I just put together this course syllabus for my upcoming Imagemaking 101 class at Temple University Japan. Just putting it out there for any folks who might be interested in the class to get a better idea of what it is all about.
In the contemporary world of graphic design, designers must be able to not only convey information, but do so in ways that are engaging and entertaining. Imagemaking teaches strategies for creating unique visual form to incorporate into graphic design projects. A hybrid of manual, analog, and digital processes including drawing, collage, manipulating found imagery, pattern-making, and typographic assemblage will be utilized to help students with the goal of the class: for each student to create a 100-page book of a range of form-making styles that will greatly benefit their professional portfolios.
The class will work together to explore different formal and conceptual strategies for creating new and exciting visual illustration. This class will appeal to graphic designers interested in both print and web, illustrators, fine artists, and students with an interest in editorial illustration. It will also appeal to designers and illustrators working within a signature style, as the strategies utilized will help loosen up professionals, push boundaries, and create new work.
This class is a studio class but will require a bit of homework for visual research (collecting source material and light reading). Production time outside of class will be expected to complete the assignments.
Students are expected to attempt form-making experiments outside of the class environment in order to complete the required 50 images that their final books will be comprised of. (Each spread of the book will be one A4 landscape image).
The final two classes will be comprised of assembling our books of imagery while simultaneously finishing projects.
FOUND IMAGERY COLLAGE
We will being our exploration of formal study by coming up with a general topic/subject to address throughout the semester. The subject should be something a bit headier than “kittens”, but as long as you can consistently create a series of imagery that explores both literal and non-literal interpretations in a sophisticated fashion, you are good to go.
For this first project, you will put together a mix of found imagery that can be sourced via the internet, photography, clip art, and found in printed ephemera.
Please fill three A4 pages with a collage of your found imagery. Attempt to create a sense of figure/ground relations, scale, and visual excitement with your compositions. Photocopy your three compositions two times. Utilize watercolor paint, markers, or some other forms of color to apply color to one version of your monochrome images.
Feel free to create multiple options if time allows.
Bring 5 iconic, high-contrast images to class. We will use a photocopier to manipulate the images using a variety of techniques in conjunction with the application of halftones and manual reprographic tools.
PATTERNS & TEXTURE
Cut black paper into geometric compositions that each fill up a 15mm square. We will scan these, trace them in Adobe Illustrator, and create a collection of patterns with them. We will then take all of the class members’ patterns, combine them into one collection, and each class member will deploy the patterns to make five different geometric compositions.
MAKING THE MOST OF PRE-SET PROJECTS
We will utilize preset projects from design tutorial magazines and try to take the pre-assembled projects, remix them, and make them 1000% more awesome. Or at least weirder.
TYPE AS IMAGE
We will combine hand-drawn, digital, and analog letterforms using figure/ground relations, scale, and spatial composition.
PHOTOGRAPHING COMPOSED ELEMENTS
We will create dioramas of composed graphic elements. Please bring 20 different elements to class to compose into a scene. These can include 3D objects, cut-out paper imagery, or whatever you desire. Feel free to bring a large print of a backdrop image to shoot your elements against.