Wednesday, May 5

reviews and final week classes

several of you have asked about what i'm requiring of you for monday's review. i simply ask that you use your editorial skills/best judgement in selecting one or two (or more?!) of your strongest image projects. you want to show off your strongest, most professional design concepting and form-making skillz, so choose wisely. feel free to talk with me about your decision if you are having problems making selections.

final week class schedule:
monday may 10: section II no class, due to reviews
wed may 12: section I and II no class
fri may 14: section I and II, attendance required at mccoy workshop presentation, 1:00 to 2:20 or 3:30, as your finals schedule permits

Monday, May 3

project 5 :: final crit requirements

final critique will consist of the following process

presenting a narrated slideshow of your work (3 minutes max). the slideshow will consist of portfolio-quality shots of your project.
- verbal presentation should complement the visuals and be sequenced appropriately
- discuss at least the following three project objectives:
-- how the still and moving images are related and how they communicate differently, formally and/or conceptually
-- how you composited/montaged images to manipulate/create new meaning
-- how your images are used thoughtfully in relation to text & other design elements

showing physical artifacts (posters, book covers, dvd covers)

peer feedback (10 minutes max)

place your acrobat or keynote presentation files in my CAS dropbox, labeled as "image_proj5_lastname_lastname.pdf".

ALSO, don't forget i'm still checking blogs for evidence of your process, so be posting that. it will count toward a good chunk of your process grade.

Wednesday, April 14

palahniuk book covers

who says you need words on the cover?

(cover and spine)

(cover only)

both covers designed by rodrigo corral.

--brian eno

Thursday, April 8

PROJECT 4 :: blog requirements

very similar to project two (and three, for that matter). this will count as part of your process grade. please remember to label all posts. unlabeled posts will not be reviewed.

  • initial brainstorming on subject matter, including final book choices
  • selection of a concept(s) to move forward with
  • thumbnail sketches, plans, lists, etc
  • initial mock-ups you showed for process crit
  • final set of portfolio pics
  • writing and reflection on what you're learning throughout the process

PROJECT 4 :: portfolio images

after creating your mock-ups, shoot a set of thoughtful and well-crafted photos of your project. consider all the elements we covered in the portfolio talk.

make sure all of those images are consistently color-correct, well composed, and reflect your opinions of what a good portfolio shot should be.

edit your set down to five (or maybe more) of the strongest images and place in a multi-page indesign document, sized 1024x768. that's in the "page size" dropdown box when you start a new document.

go to file > export and make a screen-resolution pdf. you can use the default settings for "smallest file size" at this point.

name your pdf file "lastname_image_bookcovers.pdf" and place it in my CAS dropbox.

PROJECT 4 :: final crit

final critique will consist of the following process

quick group overview of all books
presenting your work to the "client" for approval (3 minutes max)
- make a case for why your covers are the best choice
- discuss whatever you want and structure it as you like, whatever is effective
showing your portfolio photographs via the projector (2 minutes max)
peer feedback (5 minutes)

this should end up taking two hours max for 10 students, 1.5 hours max for 6 students.

Sunday, April 4

PROJECT 4 :: reading

an e-reserve is available on the library website under the course reserves section on the lower-right area of the page. search by instructor name, find the image course and it's the only reading in there. you'll have to enter your student i.d. and campus code, and use the not-so-secret password "image". the reading is called "Pathways of Fulfillment: Photography and Celebrity" by stuart ewen. it's good.

reading responses and discussion should go here in the comments. argue away!

Monday, March 22


a great resource for high quality book jacket design:

the book cover archive

be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for great links to their blog, other book jacket sites, and a cool list of noted book jacket designers. yay!

Wednesday, March 3

megapixel chart

some very helpful info on the whole megapixel issue, including how big of a print you can make at 300 ppi with certain megapixel sizes. cool!

Monday, March 1


very similar to project two
  • initial brainstorming on subject matter
  • selection of a concept(s) to move forward with
  • thumbnail sketches, plans, lists, etc
  • initial photo studies / planning sketches
  • refined photos
  • final set of seven images
  • writing and reflection on what you're learning throughout the process
recording process is important because it forces you to reflect on what you've done (quantity and quality of work) and enables you to learn from the insights you gain. much of your process documentation to date has been poor and i expect more diligence in this area, as it is part of each project grade.

Sunday, February 21


all images for the "seven virtues / seven sins" project need to be made in-camera. we will deal more with compositing in the last two projects.

Friday, February 19


on wednesday feb 24 at 1:00pm, both sections will be at rush wade/2 photography studio. check out their site so you have a good idea of what they do.

we will leave our studio at 12:40, so section 1 needs to be here before that, so we're all prepared. we will divide people up into cars at that time.

2010 mcgee st in the crossroads
north on main to 20th st,
right on 20th st,
3 blocks to mcgee,
right on mcgee


Tuesday, February 16


your "constructed image" project crit will consist of sticky note comments pointing out the following criteria:
  • strongest and weakest formal elements
  • strongest and weakest conceptual elements
  • strongest and weakest craft issues

after this session, each student will have a couple of minutes to present their work, clearly and specifically stating how you dealt with the following criteria:
  • creative image-making that describes an individual through indexes and symbols
  • manipulation of composition, cropping, color, and lighting to affect image meaning and perception
lastly, tell us what you learned through making this project.

Thursday, February 11


at this point in your sophomore year you should be painfully aware of the value of brainstorming, iterations, and lateral thinking. i'm sure you've had plenty of past requirements for all of those sorts of activities. those same processes you employ in other classes obviously apply across the board and are expected in this class.

speaking generally, the quantity of ideas i've seen so far this semester has been below what i would normally expect from committed, self-motivated students. i will encourage and try to motivate you, because that is part of my job, but ultimately the amount of effort expended is up to you and is a direct reflection of your motivation to make quality work. putting a required number on iterations is of little value, except to set a general bar of expectations. you all should know the expectation is "a lot" in general.

work quality has been fairly solid so far, so congratulations on that. i know you all are "those who remain" in this department, and i applaud your perseverance.  the final concepts have been pretty good, so definitely keep pushing forward on that front. just know that quality is directly proportional to quantity -- the more ideas you have, the more likely you are to have on that is awesome. it's not a guarantee, but a probability.

so put in a lot and get out a lot. it's your education and i hope you take great advantage of it.

Wednesday, February 3


here are a few things that have come up in class that are worth pondering
  • think laterally! collect a huge range of possible things to include in your image
  • can you make a quick prototype to test out some ideas? throw some things together and start shooting...
  • should this be 2d, 3d, somewhere in between, or both?
  • don't forget the possibilities of using symbols. indexes are easy to come by
  • get the obvious stuff out of the way so you can get to other ideas
  • how does switching out the quote change the situation?

Tuesday, February 2


for this project, i'd like to see the following process work:
  • your chosen person, their name, quote, and other relevant info about them.
  • initial ideas of indexes and symbols (could be lists, thumbnails, found imagery, writing, etc)
  • a good representation of your photographic sketches -- initial setup, attempts, revisions, semi-finals, finals, etc.
  • any other work that informs this project.

Monday, February 1


the brief for project two is on the right sidebar. check it out and get started with research for next class. post your thoughts and decisions to your blog. do "type image message" reading.

Tuesday, January 26


critique will follow this format:

  • you will respond to one of your peer's projects, interpreting it and making sense of what you see. you are basically thinking out loud here.
    - is it interesting upon first glance?
    - what makes you want to keep looking at it, if anything?
    - what does it mean?
    - what kind of mood or persona do you get from it?
    - what is it telling you about this person?
    - address also the level of care in making the images themselves as well as the construction of the piece. 
  • the rest of the class will then have a few minutes to share any differing responses or interpretations to the work.
  • the designer will then discuss their intentions in making the images. this will give us an idea of the distance between designer's intent and audience reception. the designer of the piece should explain
    - why each image fits into its respective sign category,
    - why the particular symbol was chosen,
    - anything significant that was learned through this process.

Monday, January 18


in class:
- review syllabus
- get to know each other in some awkward fashion
- receive project one; discuss
- basic semiotics lecture
- get your photographin' on!


use this community space to link up projects, websites, and the like that are about image making. of particular interest are photography sites / photographs (both design and art-related), imagery in relation to type, unusual techniques/processes, technical stuff, etc, etc.

we will try to look at these on a regular basis so everyone is nicely up-to-date with the contemporary imagemaking landscape.


all project descriptions, objectives, specifications and deadlines will be posted here. it is your responsibility to check regularly for important updates, new assignments and topical references.

i intend the blog to function as an ongoing dialog and extension beyond the classroom. if you have project-specific questions that arise outside of class please ask. everyone is welcome to reply and i will respond on/before online hours or in class.

required readings and discussion topics are provided to clarify and expand your knowledge of issues addressed in studio and design in general. we will discuss these either as a class or you will be asked to post responses to this blog.

visual & creative inspiration abounds online and i encourage you to embark upon serendipitous or purposeful surfing. once you find something relevant to this class that is share-worthy post it to "find+share".

occasionally i will assign an online crit in order to provide an alternative forum for classroom feedback and collaborative effort.

if those reasons aren't enough to get involved, remember, your online presence does count toward your online participation grade. i evaluate post quality and quantity, which is factored into individual project grades under the "process" and "participation" sections.