Assignment #3 – Illustrator, Shapes, Composition & Color

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

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

**I will begin a series of Illustrator demonstrations that will be recorded on 3/17 and placed here after class – See below for an intro to Illustrator**

Passcode: .7CYcP?7

Assignment #3 – Illustrator Tutorial from class on 3/24 below

Below is the tutorial from class on 4/7 – covering Parts 1 & 2 of this assignment:

Passcode: e.H73H+a

***Here is the Video tutorial below from Class on 4/14 -covering file formats and Part 3 of this assignment – Have FUN!

Passcode: %8Ljwxyu


1. Open Adobe Illustrator and create a new document sized at 11″ X 17″ in CMYK color mode. We will be preparing the files for printing as well as displaying the final works on screen.

Lets work with rulers and guides! 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 in this project.

2. We will 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. We will define “subjective” in class.

3. Limit yourself to 6 values of 1 complimentary color scheme. Consider referring to the adobe color wheel for reference – (Located in the week #6 & 7 blog post)

4. Limit yourself to creating and composing your graphics with no more than 6 shapes created with the pen tool, pathfinder or the shape builder tool. Begin working without using a stroke around your shapes and then apply a stroke for contrast later. (The class video demonstration will share the process and post it here after class on 3/17/21)

5. Save your work as an Ai. file (adobe illustrator) for production as well as a .pdf – Print your work in .pdf format (if possible, not mandatory) we will also save a high resolution JPG file. (3 file formats)

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″

Below is the tutorial from class on 4/7 – covering Parts 1 & 2 of this assignment:

Passcode: e.H73H+a

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 soon)

Part 3 – Create a digital Illustration of your choice that combines a series of your forms together. The size is up to you! Prof. Seslow will share examples in class on 4/14 and place the video under this verbiage. See below for an example of how part 3 can take form. What will you Make?

***Here is the Video tutorial below from Class on 4/14 -covering file formats and Part 3 of this assignment – Have FUN!

Passcode: %8Ljwxyu

Submission guidelines:

When the assignment has been completed please save it as a .PDF file as well as an exported .JPG file and add them to our class google drive shared folder (link is on blackboard)

*Please make sure to name your files with your name – an Example is this:  R_Seslow_project2.JPG

Weeks #6 & 7 – Info & Resources

Hey Hey, Welcome back to MMA100 Weeks #6 & 7!

**I will begin a series of Illustrator demonstrations that will be recorded on 3/17 and placed here after class – See below for an intro to Illustrator**

Passcode: .7CYcP?7

Here is this week’s useful information and class resources: Please keep in mind, there is a lot to see here below, take your time through out each week to explore what is below, if you have any questions or reactions please add them to the comments section.

*Did you miss the post from Weeks #4 &5 – go Here!

Lets jump back in and start with some NYC Design History!! Behold, the NYC Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual. See below

Inspiration – The NYC Transit Authority Graphics Standard Manual

The link above will you take you to a page with an active full PDF version of the manual. I would like for EVERYONE to leave a comment at the bottom of this page after exploring the manual and answering the questions below (you can work on this outside of class over this week or next)

Designed by Massimo Vignelli and Bob Noorda, Unimark, 1970

I would love to hear your reactions and feedback in the comments section below!

**after you “post” your comment I will have to manually approve it – you may not see it show up right away. No need to post the comment twice 🙂

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?

Link to the video above –

Imagine being offered the opportunity to visually solve, design and illustrate the entire NYC transit system!? What goes into this process and research? Do you know who is responsible for this? How much does the designer charge for a project of such scale? Lets dig in and discuss.

Last week we continued talking about Assignment #2  – The Post Card project ! Lets talk about some work in progress and the potentials of the project. Students will share their work via Zoom. Discussions about presentation methods and why presentation is so important. Please navigate to the assignment #2 page to view the assignment details with me again.

Tonight’s Video tutorial will be for trouble shooting photoshop questions and issues, bring your questions!

Color Theory!

Adobe’s awesome Color Wheel Simulator (must see)

GO HERE to Experiment

Several up and coming assignments will surely benefit from the use of understanding Color Theory and the Adobe Color Wheel!

*Above – Color Theory Continued -> GREAT RESOURCE – Must Read

*Above – Color Theory Continued -II >

Let’s Talk about Adobe Illustrator! 

Its time to take a class tour of Illustrator and get talking about Assignment #3

*only move onto to assignment #3 when assignments &1 & 2 have been completed and submitted to google drive.*

**I will begin a series of Illustrator demonstrations that will be recorded on 3/17 and placed here after class – See below for an intro to Illustrator**

Passcode: .7CYcP?7

You can also take an additional tour with Adobe Wizard – Terry White

10 Things Beginners Want To Know How To Do with Adobe Illustrator (subscribe to Terry’s Channel!)

Adobe has a great series of videos on their channel on YouTube: 

Check this series with a focus on Illustrator

Designer Inspiration :: You need to know Paul Rand

Weeks #4&5 – Info & Resources

Poster Designs by Paula Scher

Welcome back! Weeks #4&5, here we are!

Do you need a recap of Week #3? Go here!

This post has been updated to reflect week #4 & #5 as we delve into assignment #2 – The PostCard Adventure!

Lets jump in and take a look at some student work in progress during our Zoom session on 2/23 & 3/3 – I will always encourage students to share their progress on screen so that we can engage in dialog about the works and how we can make improvements. Learning how to discuss your work in progress takes practice. Learning how to discuss the works of others also takes practice and puts in a “troubleshooting / solution oriented mindset”.

*Remember, you can always find a Zoom class recording for each Assignment tutorial under the Assignment page for that individual assignment, the process for Assignment #1 – parts 1 & 2 are on the Assignment #1 page

I will be re-introducing Assignment #2 – AKA – “the Postcard Project” tonight as well. ( we saw a preview last week!) a Zoom class video recording for Assignment 2’s tutorial is under the Assignment #2 page for that individual assignment.

We will get well versed working with the photoshop pen tool, electronic imaging, cutting out images and creating graphic assets. We will also be creating and working with various file types and bringing our ideas into photoshop to produce the finished designs.

Im a big fan of revisions! We will discuss using multiple art boards and the iteration process while in process.

*This Week’s Exercise – Continue Cutting out Images in Photoshop / Making Graphic Assets: Cutting out images in various fragments is a task that all graphic designers will face on a regular basis. Learning various methods for cutting out images is a necessity. We will explore, experiment and share a few methods on how. 

Practice practice! As practice this week while working on the postcard project – you may wish to find 3-5 images that you would like to cut out / extract from existing images, look for various curves and edges that are challenging.

**Video recording of tonight’s class – 2/24 will be placed here for the tutorial on Assignment #2

Passcode: **yUt6CF

**here is a second Video recording for the tutorial on Assignment #2 taken from tonight’s class – 3/3

Passcode: 2YPHF6#j

Students will select and practice from images taken from a public domain, OER or creative commons sources on the Internet or they may use images that they have on their devices. Again, We have a huge selection of OER Resources on our class resources page here too

(This exercise/technique will be applied to the post card project – assignment #2 ).

Video Screening Tutorials: Cutting out images in Photoshop (Pen Tool examples)

These tutorials above will help get you started with our class exercise, but ultimately, you will need to master the pen tool in both photoshop and illustrator for the cleanest vector cut-outs. 

**Are you looking for a photoshop psd. file template example to create along with, format and submit your postcard? (Photoshop newbies can edit and change the layers as you need to) Those with experience should make the template themselves –   Click HERE

(Is there a specific tutorial that you learned from recently or over time? Share the URL link with a description of your experience in the comments section below)

Graphic Designer and inspiration of the week!

Paula Scher! (please get to know her work!)

Watch this great talk by Graphic Design icon Paula Scher!

Graphic Design Trends for 2021

Week #3 – Information / Resources

Logos by Milton Glaser

Welcome to MMA100 Week #3!

We’re BACK!

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

Need a recap of  Week #2 – Go Here

***Here is the ZOOM recording of last week’s class with the Assignment #1 Tutorial for Part 1.

Passcode: ukm3YY$!

Here is the class video tutorial for Assignment #1 Part 2 – from class on 2/17/21

Passcode: &T=9QU3#

Last week we covered a lot of information and we began to get acclimated with Adobe photoshop, our workspace and our first assignment, we also went over our class website structure again. I shared a recorded video tutorial about our first assignment / project here in MMA 100. Did you find the video helpful (its also above and under the Assignment #1 page)? How can I make these better? Leave your comments below.

Did you add or submit your work in progress of part 1 of Assignment #1 to our google drive folder? Remember, I would really like for you to keep your work in progress here as we can dialog about it together outside of our class time on zoom. The google-drive link is located on our blackboard course page (create a folder with your first and last name).

In our Zoom class discussion tonight we will start our class by reviewing the student works in progress by presenting our work in process. Lets talk about why this is necessary and important.

Design Resources: 

The FUTUR – YouTube Channel

Video Inspiration – with Milton Glaser:

Who is Milton Glaser? You certainly already know some of his work!

Explore his website here –

Share what inspires you, or what stands out and catches your interest in the comments section below!

Week #2 – Information / Resources

Welcome to MMA100 Week #2!

We’re BACK!

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

Need a recap of  Week #1 – Go Here

***Here is the ZOOM recording of tonight’s class with the Assignment #1 Tutorial

Passcode: ukm3YY$!

**Update on accessing Adobe / Software / Remote Access from home – 

Student Adobe Account Access

Some students will have access to Adobe, others who registered later or just before the start of the semester, will not yet have access. Students with questions or problems can also fill out our Tech need form (below).

 Student Access to Technology-

There are laptops, desktops, chromebooks and hot spots available for students. Currently only students in upper-level media production classes have access to laptops and desktops. All students can request chromebooks and hot spots. Students can also request help with downloading and installing software related to their course. All requests can be done through our Spring 21 Tech Need Form.

John Marshall,  and Jerry Spencer, are responding to the form and helping match students to resources.

We will begin tonight class by recapping week #1’s introductions to the course as well as jumping into assignment #1 – our first assignment! The first assignment has 3 parts and I will be sharing a series of tutorials during our Zoom time. I will give a demonstration on how to prepare your design layout, place and resize images, apply layers and also preparing your final designs for output on the web and in print.

Remember, each assignment will have its own page with all of the specifications needed to work on, complete and submit the assignment. Assignment #1 can be found here.

* a Video tutorial from week #2’s Zoom class of assignment #1 – part 1 will be posted on the assignment #1 page after our class**

Becoming familiar with terms and items like: “design briefs, project sheets and project specifications” are essential to the design industry. We will be come 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 (link is 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:



Tutorial – Getting further acquainted with Photoshop – (Terry White is one of my favorite Adobe evangelists!)

Inspiration / Resources: Graphic Design Trends from 2020


The Elements of Design:

Color – typically known as hue. This word represents a specific color or light wavelength found in the color spectrum, ranging circularly from red to yellow, green, blue and back to red.

Line – is a line just a series of points? Or is it the best way to get from point “A” to point “B”? As a geometric conception, a line is a point in motion, with only one dimension – length. Line has both a position and a direction in space. The variables of line are: size, shape, position, direction, number, interval and density. Points create lines, lines create shapes or planes and volume.

Mass – Here, mass is interchangeable with volume. A mass is a solid body or a grouping of visual elements (line, color, texture, etc.) that compose a solid form. Volume is a three-dimensional form comprising length, width, and depth. Three-dimensional forms contain points (vertices), lines (edges), and planes (surfaces). A mass is the two-dimensional appearance of a three-dimensional form.

Movement – Also known as motion. This element portrays the act or process of changing place or direction, orientation, and/or position through the visual illustration of starting or stopping points, blurring of action, etc. This is not animation, although animation is an end product of movement, as well as other elements of design.

Space – A two-or three-dimensional element defined by other elements of design.

Texture – A technique used in two-dimensional design to replicate three-dimensional surfaces through various drawing and media techniques. On three-dimensional surfaces, it is experienced by touch or by visual experience.

Type – Also known as typography, and it is considered an element in graphic design. Although it consists of elements of design, it is – in itself – often an element in the form of visual communication.

Value – Another word for the lightness or darkness of an area. Brightness measured in relationship to a graded scale from white to black.

The Principles of Design:

The principles of design are applicable to all design disciplines including – but not exclusive to – architecture, art, graphics, fashion, industrial design, poetry, writing, and web design.

The principles of design are tools used to format the elements of design.

Balance – The elements of design converge to create a design or arrangement of parts that appear to be a whole with equilibrium.

Contrast – The “automatic principle.” Whenever an element is placed within a format, contrast is created in the various elements. Can be emphasized with contrast in size, shape, color,

Direction – Utilizing movement to create the visual illusion of displacement.

Economy – A principle operating on the “slim.” Especially important when dealing with clients, where their product or service is more important than the elaboration of design elements. Can also be considered “precise,” or “simplistic.” Or, it can be considered great design.

Emphasis – Also known as dominance. This condition exists when an element or elements within a visual format contain a hierarchy of visual importance.

Proportion – A two- or three-dimensional element defined by other elements of design.

Rhythm – A recurrence or repetition of one or more elements within a visual format, creating harmony.

Unity – Oneness, Harmony, The condition of completeness with the use of all visual elements within a format.