, thats the language of design.

(please note, there are several variations of these definitions that can be found across the web and through out the design world, its ok to mix and mingle variations from other sources to help expand your knowledge)

The Elements & Principles of Design are the governing vocabulary that define, illustrate and communicate how Graphic Design functions all around us. These terms are of great value and importance and should be understood and applied by designers. 

The Elements & Principles of Design Vocabulary<— click the link to view the PDF of vocabulary

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