005: Weekly Class Sessions

Adobe Illustrator:

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Project: Logo and Identity

Use Adobe Illustrator to design a logo and identity package for a fictional client in one of three industries: bar/restaurant, retail bike seller, or commercial/residential architecture firm.

To complete this project:, we’ll first complete preliminary research on the selected industry, and fill out the online Client Creative Brief Worksheet, make and submit 10 preliminary logo design sketches for approval, and create a full identity package for this client (this includes a logo, business card, letterhead, and envelope).


  • Digital Design Skills: demonstrated use of AI type tool, shape tools, color options, and pathfinder
  • Typography Concepts: demonstrate balance, readability, contrast, alignment, and hierarchy.
  • Graphic Design Principles: contrast, alignment, repetition, and proximity


Creating A Draft Collage…

From Sketches & 3 Images:

my draft collage, using 3 imagesThis actually worked our really well, and didn’t involve too many complex edits in Photoshop. The important thing I’d like to impart here is that editing each image separately BEFORE importing them into PS makes everything much easier. There are 3 photos used to create the final design: it’s almost exactly the sketch that I outlined in the research step of this process.The text used in the final design is also edited from the original 200+ word write up for this assignment.

This video show most of the process that I took in creating the above design. It’s about 10-minutes long–there’s a lot of speeding up, too:

Bicycle Photo Credit: dno1967b via Compfight cc

Example: Narrative Write-up / Photo Pool

Scanned page of rough sketches

Scan of 5 sketches with possible headlines

My husband and I have chosen to live in an urban setting where we can walk or bike to food, entertainment, work, and shopping. If we need to drive we use our household car-sharing membership and share a white-knuckled drive to parts beyond our city limits; seriously, I haven’t owned a car since 2005 and he hasn’t had one for over 20 years—it’s fairly scary when either of us drive.

In fact, we spend all of our commuting time in the saddle of our respective road bikes. We also spend a fair bit of our vacations in these saddles, too. Summer vacation, that is. Each year we push the limits of urban cycling, by biking through Baltimore, MD, Washington DC, and ending in Leesburg, VA. Then doing the trip in reverse.

This graphic narrative collage dives into the intricacies of the annual bike trip. Our original mapped route takes the Gwynns Falls Trail through the city of Baltimore, to the BWI trail, then picks up the Baltimore Annapolis trail. This tarmac trail winds for 13 miles through neighborhoods, woods, and a fair-grounds. From Annapolis we take route 450—that’s a highway—to DC. From DC, we cross the GW Bridge into Virginia. Then it’s a short 35-mile jaunt into Leesburg. It’s the best vacation we’ve come up with, and we have a great time getting there and back. Here are photos I’d like to include–taken on our 2014 trip:

Visualize Your Audience

vivienne westwood designsIn building my design course for spring 2015 I just got an acute reminder of the most important part of the design process: Research. Specifically the part where we identify the target audience, looking at this group as an individual…giving him/her a face, a job, an annual salary, living quarters, friends, acutely specific demographic information.

Here’s how I learned it in my first design class, Introduction to Print Design with Professor Bert Smith. For my semester-long project for his class, I chose as my client a fashion design collective based in Baltimore. This collective included artists, fashion designers, theatrical costumiers–all in school or recent graduates. Their Avant Garde, and diverse styles brought to life the imagination of their generation. They did not work to make seven easy pieces, but instead couture reminiscent of 1970’s Vivienne Westwood.

My job as designer for this client was to speak directly to their ideal audience.

Research included talking to the designers about their work and audience, checking out their past events, press write ups, product lines and boutiques/retail selling them, before attempting to visualize their ideal client.

Although my Intro to Print notes are long gone, I can almost precisely remember my description of this ideal client:

  • she was someone with a fair amount of disposable income, an interest in music and the music scene—someone who could travel two states away to catch her favorite band.
  • She considered herself a bit of an artist too, and would also travel to show her work and see the work of other young artists—a bit of a scenester.
  • She’s physically slender, but not emaciated. Her appearance is important and could reach the level of obsession if she gains/loses too much weight.
  • Professionally, she works in fashionable industry- the arts, design, gallery, theater, and is considered knowledgeable by her peers.
  • She has the potential for much increased earning in the future, but is not making that much currently—the purchase of a strategically distressed garment is prioritized over getting the car fixed.
  • Although not required, she is most likely white,
  • and cohabitates with close friends—fellow artists, musicians, students, etc—she doesn’t live with her parents*

Note: This exercise was completed way back before the great recession where college age and twenty-somethings found it important to get out once reaching the age of majority.

Visualizing this woman helped me to create a successful identity and series of collaterals for the client!