Exercise 3: Figure/Ground

Using one of your figure/ground reading response photos, create two compositions in Illustrator.

  1. The first composition you will draw a shape with the pen tool around your figure. Using this silhouette on a flat background use the type along a path toll to create type along your figure.
  2. The second composition you will also draw a shape with the pen tool around your figure. This time use your shape as a clipping mask for your photo. Again set your figure against a flat color background.

Illustrator tools used to complete this exercise:

  • Place
  • Pen Tool (remember the bessie curves)
  • Selection Tool
  • Direct Select Tool
  • Clipping Mask
  • Type Tool
  • Type Along a Path Tool

figure-ground (example)

Exercise 2 : Image and Meaning with 4 Squares

Assigned: Jan. 29th & Due: Jan. 31th
How does form communicate meaning?
By using four black squares create a graphic composition that best expresses the meaning of each of the following four words (order, bold, man-made, playful). Your objective is to create one composition per concept/word. Use all 4 squares in each composition.Take 15 minutes and make as many thumbnail sketches for each word. Then select the most effective solution for each and execute it in a 7” x 7” square using Illustrator.

Using only four squares is a seemingly limited palette to express such diverse words, yet these squares can be expanded into a more comprehensive language by utilizing various design principles. Because design skills become more comprehensive by creating several solutions for a single problem, selecting the most effective solution is an important condition.

1. Squares can be rotated
2. Squares can bleed off page
3. Squares must only be black in color
4. Square= all sides equal length
5. Background of 7″ square must be white with a black 1pt border 1/2 inch from edge
6. Squares can be any size and may differ in size as long as it fits in a 7″ X 7″ white background with a 1 pt black border square. (see examples for more detail)



* Due Thu. Jan. 31st
* Posted to your blog (save your file as a pdf)

Exercise 1 : Design is Ubiquitous 

1. Explore the hallways of campus and select what you consider to be an interesting designed poster, flier, or signage. (Consider typography, visual hierarchy, rhythm, scale, etc..) Make sure to photograph the work or take the signage with you as you will need to upload this to your blog.

2. Using the vocabulary terms listed below determine how the primary design principles (discussed in your text Graphic Design: The New Basics) are being utilized and define what type of visual impact the design has in relation to each of the terms listed below. You are expected to write 2-3 sentences for each item listed. Keep in mind, the item you choose to discuss does not have to be something you consider to be “good” design, but be prepared to explain why you believe it does or does not work.

3. Post your written results and include an image of the design you’ve selected to your course blog by the beginning of class next Tuesday, Jan. 29th

Vocabulary Words

1. Point
2. Line
3. Plane
4. Rhythm
5. Balance
6. Scale
7. Other design elements that have an impact (i.e..typography, color, visual hierarchy)?
8. Do you consider this good design? Why/Whynot?

* Due Tue. Jan. 29th
* Posted to your blog


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