I absolutely love school! Being a student is fulfilling to me on many, many levels and I have learned some fairly surprising things about myself since becoming one (like I am a giant over-achieving nerd who sobs for days about things like getting an A-). Knowing all of this, the fact that I loved the class I just finished shouldn’t come as a shock.
Because I enjoy school so much I have enjoyed all of the classes that I have taken thus far on some level (yes, even those dreaded math classes). I have also truly liked every professor I have had. There are a few professors who will forever be on my favorites list but there are even fewer who have had a life changing impact on me.
I believe that the class I just finished will stay on my top five all time favorites list and that is due to the fact that the professor who instructed the class is one of those rare people who I can say has made a life-altering, positive impact on me.
“A History and Analysis of Design” could have been a very dull class, but the professor that I was so privileged to have for this class made it an exciting and enjoyable experience. Not only does he have an uncanny ability to make things like tracing influences on modern graphic symbolism back to prehistoric cave paintings unbelievably interesting, he is a man who obviously loves his work and his enthusiasm is contagious. He is also a professor that expects your best and can magically give praise for a job well done yet still ask a little more of you without being discouraging.
I can honestly say that I will never look at the field of graphic design or myself in quite the same way that I did prior to this class. Before moving on I want to thank Professor Bruce Abolafia for such an outstanding experience.
And now that we are all thoroughly drenched in a thick coating of sweet, sappy cheese, here is a little sampling of what I did in this class.
Part of what made this class so cool is that fact that although we were studying the history of graphic design, we still had design assignments each week. These were really cool and challenging assignments because we took the history lessons learned each week and applied our newfound knowledge of each period we studied to a design. Here are a few of my favorites:
In our second week we studied typography in the turn of the century, printing technologies of that era and how those developed, and what those technological advances did to change typography. For our design assignment that week we had to create and interior lead-in spread for a magazine article with the main design element being typography. One really cool thing that we learned about in this class was creating client profiles. Here is the client profile and design that I created for this assignment.
The third week of class was probably my favorite of the entire class. We studied poster design and the Art Deco movement and I am a huge fan of this art style. Our design assignment for this week was an event poster. I still like my first version better but my professor pointed out that the color scheme didn’t exactly say “hey this event is going to be a big fun party” so I did a revision with more color added.
In the fifth week of class we focused on cooperate branding and graphic symbolism. This was a very interesting topic to me! For the design assignment that week we were to design a logo/symbol that would be used to build the corporate identity for a fictitious international travel company. This was a really fun exercise as I enjoy logo design. My professor really liked my first design but pointed out that a paper airplane might not scream safety to air travelers so I did a quick redesign (and by quick I mean about ½ hour of work). In the end my professor thought that the first design was very clever and preferred it over the revision even if it didn’t really work well for that specific need.
As bummed as I am about this class being over, it is time to suck it up and get ready for my class that starts tomorrow. I have been looking forward to this one for a while now! I will finally be learning to take what I hope will be far less shitty photographs of my work because I am at long last taking a photography class! I have been holding off on getting my art put up in my Etsy shop and on the store page here because I knew this class was coming up. This is really something that I would like to be better at so keep your fingers crossed for me! Oh! And a special thank you to my sweet friend Robin for loaning me a camera for the class and for getting me a tripod as a “happy straight A’s present”!