Week #14 – The Final Project / Full Lab Session

Dear Students – Today, Wednesday 5/8 is our last working in class-Lab session. We will devote it to working on our final project.

Please remember, next Wednesday 5/15 – all CUNY students will follow a MONDAY class schedule to make up for the snow day.

**We will meet on Wednesday 5/22 for a Final Presentation of our final project from 5:30 – 8pm. This is mandatory.


Welcome to MMA100 Week #14

Here is this week’s useful information and class resources:

*Did you miss Week #13’s Post? Go Here

  1. ZINE collab! – If you haven’t already, Please print your Type project –
    at the 11″X17″ tabloid layout size we have discussed. (I have about half of the classes work at this point)

2. FINAL Project TIME!                             **FINAL PROJECT  – Logos and Visual Identity**

Assignment specifications – 

Part 1 – Students will create a fictional company. The company can produce any kind of product or service that you wish. Students will generate a description about the company, its products and services. The company will need a new logo and visual identity created from scratch to help bring its presence to life.

Part 2 – Creating a design brief and doing the research – Now that you have decided on the type of company, its products and services, who is the competition out there that already exists? What do those logos look like and are they effective? Who are your companies customers? What is the age range of your customer? Where will they find your business? Online or offline? Describe why. The more you know about your business, its products and services (and the believe in them) the more you can offer a solution to your client. A logo is usually the first thing that they will see. How will you grab their attention with your companies visual identity?

Part 3 – Sketch and development. Watch Draplin’s video (see the link below.) He has a great style and technique for the process. Create a series of sketches in pencil. I suggest making small thumbnail sketches as we have discussed in our class.

Part 4 – Iterations, variety and development, using art boards and making decisions on type, colors schemes and scale.

Part 5 – Production and application. Formatting business cards, letter heads and related usage for both print and the web.

**We will be using Adobe Illustrator for this project from start to finish.

Inspiration, Resources & helpful Info can be found in Week 13’s post here

Assignment #5 – Type & Typography

Assignment #5 – Type & Typography

PART 1 – Assignment – Poster Design with Type & the Alphabet.

**This Project’s Resources & Inspiration can be found in Week #11&12’s Blog post here

Create 3 (YES – three variations)  a new poster design series using and applying balanced typography in adobe illustrator. Students will generate and demonstrate both a balanced and unconventional composition using each individual letter of the alphabet. (A-Z) The examples above are just a few potential ways to display style, simplicity, order and efficiency. A demonstration will be given in class.

Size requirements – 8.5 inches -X- 11 inches (or larger – 11″ x 14″)

Typefaces – Limit yourself to no more than 2-3 different fonts and 4 color values.

Step 1Find and discover your own inspiration and share the URLs in the comments section HERE. Each student will add 2-3 URLS of their inspiration in the comment section before starting this assignment.

Things to consider – Layout & balance – Using rulers, guides and grids. Free transformation & typesetting style.

*COMPOSITION and command over the picture plane and its chosen dimensions.

Part 2 – Students will create a new 11″X17″ tabloid layout set for print in Adobe Illustrator. Students will apply a series of their designs from part 1 into a collaborative magazine for print and the web.

Typography Assignment – PART 2 (as discussed in class on 4/10 and will continue on 4/17)

We will have a class critique on the Wednesday after spring break. A printed version of this assignment will be presented by each student. You will select two of your designs from Part 1 and print them as a single tabloid page.

Students will create a new 11″X17″ tabloid layout set for print in Adobe Illustrator. (You may use use multiple art boards to create iterations) Students will apply a series of their designs from part 1 into a collaborative magazine for print and the web.

*Student submissions of the completed project:

Students will submit both Part 1 & Part 2 of the project to me via e-mail saved as a .PDF file. Please send to – rseslow@bmcc.cuny.edu no later than Friday 5/1/19

Mid-Term Project

Mid-Term Project 

Poster Design. We will bring together the applications of composition, image and typography.

Museum Exhibit Poster (examples will be shown in class – as well as a series of Illustrator vector demonstrations)

Choose one or more of these styles/movements of art to create a poster using a SELF-Portrait:


Process: Research! Find and discover a series of images and references to work from. Your research should inspire you! Create a new project folder titled “Mid-Term-Project” – save these images to your project folder. Create your self-portrait in the style of the Art Movement that you chose for a Museum Exhibition. It should be obvious which style you picked WITHOUT seeing the title.

*Your self-portrait IS the artwork for the poster campaign that you create for the exhibit. You must design the poster in 2 sizes – one landscape and one portrait orientation. I suggest 11” x 17” (or slightly smaller)

Your self-portrait must first be drawn in Illustrator and can be brought into Photoshop later for manipulation, (like adding blended color, additional imagery or effects.) After you illustrate your self-portrait, you’ll create the actual poster for the ex­hibit.

Specifications: The museum having the exhibit you’ve chosen is: SAM, Seattle Art Museum. Find out more about the institution at this website: https://www.seattleartmuseum.org/visit/seattle-art-museum

For the midterm project please use the SAM logo as it is: (attached as a download link here) *feel free to re-render the logo on your own if you wish. (This does not mean change it)

You may use any of the tools in Illustrator that we’ve learned or explored and also find and experiment with new ways to draw. You can work from a photo in Illustrator as demonstrated in class.

Do the Portrait First. Then compose the poster. :))

Minimum required copy/text for the poster is:

New Voices Exhibit

April 15th – May 30th 2019

Opening Reception, April 20th 7PM-9PM


*(and the SAM logo of course)

Fonts and colors – are entirely student choice. Students may ADD additional copy, but may not delete from the minimum above.

Class Work Sessions and Critique – In class lab work sessions will be next week 3/20 – 5:30pm – 7pm (tech talk ) and 3/27 – 5:30pm – 9pm – We will be printing our works in progress and discussing them on the critique board. The Class critique & evaluation for the Mid-Term Project will be during the second half of class on Wednesday 4/3.

***Updated – Final submissions of your two posters created in Illustrator will be saved and printed via .pdf file format (and I would like a .JPG file version saved via Photoshop – I will demonstrate on 4.3) both files will be  e-mailed to me by Sunday 4/7/19 – rseslow@bmcc.cuny.edu ****

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Research / Inspiration / Tutorial – Check out these links below:


Art Movement Resources: 





Inspiration – The NYC Transit Authority Graphics Standard Manual

Dear Students,

Please click the link below to explore a great piece of both NYC and Graphic Design History.

Behold,  The NYC Transit Authority Graphics Standard Manual


Designed by Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda, Unimark, 1970

I would love to hear your reactions and feedback in the comments section below! Each student will leave a comment this week.

**after you “post” your comment I will have to manually approve it – you may not see it show up right away.

Some Questions to ponder and react to:

  1. What is your general feedback on the manual? Do you like it? Dislike it? Please Explain. Do you find it to be well designed, illustrated and clear in its application?

2. The manual was published in 1970. Does it still hold up for today’s world?

3. What is missing or should be added for today’s world of NYC Transit?

4. What additional questions are you left with?

Assignment #3 – Illustrator, Shapes, Composition & Color

Project #3 – Illustrator, Shapes, Forms, Composition & Color

(See Example #1 Above & example #2 below)

1. Open Adobe Illustrator and create a new document sized at 11″ X 17″ in CMYK color mode. We will be both printing and displaying the final work on screen.

Consider, how will you set your guides to equally balance and format the graphics evenly? Will you use a grid? Do you have a preferred method for layout? Lets explore what this means.

2. Generate a new series of “subjective” graphic Icons following the layout and arrangement above. (Don’t re-create my example) make your own, but follow the balanced composition.

3. Limit yourself to 6 values of 1 complimentary color scheme. Consider referring to the color wheel for reference – (Located here)

4. Limit yourself to creating and composing your graphics with no more than 6 shapes created with the pathfinder or the shape builder tool. Begin without using a stroke around your shapes and then apply a stroke for contrast later.

5. Save your work as an Ai. file (adobe illustrator) as well as a .pdf – Print your work in .pdf format.

6. E-mail ALL of your final PDF. files to me – rseslow@bmcc.cuny.edu  ****If your .pdf files are too large to send via e-mail (and it may – you can easily use a free service like – wetransfer.com to send the large documents or use google drive)

PART 2 – Each student will follow the images in the gallery below as a guide to further extend and develop their designs.

Size – Use a square shape for this series of designs. I suggest 8″x 8″

Students will select and isolate their strongest single icon/graphic from the original layout in Part 1 of the assignment – 1 version will include a stroke and one with out(example below). Students will explore a 4-part color variation drawn from their selected color palette as well as 1-3 balanced patterns using their icons. (We will discuss the examples in class on 3/13)

*This project will be due in full by  Friday  3/16/19 at 12pm – (extensions are available upon request via e-mail)

Assignment #2 – Elements & Principles

Assignment #2 – Elements & Principles

Assignment Specifications: Students will generate a series of visual examples and solutions to define, communicate and illustrate the vocabulary of the elements & principles of design. Each term will display a visual example using the vocabulary below:

Elements – Color, Line, Mass, Movement, Space, Texture, Type & Value

Principles – Balance, Contrast, Direction, Economy, Emphasis, Proportion, Rhythm & Unity

Size: – 8.5″ X 8.5″ – The final suggested design will be 2 composites of 8 squares composed and arranged by each student. (2 files will be created)

Working with Photoshop – Lets apply additional layers, filters and image manipulating techniques to customize our progress. Class demonstrations will take place on 2/13.


Part 1 – Student will first create a balanced layout in adobe photoshop. Images will be found from research and investigation via the Internet and class resources. Each term for the elements of design of design will be illustrated and applied by cutting, formatting and placing the example into a composite (the example below is simply one example, you can create your own)

Part 2 – Students will generate their own examples of each term using techniques learned in class with photoshop.

R&D – Where will you find visual inspiration and research? Add your links to the comments section below.


Students will prepare their final works in screen resolution format and  application on the web (RGB).

Due dates for next week: We will be starting and working on and this project in class  beginning 2/13. The project will be due, completed and submitted by Wednesday 2/27

Blank Template example of the layout. (not including the border around the image)

Assignment #1 – Post Card

Assignment #1 (Part 1) – Post Card Design

We will be designing a standard sized Postcard to promote and communicate one of the following messages below (students must choose one)

1– A cause or message that you are passionate about –


2 – An up and coming event that you would like to promote

Assignment Specifications:

Size: The final design will be 4″ X 6″ in size. (Students should decide on the arrangement of the height and width, will your postcard be a horizontal or vertical image? You will be designing both the front and back side of the post card with the full intention of mailing it so space must be allotted for the address and postal stamp.


R&D – Where will you find visual inspiration and research? Flickr? NYPL Digital Archives?

1 – Thumbnail sketches – Students will generate a series of 2-3 thumbnails sketches using a pencil / pen and their sketchbooks to brain storm and illustrate their process.

2 – Roughs – Students will select from the 2-3 strongest thumbnail sketches and develop them into 1 rough scaled to the 4″X6″ size in pencil or “other medium”.

3 – Students will be encouraged to produce a final comprehensive pencil rendering scaled to size ready for scanning and application using photoshop. Students will experiment with various image manipulating techniques and styles to develop contrasts and visual interest.


Students will prepare their final work for both print out up in (CMYK) as well as presentation and application on the web (RGB).

Due dates for our next class week: 

What images will you be referencing and using? Where did you find them? Are they free to use, if so, how do you know? Please bring all of your resources and research to class. Thumbnail studies and a rough lay out will be due at the beginning of our next class 2/6 – @5:30pm

The final Post card will be completed, printed and presented in class on 2/13.