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Course Spotlight: Design Software Intensive Bootcamp

InDesign project by DCA graduate Adam Weidenbaum

For the first time this fall, we’re thrilled to offer our Adobe software courses – Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign – in an immersive bootcamp format. Instead of the usual 4 units, the bootcamp earns you 8 units of course credit and meets twice as many hours.

Instructor Hakon Engvig

Web and software instructor extraordinaire, Hawk Engvig, tells us more about this new course:

1. Why is the Design Software Intensive Bootcamp important for my design education?

Adobe is THE standard in the design field and there are no programs more prevalent, popular or important than Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign when it comes to graphic design. They lay the foundation for all major work you do on a regular basis and are pretty much a requirement to know in any modern design scenario.

2. What’s the benefit of studying Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign in the bootcamp format instead of one by one?

Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign are BEST used together, so you will save a lot of time/money learning them all in one go. Your greatest work will come from how you wield all three and not just relying solely on one. Though the programs can be quite different in what you would use them for, they are actually quite similar in how we interact and actually use them. By learning all three at the same time, you reinforce the knowledge and your comfort with not only the one we are utilizing but all three programs simultaneously.

Illustration by DCA graduate Daniel Sulzberg

3. Do you have a sample assignment we’ll be working on?
Though the classwork will revolve around reinforcing the tools, good habits, etc., the actual assignments will be based on common, fun and real-world standards like branding, image manipulation/correcting, and production in digital and print.

4. What will I take away from this course?

In this one course, you will not only learn the proper way to utilize all three programs, but you will also have no problem creating any creative content needed in the modern design world.

Thanks, Hawk!

Questions? Email dca@uclaextension.edu or call 310-206-1422 to speak with an advisor about this or any other visual arts course.

And enroll in Design Software Intensive Bootcamp today!

Welcome new DCA instructor Grace Magnus!

Grace Magnus

We’re thrilled to welcome Grace Magnus to our instructor flock, though Grace has been a member of the DCA community for years, first as a student, then as a teaching assistant, and now as an instructor. Her own design work is exciting and innovative, and we urge you to check out her portfolio at https://www.gracemagnus.com. Grace will be teaching Photoshop I in our new Woodland Hills center this spring.

What brought you to this field?
I like to joke that I’m a recovering English major, but in reality, I’ve had a wide assortment of jobs that have led me to where I am today. I managed an art gallery, edited copy, sold fine wine, applied makeup, and helped create brands. Along the way I’ve slung drinks, served coffee, worked graveyard shifts, installed roofing…it’s been a long hustle, and I’m proud of it. I succeeded in all these jobs by taking an ecumenical approach to learning–I relish the opportunity to receive new information, digest it, and clearly and concisely help others understand it regardless of the subject matter. It’s no wonder I fell in love with teaching soon after I fell in love with design.
In 2012, I took a Design Fundamentals class at Extension on a whim. I was new to Los Angeles, itching for change, and the public health class I wanted to take was suddenly canceled. Four years later I have an exciting freelance business I love. So many graphic designers fall into the field by accident or, like me, come into it later in life as a second, third, even fourth career. I love that. It means we have this pool of creative people who’ve worked hard and have a huge range of experiences to apply to finding design solutions.

Tell us about an especially rewarding project you’ve worked on and why you enjoyed it so much.
I’m a big proponent of Design for Good, and I always try to be working on at least one project that has personal meaning. For example, here’s a current project that hits close to home: I used to work very late hours while having two dogs that needed long walks at all hours of the day and night. I learned some time ago that the world can be a terrifying place for women after dark.
So I’ve been challenging my 2D design skills by pushing them into the 3D world, and I’m creating prototypes for personal safety devices, holsters, walking aids, etc. that will make it easier, safer, and more comfortable for women who need to be outside at night. The line is being printed on my 3D printer with the goal to distribute them for free. The entire line is designed with women’s tastes and bodies in mind, which makes it a real design challenge because women’s tastes and bodies are so varied.

Why is your course, Photoshop I, important for my design education?

Today’s emerging designers need to know how to use Photoshop effectively, efficiently, and creatively in order to stand out in an over-saturated market. Although Photoshop is considered by many to be Adobe’s most difficult and counter-intuitive program, it is also the most powerful and incredibly fun. My goal isn’t to drill into your brains every hot key (I wish, we only have 12 weeks!), rather it’s to guide you through the essential tools so that you the designer can find the exact right solutions for your own work. Your interviewer isn’t going to care that you know every single way to pull up the color picker, they care that your work has vision and originality, and that you can efficiently and effectively put to paper what’s in your head. I will guide you into harnessing Photoshop’s power so you can do just that.

Do you have a sample assignment?
Sure! I like to make sure that my assignments are challenging, but also fun and personal. So I’ll give you a little peek into one option for your final. Students will create a series of posters that utilize Photoshop techniques and best practices to morph different living creatures into one, then you’ll will use those images to make a poster series of PSA’s for a social or environmental cause. If you’re not into monsters, don’t worry, I’ve created project variations to suit every taste.

 

Thank you, Grace!

Welcome new DCA instructor Lauren Cullen!

We’re thrilled to welcome Lauren Cullen to our instructor ranks, who will be teaching Illustrator I (online) beginning this spring quarter. Lauren is the graphic designer for UCLA’s Mobile Web Strategy group, where she designs mobile apps and responsive websites for UCLA’s academic and research communities. An illustrator and fine artist, she creates graphics across all media. Lauren received a B.A. from Wesleyan University as well as an Advanced Web and Interaction Design Certificate from UCLA Extension (yes, that’s us!).

Learn more about Lauren, in her own words:

Lauren Cullen

What brought you to this field?

I’ve always loved art and engaging in the experience of creating. I first discovered Photoshop and Illustrator in ninth grade, and there was no looking back. I became deeply immersed in understanding the ways that design can inform, transform, and inspire. Graphic design continues to be my passion, and I feel very fortunate to be in such a fulfilling field.

 

Tell us about an especially rewarding project you’ve worked on and why you enjoyed it so much.

I find that designing apps for medical research is especially rewarding. For example, at UCLA, I recently worked on an app that helps researchers assess asthma symptoms and related factors in children. The goal of the app is to help detect and prevent asthma attacks.

My contribution to the app included designing the user experience, icons, data graphics, and customized illustrations. It is always satisfying to design for meaningful projects that make a positive impact on people’s lives.

 

Why is your course, Illustrator I, important for my design education?

Illustrator is an essential design tool and the industry-standard vector graphics application. By learning the fundamentals from this course, students will be able to create icons, logos, drawings, typography, infographics, layouts, complex illustrations, and more for any medium. Students will learn more than just the tools that Illustrator has to offer – they will also be intellectually stimulated by learning key concepts and by learning approaches that prepare them for future experiences.

 

Do you have a sample assignment?

All projects will provide students with the opportunity to solve specific challenges by designing unique creations of their own vision. As an example, for the midterm project, students will design an infographic, developing a captivating narrative that visually communicates information or data. Students will use drawing and shape tools to represent trends. I’m excited to see what the students create!

 

Welcome, Lauren!

Course spotlight: Talking With Impact

Greg Germann

Greg Germann

It’s an honor to welcome new instructor, Greg Germann, to the Design Communication Arts program! Greg is an actor known for his work on film, television and Broadway. He’s a published playwright and has also written and directed for the theatre and television. He was honored to be invited twice be part of a goodwill trip traveling to Afghanistan to visit troops serving there. For over a decade he has had the privilege of serving on the Board of Directors for OPCC (now OPCC-LAMP) in Los Angeles, a visionary social service organization. For the past three years, he’s worked with TEDx UCLA as an advisor, assisting in speaker selection and preparation for the annual conference.

Greg is teaching Talking With Impact this winter.

What brought you to this field?

For the past three years I’ve helped prepare a range of speakers for the annual TED TALK held at UCLA.  I’ve been able to work with artists, psychologists, archeologists, designers, activists and more, conceiving, crafting and honing their talks for the greatest impact.

Tell us about an especially rewarding project you’ve worked on and why you enjoyed it so much.

TEDxUCLA speaker and OPCC director John Maceri, mentored by Greg Germann

TEDxUCLA speaker and OPCC executive director, John Maceri, mentored by Greg Germann

My work with TED speakers has made it clear that there are no limitations for what constitutes a ‘big idea’ that can change the world.  TED speakers have talked about vulnerability, the brain, the heart, education, travel, planting trees, running, sleep, consciousness, what makes us laugh and cry and even life and death.  It’s exciting to embrace the possibility that ‘ideas worth spreading’ take any shape and can be about any thing.

Why is your course, Talking for Impact, important for my Design education?

Everyone has a ‘TALK’ in them.  The skills necessary in communicating these ideas makes all the difference. Using the model of a TED TALK is a powerful tool that will unearth the ‘big idea’ that lies in wait for each student in our class. As an actor, director and writer with a career in theatre, film and television my experience has taught me again and again that economy and empathy are just a few keys to connecting with and moving an audience.

TEDxUCLA speaker Victoria Young

TEDxUCLA speaker Victoria Young

The intentional weaving of passion, expertise and innovation insures that an entrepreneur pitching a new product, an archeologist sharing field observations, a designer promoting the value of a concept, a writer selling an idea, a lawyer making his/her case, an educator broadening a students understanding all will succeed in moving their listeners and changing their lives. I’ve seen the surprising impact speakers have on an audience when the idea expressed is concise and challenges the experts while still being understandable to a 5th grader.  Speaking with impact results in provoking understanding and upending the expectations of your listener.

We’ll start simply and work our way to the ‘big idea’ that lies in wait for each student. The first step is recognizing the ‘big ideas’ that we encounter everyday.  From the brilliance of a bumper sticker, a political slogan, branding, the power of a provocative 140 character Twitter post and even the unexpected impactful daily exchanges we have with our colleagues, friends and family. Students will identify these common examples illustrating how they meet the criteria, not just of a catchy slogan, but how they upend expectations, innovate and promote an idea worth sharing.

Do you have a sample assignment?

TEDxUCLA speaker Adi Jaffe

TEDxUCLA speaker Adi Jaffe

The Wisdom of the Twitter Feed:

In 140 characters or less articulate the “big idea” behind three varied areas of study or endeavor.  Topics may range from, artworks; visual, performing arts and literature: To design; architecture, engineering and product design: To science and even the value of certain types of behaviors. Some of the most popular TED TALKS online are  on the value of vulnerability, the power of introverts and the science of happiness.

One example is a devoted runner asked; Can running save our cities? His answer was his big idea; Building community with shared physical activity can change the world. The skill to articulate your vision in a sentence is one of the many tests of the viability and clarity of your vision.

 

Welcome, Greg!

Enroll in Talking With Impact today!

A&D Museum to feature DCA student’s work this Saturday

Huge congrats to DCA student Aneesha Bharadwaj, whose work will be featured this Saturday Nov 5th, 6-8 pm, at the A&D Museum, as part of this pop-up exhibition:

In Type: LA
A Celebration of Place
Poster Launch Party

10 students | 10 faculty | 10 neighborhoods
1 studio | 3 days

The completed series will be showcased at a special one-day event held at the A+D Museum in the Arts District in downtown Los Angeles. Limited signed editions will be available at the event.

Click here to RSVP.

Great work, Aneesha!

In Type LA

 

Course Spotlight: Design IV: Advanced Design Practice with John Beach

Raw Sugar Hand WashesIn this capstone course, DCA students get a chance to pull everything they’ve learned together to create collaborative design work, very similar to what they will soon experience in the “real world.” Outstanding Instructor award-winner John Beach shares more about it:

What brought you to this field?
In hind sight, after over 25 years in the field, I have discovered there were many things that brought me to the Graphic Design world. Whether it’s problem solving, building a brand for a client, helping someone realize their dreams, or just making something beautiful with image and typography, I get a huge amount of enjoyment doing what I do. I guess it all boils down to passion. Graphic design is a wonderful fusion of story telling and communication with problem solving. Under the best of circumstances, it’s always something new. I never get bored.

bodum_shotTell us about an especially rewarding project you’ve worked on and why you enjoyed it so much.
This sounds a bit cliché, but I try and find reward in all of my projects. A successful project to me is one where I have accomplished something I have never done before. Is it a growing experience? For instance, when Starbucks approached me to design a French Press for Bodum, I had never done anything like that before. The entire process was a learning experience that developed into a great product for both clients (Starbucks and Bodum), and I personally discovered what it takes to source materials, work with metals, and work within strict corporate guidelines, but still create within my own creative process. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I also get a great deal of pleasure discovering ways to make design for the  world around us. When I was starting out, I did a huge amount of nonprofit work. It may not be the best paying sector of the design world, but it is rewarding. Even today, one of my on-going projects is a line of body care products available in Target. The client has built in a feature that gives back to the community. It’s basically called “Buy a Bar, Give a Bar”. For every product they sell from their line, they donate a bar to a family in need. It’s a small gesture, but one that makes you love your job even more.

Why is your course, Design IV: Advanced Design Practice, important for my Design education?
This course is important for a couple of reasons. First of all, we will structure the course to resemble as much as possible a “real world” experience, both as a studio environment, and as you relate to the client. We will work as small groups on problem solving for a real organization in need of “rebranding”. This doesn’t mean just building a new logo, but in fact, looking at an organization (of your choice) and finding a way to build equity in that organization. Does that involve fund raising? Building brand awareness? Probably both, but as we will see, that might just be the tip of the ice burg. Again, problem solving and story telling join together to create a unique experience through the principles of design.

Do you have a sample assignment?Non Profit
Throughout the quarter, each team will be working with the same organization of their choice. Starting with a brand assessment, then building a creative brief and mission statement that describes their goals (as an on-going process), we will look to see how well each team is utilizing their design skills to rebuild the mission of their organization. You will spend the semester assessing and implementing change through real life contact. You will also be building a brand book/style guide for presentation on how to best solve these issues within your organization.

Thanks, John!

Enroll in Design IV: Advanced Design Practice today!

Course Spotlight: Graphic Design for Broadcasting

disneyFormer students of instructor Neal Weisenberg’s Graphic Design for Broadcasting course have been thrilled not only with how much they’ve learned, but also with the valuable industry connections they’ve made through the course’s numerous studio field trips and guest speakers. We asked Neal to share a little more about the course with us:

What brought you to this field?
Broadcast design offers a designer and a creative individual so much variety in the type of work that is produced within Broadcast facility (tv, cable, agency, production company, etc).

Tell us about an especially rewarding project you’ve worked on and why you enjoyed it so much.
I was lucky enough to get to produce a Disney Channel TTI. (THE TIME I…) spot featuring my nephew, who happens to be my hero.

Why is your course, Graphic Design for Broadcasting, important for my Design education?
Broadcast design and graphics are so important to all areas of entertainment.  This course will give you a taste of the “real” world agency/studio design field.

Do you have a sample assignment?
Below is a link to the type of work we will learning about and designing.

Thanks, Neal!

Enroll in Graphic Design for Broadcasting today!

 

Interview with UX student Hope Ndlovu

 

UX designer Hope Ndlovu

UI/UX designer Hope Ndlovu

Originally hailing from Johannesburg, South Africa, Hope Ndlovu is a UI/UX designer based here in Los Angeles. Below, she talks about her experience taking UX classes in UCLA Extension’s Design Communication Arts program and shares some of her work.

Tell us about how you got interested in UX and why you chose UCLA Extension.Hope

I became interested in UX after working at a startup and learning about creating user-centred products. I had just completed my Bachelors Degree in Psychology and I was in search of a discipline that would allow me to use my knowledge and fascination with human behaviour in a technical but also creative way. User Experience was the perfect marriage of both of those things. I chose UCLA Extension because of the great reputation the program has and the calibre of graduates they produce. I was also impressed to know that each and every instructor there was a working designer with great accomplishments. To me, that was important. I wanted to be learn from people who knew what they were talking about and cared about what they were teaching.

FullSizeRender (4)For someone who is new to UX, what should they know about getting started?
1. Spend time on your portfolio. A good portfolio represents your process and being able to articulate this in your different projects is important.

2. UX has many facets. Figure out where you fit in under that umbrella and work at becoming great at it.

3. Last but certainly not least- NETWORK! The UX community in Los Angeles is small and tight-knit. Going to different events will help you  meet people, keep up with new trends in the field, and hopefully land some awesome gigs.

What was your favorite UCLA Extension class and why?FullSizeRender

There were SO many! If I had to choose just one, it would have to be UX: Mobile First. I was taught by Julia Morton. Again, I loved the passion she had for what she was teaching but also how knowledgeable I found every class to be. I learnt things I thought I already knew!

FullSizeRender (2)What would be your dream job?

My dream job would be to work at an agency that values good UX, within a collaborative design team.

I know that there are things I don’t know, so I’m constantly seeking opportunities to learn and share ideas and ways of thinking. My philosophy is, if you find yourself not “Googling” anything anymore at your job, it’s time to move on.

 

Congratulations, Hope!

Interview with recent DCA grad Rodrigo Trabbold

It’s always a joy to spotlight recent DCA graduates who’ve grown immensely as designers through the course of the program. Rodrigo Trabbold answered our “big 5” questions and shared some of his work with us:

What brought you to the DCA program?Social media infographic flyer

I decided to be a part of the Extension program at UCLA because I was looking for a way into the entertainment design industry, which is very strong here in LA, and because I wanted to build a stronger portfolio, with more pieces related to entertainment design.

What were your favorite courses and why?

BenHoward_final_FINAL_713I loved all of the DCA program. My favorite courses were Entertainment Design, Design Fundamentals, Branding: Icons and Logos, and Publication Design.

As a designer, what does a potential project need to have for you to feel passionate about it?

In order for me to feel passionate about a project, the project needs to be creative and have a very strong concept and idea. A good project always leaves you thinking about it, or gives you a different perspective over a certain subject. In other words, in a way, it changes you.

If the phone rang right now and somebody offered you your dream design job, who are they, where do they work, and what’s the job?_Cover_1000

My dream job would be to work as a designer for Ignition or Art Machine, some of the biggest entertainment design agencies here in LA. I want to be part of this world, to create the key art for movies and video games, their Title Treatments, and posters.

Where do you see yourself professionally in 5 years?

Five years from now I would love to be a creative director of a good design studio or advertising agency.

trabbold

 

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