Classroom Manifesto

Never Stand Still.

Show work every day. In order to create an atmosphere in which your work is constantly improving and evolving, we must create tight feedback loops. I will work to create daily feedback opportunties for you. It’s your job to make sure you are providing significant evolutions in your work each class to keep the process fed. If you feel like you are stuck or spinning your wheels, please come to me.

Participation is Attendance. 

You are only counted as present when you have participated for that day. Participation is interaction via individual meetings, small group discussions and group crits. Different students feel comfortable in different modes of interaction, so a variety of critiquing methods will be used in class to enable everyone to give feedback. Class time is studio time, and you are expected to be in class working  for the full time unless otherwise instructed.

Let the Process be your Guide.

With each project, you will be required to produce a set number of thumbnails, then revised sketches, by hand. Only then can you move on to comps. Sketches are rough, quick hand drawings. Comps are computer generated roughs. Don’t say that you can’t draw.Sketching is not about creating nice drawings, its about ideation. Work rapidly. Don’t spend too much time on any one thumbnail. When developing comps, you will still be required to produce a set number of concepts (aka ideas or directions). Two of the same layout with the type in slightly different places are not different concepts, they are versions.

Document everything. Keep it all.

At the end of every project you will turn in a process PDF to me with all inspiration sketches, comps, etc. Don’t forget to keep anddocument these as you go. Record anything that is pertinent to the process such as research or mockups. Also, I may ask at any time for you to revisit previous versions of your designs. Do not throw away or save over any files during the process.

Thinking vs Doing. 

A designer’s job is equal parts thinking and doing. Design is about communicating and problem solving. Don’t get too caught up in the doing up front—that is, the graphic part of graphic designDoing consists of the manifestation of how we do things, like kerning or photoshopping. When we are doing, we are too close to the work to see the big picture. That’s why the process calls for a healthy dose of thinking before we even sit down at the computer. Thinking can take form of researchingsketchingdiscussions or even wildly slapping post-its on a wall. The product of thinking is often more verbs, like getting people to care about an issue or to buy a product.

Course Evaluation Criteria. 

After each project has been completed, I will provide an evaluation sheet that averages a grade for the project (on a 100 point scale) and provides final feedback on the overall process. Items that will be evaluated for grade include:

Ability to meet objectives outlined in the project. Exhibits learning through risk taking and considered decision making. Ability to creatively solve problems within parameters.

Attention to detail and sense of craft. Level of quality achieved in final presentation design, and clarity of project presentation in final critiques and reviews.

Ability to articulate ideas in group settings, with the instructor and in writing. Contribution to a positive and critical atmosphere. Maintains a professional and respectful demeanor.

Consistent level of effort. Demonstrates lateral thinking and ability to use the process from research and concept to refinement and completion. Process is divided by daily progress (evidence of progress made between classes) and project documentation.


Resources for Design Courses

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