For Thursday

  1. Alternative business card is due
  2. 10 spreads (5 visual solutions for your spreads), printed out, for discussion in small groups during class

    Focus on generating visual ideas and experimenting freely.

Fun reading:
View at
Character styles & Paragraph styles:


Case studies: Identity & reiteration of what is due Thursday

Please review these precedent examples to study how various systems were employed in the making of these identities:

For Tuesday: have a full set of materials for critique + feedback

Per the brief, all of these final materials are due Thursday, one SET of materials for you, and I will be collecting (and keeping) one set.
1. resume (two copies, printed out on final stock)
2. letterhead with cover letter for job you wish to apply to (two copies, printed out on final stock)
3. business card (two copies on final stock)
4. card — thank you card, postcard, or other card, size is open. two copies of this on final stock.
5. one required swag: shirt or tote, either one, and this can either be a real object, or a Photoshop mock up printed out on 8.5×11″
6. other swag / mock ups of your choice


Prague School of Design
Museum of Art and Design
Walker Art Center

Draplin video:
istory of GD Flickr:

Playing with Type book

This book, Playing with Type: 50 graphic experiments for exploring typographic design principles by Lara McCormick should be a great help in imagining all of the analog experiments you can conduct. Once you land on 3 concepts, how might you express these concepts? What kind of line can you create with string dipped in ink? A brush? Cut paper? Moving type on the scanner? Be inventive with your mark-making, and make lots of experiments.

Thursday Nov. 5th + Tuesday Nov. 10th

Thanks for your presentations today. Great stuff.
We will finish up with José, Josh, Raeanne, Alec, and Alex next time.
Thank you for sharing your self-portraits and collections.
I have emailed you each notes with my observations from your self-portraits… add this to the mass of materials you have gathered on the subject so far and use it for #2.

1. Identity systems: gather visual research

As a way to understand the elements that can create an identity system, please start a Pinterest board for this (or if you are not using Pinterest, a folder, etc.)

Identity systems are a kit of parts: elements at play are color, materials, typography, hierarchy, marks and pattern. They must work well at small and large sizes and communicate at their most reduced forms.

I suggested restaurants as a source of inspiration because they often have many parts and deal with scale small to large (matchbook, menu, signage) — as you gather visual research: observe what connects these disparate elements and what makes each part unique to itself?

Start here:
Russ & Daughters  & their site & on Under Consideration
Wo Hing General Store by Manual Creative
Pablo & Rusty’s coffee shop by Manual Creative

WORK Architecture identity by Project Projects (dynamic / moving identity)
Identity systems by Wolff Olins for AOL (visual language system)
Identity systems by Wolff Olins for NYC Tourism (crazy scale moves here)

Identities from the designers you researched and/or designers you saw in presentations today (Milton Glaser, Paul Rand, Stefan Sagmeister, Debbie Millman, Michael Bierut, Seymore Chwast, Keetra Dean Dixon, Wolff Olins, etc.)

The Art of the Menu from Under Consideration

2. Sketches for your identity system:
Continue to sketch in note book, bring 6 from your notebook into the computer, these can be fast + loose. These are a mark that could represent you on your suite of materials. A logo, if you will. With or without language/name next to it. Consider incorporating the notes from my email re: your object self-portrait.

3. Alternative Business Cards
Make 10 (at least! 20 is totally fine, too…) sketches for what your alternative business card could be. (due Thursday, Nov. 5th). Trimmed, cut to size. Use crop marks! Use bleeds if you have things that bleed. Make lots of stuff quickly. Don’t over-think. These will be created with letterpress, but a polymer plate so you can use any typeface…

Methodologies we have tried for revealing identity (for your reference/future reference):
1. Primary research: the interview
2. Language: lists of words and mind maps
3. Image-to word: Image associations from the previous content (like a mind map or list, but images, colors, associations)
4. Word-to-image: Free sketching — making forms freely and loosely based on your experience so far (at least 20 sketches in your notebook)
5. Self-portrait through objects: by using objects to represent yourself, either symbolically or literally/associatively, you may unveil an aspect of your personality that you would not have arrived at in a more direct way (i.e. from the interview or the language area of your brain)


1. Field work, part 2 (1-3 hours)

Bring at least 4 pieces of writing to class. They should stem from your field work, but don’t have to be a direct connection (i.e. if you researched Keetra Dean Dixon it could be an article or interview about her collaborator-husband, J. Keller, or it could be something else she has made reference to, a work that has inspired her, etc.)

Pieces of writing may be:
—interview / transcript
—other things… song lyrics, speeches, manifestos, this is pretty open… they can be short or long

Identify threads (themes) in the writing. For example:
— a way of working
—an attitude, outlook, ethos
—an observation about their body of work
—aim also for conceptual or thematic threads in the work or way of working
—what did you notice? what stood out to you? what made you think?

Where to find design articles, some ideas:
1. the library
2. our class Drop Box folder has a bunch of things…
3. Design Observer
4. Print Magazine
5. Design Matters with Debbie Millman (interviews)
6. Interviews:
How to Think Like A Great Graphic Designer
Kern & Burn
7. Videos and Ted Talks
Creative Mornings videos (you can search by name/talk)

This came up in my feed and is pretty great for everyone to watch!

If you are stymied on a subject area ask me…

Have notes on what themes you observed and be able to speak about these themes to a group in a succinct way (i.e. quick summary of the writing & what the themes are). Bring your pieces of writing to class (because I may wish to speed-read them!)

Thursday Oct. 29

Choose 5 things you would like to collect. Bring in 3 examples of each and be prepared to share with the class why you are drawn to these things and why you want to collect them. What about them do you find compelling? Why do you like this thing? When were you first interested in this thing?
Ira Glass video from Stephen:

Field Work
Prepare your presentation using ReadyMag.
Spend time getting to know the program before you start building your presentation.
In addition to your assigned designer, choose a person, group, or studio from You are making one presentation, total 5 minutes long. 
The focus is field work, therefore, aim for first-person interviews, text and image from which to draw. The class should have a clear understanding of who your two subjects are and their work from your presentation (answering who, what where, when and why). Time yourself so you do not go longer than 5 minutes!

Identity / Self-portrait 
Use the content compiled in class from your interview and the visuals from the back of your sheet as well as anything in your sketchbook. From here, make a list of words, associations, and mind maps.

Part A: Object Self-portrait
From this research (directly or indirectly) create a self-portrait with 5 objects.
You may use found objects, and the less precious they are, the better. Lean on metaphor/symbolic meaning more than direct representation (i.e. teddy bear because you prioritize comfort vs. teddy bear because it was your favorite childhood toy). Be prepared to present these portraits to the class.

Part B: Mark
In your sketchbook, make 20 rapid drawings / thumbnail sketches of a mark that could represent you (personal symbol / logo). Be loose and work quickly. You could try breaking this work up into two chunks of time (allowing time for reflection). ie., as soon as you get stuck, leave it and come back another time. Start with image and start with word.

Alternative Business Cards
Make 10 (at least! 20 is totally fine, too…) sketches for what your alternative business card could be. (due Thursday, Nov. 5th). Trimmed, cut to size. Use crop marks! Use bleeds if you have things that bleed.

A note on feeds.
You are what you eat.
To an extent, you can control what influences you.
What you read, watch, do, who you choose to spend your time with.

A variety of feeds that you may be interested in, start here and find people, groups, institutions you admire, are interested in, aspire to emulate, or are inspired by.
Herb Lubalin Study Center
The Cooper Hewitt
Commercial Type
Draw Down Books
AIGA Design
Hey Studio
Base Design
Jenny Holzer on Twitter (I think this is just her work, not her)
Anthony Burrill
John Maeda on Twitter
Daniel Eatock on Instagram
NYT minus context
NYT Magazine
The Atlantic
Print Magazine
Wired Magazine
History in Pictures
The New Museum (NYC)
(Also: Share with the class any great finds!)

Bonus item: I will appreciate an update on your Halloween costumes, should you choose to share, next class…

Paper + How to print with crop marks

How to print with crop marks:


My advice is to (1) print first, (2) then glue things together with glue tape or Studio Tac (I also have some if you need), (3) then crop / trim the cards. This way you do not have to struggle trying to line up two cards with glue on them. You can use the light tables in the printshop and the silkscreen room to line things up as well. For boxes, remember the grain of the paper and the grain of the chipboard must be going on the same direction, and apply glue with almost a dry brush, to avoid over-saturating.

On campus
On campus, in the same building as the parking services office, across from the Visitors Center and next to North Campus. Many colors of paper and card stock. I believe you can purchase just 1 sheet. Be sure to check their hours.

You can preview what they have online and call to make sure it is in stock before you drive there or take the Willimantic bus.

30–60 min. away
Hartford and Providence, Providence (downtown) location lets you fill a bag with papers for $5.,

Order online
Many colors, great quality, and there are sample packs for $5. each.

Order online

Order online

Career + Internship prep workshop with Karl Heine

Karl Heine will be joining us on Thursday (3:30, Bishop 208)

Karl Heine is the principal of creativeplacement® — a talent recruitment firm dedicated to full time, freelance and project-based placements in the design industries. Heine has more than 30 years experience in the marketing communications sector — 24 years in the field of creative professional recruitment and the development of all levels of talent for major brands, agencies, design firms, corporate communications and companies.

Karl is very familiar with the job market in CT and NYC, especially for young designers, and he is active in many professional organizations like AIGA, the Type Director’s Club, and the Connecticut Art Director’s Club (where he was on the board for many years). The workshop will be a conversation about careers, internships, resumes, portfolios, etc. and you will have the opportunity to ask Karl any number of burning questions.

To prepare for Thursday, you will need 4 things:

1. Get to know Karl:
Become familiar with the offerings of his company, Creative Placement
The Connecticut Art Director’s Club
Check his experience out on
Follow him on Twitter
Additional Googling …

Please bring a copy of your resume (printed, well before class time) for review (you may choose whatever version you think is best)

Please complete this business card assignment on Skillshare with Ellen Lupton (items 1-10), and print what you made.  The lesson is free, but you need to sign up.

Choose 2-3 internships or junior designer positions you are interested in from Karl’s website here, and be prepared to talk about why you are interested in these positions, and think about how you might position yourself for the job (what skills / attributes do you have that you could offer the company? What skills / attributes of the job would benefit you?) Type up and print out a few sentences for each job containing this information.

If you have any cover letters you have written in the past, and/or questions about cover letters, please bring them on Thursday.

Also of note, this event is happening Thursday night in Rocky Hill and is a good opportunity to casually network:

Mark will be there (he is on the board of the CT AIGA) and there has been rumor of advanced GD students attending.

For Tuesday:
Your final deck of cards, in final packaging.
Template maker: