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Ryan Hayes
Chief Educational Officer

Graphic Design Process

I am restructuring my projects so that each project has five stages that mimic the graphic design process. There is no singular "graphic design process" that everybody agrees, including number of steps. However, I am trying to simplify to FIVE steps for beginning high schools students and trying to narrow down what those FIVE steps should be. I want to get feedback and suggestions from other teachers.

Currently I am thinking:

  1. Design Brief: Project introduction, objective, goals, etc.
  2. Research and Inspiration: Students create a new Pinterest Board for each project and pin 5+ examples. For example in my minimalist poster design project, I'd have the students find 5+ examples of Saul Bass minimalist inspired movie posters.
  3. Ideation/Comps: Students learn the tools/techniques and then they create their design.
  4. Revision: Students get feedback from at least two other students and tweak their design before submitting.
  • Delivery/Presentation: Students post finished design on Behance, link to Pinterest board for the project, and written reflection of their process.

**I keep going back and forth between requiring thumbnail sketches at Step 3 and then removing Step 4: Revision. As much as I value thumbnail sketching and know most design teachers will think it is blasphemous to exclude ... the problem is student enrollment. As an elective teacher in this high stakes ALL STUDENTS MUST GO TO FOUR YEAR COLLEGE atmosphere I struggle with enrollment. Students can't fit "fun" classes into their schedule. I have to compete against easier electives. One of the biggest complaints from students was that I required them to draw. A lot of them take the class because they think they are "not artists" and "digital" art would be easier.

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Mihai Zahiu

Posted on 12/12/17 11:34:29 AM Permalink

I will let sketches. I start from digital until I discover that the pen and paper made so much sense in the outcome. It makes you see the design and then you don't struggle with defining in to digital.
But don't call it drawing. Just let them do whatever shape they want. Let them do a box as a house. And after they will know how to vectorize anything and change. Make the process fun. Use some transparent paper to copy something and they will discover they are true artists :D or copycats-

Design Brief: intro plus process including what is the outcome.
Comps: Students learn the tools. They have to know what they can do (basically everything) so they understand what can they deliver.
Research and Inspiration: Students create a new Pinterest Board for each project and pin 5+ examples. For example in my minimalist poster design project, I'd have the students find 5+ examples of Saul Bass minimalist inspired movie posters.
Ideation: They create their design.
Presentation: Students post finished design on Behance, link to the Pinterest board for the project, and written reflection of their process. And you give back a feedback. Be kind, they are at the beginning of the journey.

Audrey Wrobel

Posted on 11/20/17 9:47:15 PM Permalink

You could make time to include both by ‘flipping the classroom for the design part. That way, they would have something to refer to at their leisure, too, to review it since they are not all art majors they could probably use that extra time to go over that part. Vimeo? Spark?

It could also give you the chance to focus on those who are having trouble with the design part.

Audrey Wrobel

Posted on 11/20/17 9:42:25 PM Permalink

​The revision section gives students the chance to collaborate, and research shows it:

*Engages students in their learning

*Encourages critical thinking, especially if they are judging based on the project specs and offering specific feedback.

There should be an understanding of what all should not be allowed as feedback. This would help prepare them for work, where you are expected to behave like adults and not cry over your mistakes, neither to insult anyone with your criticism.

I think you should keep that part, if possible.