Week 2

Crit: portfolio review

We will start the class by discussing the work you gathered, organized and described for your portfolio review:

  • We will break out in groups of 5. I will check in with each group and answer questions. I would like each group to discuss the following items before I join in:
    • Each member of the group should share the material they’ve gathered for their portfolio. Please provide feedback to the person presenting (i.e: Do the chosen pieces show a sophisticated visual approach, a diverse set of skills, a unique style? Are they well described and organized? What is missing? What would you remove? What format would be best for this portfolio? etc.)
    • Collect a list of questions you have regarding selecting, organizing and describing the items in your portfolio, as well as selecting a platform to format it (see possible options in Week1  -Portfolio checklist section) .
  • Once you have discussed the items above, you may continue working on your portfolio individually, but please do not quit the Zoom session.

Campaign project overview

This course is centered around a campaign project. The full guidelines are available here. Please ask the professor to clarify anything that may been unclear right away.

Here are a few examples of recent campaigns for inspiration:

Creating groups for the campaign project

You will be working on the campaign project in groups of three or four for the rest of the semester. It is important that you respect your team members’ work, that you communicate well, and that you have complimentary sets of skills. For example, group with 3 excellent graphic designers but no one interested in web development or programming is likely to have a difficult production process. Assigning tasks will be difficult, and conflicting styles could even lead to an underwhelming visual approach. Practical aspects (such as schedule) should also be taken into account.


At the end of the project each team member will be asked to fill a teammate evaluation form  to give an account of how much you feel each member contributed to the final piece. This will be taken into account in your individual grade for the campaign project (see grading rubric).

Group forming activity

Forming groups for a long-term project can be a daunting experience. This activity is designed to help you find team members. Complete the “Week2: Group Forming Activity” here.

Forming your group

I will form the groups based on the above activity. Each group will receive an email (at the preferred email address you provided on the Discussion page last week) which will include the name and email address of your teammates.

Drafting your contract

We will break out into groups. Discuss, negotiate and agree on each section of  the team contract. I will meet with each group to discuss the contract. I reserve the right to make changes to groups that don’t appear to be off to a good start. You may also email me at apinkas@bmcc.cuny.edu if you have any concerns about the group at this point. 

Brainstorming ideas

Now that you have formed your group, it’s time to come up with an idea for your campaign project. We will break out into groups again and I will spend some time with each team. Please follow each step in the order below:

Step 1 – Reviewing the guidelines

Review the guidelines together and write down any questions you might have.

Step 2 – Individual Brainstorm (25mins)

Once you all have a clear sense of the project’s goals and needs, you will write down some potential ideas. You will start by doing so individually. Having several ideas/options can be a good thing at this point of the process. Don’t feel like you have to write full sentences. A brainstorm can take the forms of sketches, bullet points, words spread across the page etc. Here are questions to help you with this initial brainstorm:

  • Topic: What social cause do you feel passionate about? If nothing comes to mind right away try to answer these questions: Is there a recent documentary, book, article, viral video that made you want to take action and change the world? Is there a local non-profit organization you are part of (or would be interested in joining)?
  • Narrowing it down: What aspect of the topic(s) you listed are you most interested in exploring (i.e: “The housing crisis in NYC” could be narrowed down to “How the housing crisis affects the everyday life of a 10 year old Bronx resident”).
  • Target audience: Who are you interested in addressing and why? What style (casual, serious, funny, cute) and medium (website, print, social media, web development etc.) is most appropriate for this demographics? (i.e: The issue of bullying can be portrayed in very different ways – depending on whether the target audience are parents, teachers, teenagers or toddlers).
  • Technical approach:  Which media (website, mobile app, video, social media , web banners, email campaigns, posters, flyers, postcards, stickers, wearables (pins, jewelry, t-shirts, totes etc.), interactive installation etc.) would you consider combining for this project. Your current technical skills, portfolio and career goals are all important, but you should also consider what will best serve the topic and appeal to your target audience.
  • Inspiration: Can you think of a recent campaign (for a social cause or a product) that you found particularly memorable? What media did it use (most campaigns today are formatted for different media). What was interesting about it? Could you apply some of its strategy to your topic?

Step 3 – Group Brainstorm (25mins)

After the individual brainstorm you will gather back as a group and share your individual ideas. Perhaps one topic will stand out easily, or you may come up with a new one through your discussion. Your goal after this second group brainstorming session is to come up with a single topic, target audience, and technical approach.

Creating a pitch

Once your group has agreed on an idea for the campaign project, you will present it to the class with a pitch deck. A pitch deck is a brief presentation, often accompanied by slides, used to give others a quick overview of your idea. Through the process of creating your presentation, your team will have to discuss and define parts of the project that are still vague. The presentation will also give me and your classmates the opportunity to give you feedback. 


You can use Power Point, Google slides, Keynote, Presy or any other presentation platform. Your pitch should be about 7-10 mins long and should include the following information:

  • Title-slide: (Tentative) title for your project and one-sentence summary (i.e: ” #GirlsCount – Every girl deserves an education”).
  • Team: Each team member’s name and strongest skills.
  • Social cause: What social cause will you be promoting? Remember: narrow it down as much as possible.
  • Target Audience: Who is your target audience?
  • Media: How do you plan on presenting the problem at hand? Which media will you use (remember that you have to combine at least three media)? How will each piece of content bring awareness to your cause.
  • Style: What will be the style/emotion conveyed by your campaign?
  • Inspiration: Cite at least 2 campaigns, artists, ads etc. that inspired your team (you may also use bad examples – things  you want to avoid).

Do’s and Don’ts

Here are some tips to keep in mind when creating your pitch deck (and any subsequent presentations you will create this semester):

  • Tell a story: make the presentation exciting and personal – the audience should be able to sense your passion for the project
  • 1 idea per slide: Don’t confuse your audience by having too much information on a single slide. Divide the information into as many slides as needed.
  • Keep a consistent look: use the same font, size, color and capitalization across all slides.
  • Use text sparingly: Don’t use too many bullet points, long paragraphs or small fonts.
  • Use images to illustrate your information
  • Rehearse your presentation – avoid reading word by word from your script. Try to look at the audience as much as possible. The presentation should be equally divided amongst each member of the team.


For next week: