One of our most popular electives is Package Design, where students bring all they’ve learned in the core courses to create innovative, problem-solving designs that strengthen their portfolios.
Instructor John Beach gave us some more insight into the course.
Why is this course important for my design education?
Package Design is a crucial element in the completion of your design education. It’s one of the final steps in understanding what branding is and how it directly effects the consumers process in making a choice of what products to buy, own, eat, or use. It acts as one of the final ways a producer of products can market their product to consumers.
As designers, it’s important that we help keep the client focused on what elements will ultimately make the product memorable, and under the best of circumstances, coming back for more! This course also further explores how typography, color and image can alter and persuade the consumer decision-making process.
What will I take away from this course?
This course gives a fantastic introduction to the power of strong packaging and branding by taking a look at a multitude of tasks developed to help you gain insight into what makes a great package. We start with an entertainment package. Obviously, this is a huge market in Los Angeles (specifically) and the design field in general. We will explore how to conceptually develop an idea into a container that promotes both the producers vision of their product, but more importantly, a package that the consumer will find intriguing enough to purchase, take home and use. We will explore the various methods used to design packaging. We will digitally render the first assignment.
The second assignment will be a hand building experience. Working with different substrates and templates we will explore the relationship between packaging and the presentation of food products and the challenges a specialty food product presents.
For the third exercise, we take a look at line extensions and what happens when you have multiple elements to package together. We combine vessels such as glass and plastic with paper, wood or cardboard, or if you choose, you can explore what happens in the sporting goods world when you have a product line with different sized items, and what is the best way to solve those issues.
The beauty of this class is that it gives you the opportunity to tailor your experience with directions in packaging you are most interested in. We will of course look at how packaging is changing in today’s post consumer waste world and how different elements can be altered or explored to make your solutions have smaller footprints within global consumer waste issues.
The spring quarter section of Package Design begins April 5th.
In Icons, Logos, and Logotype Design, students learn to develop comprehensive and memorable identities using symbols, logos, and trademarks while considering message reducibility, media variables, and usage standards.
Outstanding instructor award-winner Shirin Raban answered a few questions about the course for us.
- Why is this course important for my design education?
Brand identity design is a very powerful way to clarify design objectives, organize information and communicate it visually and effectively. A logo is not merely a pretty design; it is a conceptual way to present the image of a person, company or product to the world. You can apply your knowledge to other design disciplines and your view point in general.
- What will I take away from this course?
On top of a number of portfolio pieces, you will learn to ask questions that define important objectives, and will develop the skills to visually communicate those objectives in a clear and concise way. Along the way, you will combine those skills with artistic sensitivity and creative thinking to design fun and useful logos and apply them to a number of formats such as promotional pieces, retail environments and identity systems.
- Do you have a sample exercise/assignment?
A. Designing a logo mark and applying it to three branding items.
B. Designing a logotype for a retail store and applying it as outdoor or indoor signage.
C. Designing a personal logo mark based on the book “Decoding Design” to make use of numbers and their universal meanings. Followed by designing a print or electronic promo piece (brochure, web page, etc.) and applying the logo mark to it.
- What have other students produced for their portfolio in this course?
Here’s an example of a signage application by student Tamara Lau:
And here is sample work from student Imelda Halim:
And from student Heather Malone:
Looking to get out of the classroom and study in a dynamic L.A. design studio? This winter, acclaimed designer John Clark will teach the new two-weekend, 4-unit workshop Typography: Coin Design Workshop at the Looking studio in El Segundo.
We asked John to tell us a bit more about the course:
“This class is a type class at its core. It has been configured as a coin design class in order to bring in all of the issues of three dimensional type, as well as the additional component of bas relief sculpture.
The class is conducted at the Looking studio in El Segundo. We have two in-house workshops, fully equipped for sculptural and casting work. Students will only be requested to bring their personal tools for measurement, drawing and cutting. A digital camera and sketchbook are also recommended. We have an extensive in-house library for research or reference questions.
From a process standpoint, this workshop is offered as distinct alternative to a conventional semester class. During the first weekend all students will develop an original concept, and develop a final compositional design by the end of the second day, and will begin their three dimensional positive sculpture. On the second weekend, students will complete their sculpture, create a silicon reusable casting mold, and on the final day cast their coin in solid urethane.
While the studio setting provides many of the practical items necessary to create the work, it is also very important to impart to students that for many assignments more time does not make the project better. The group dynamic is intended to let each student learn from one another. The strict class limit of 10 is intended to ensure that each student gets quality learning time with both the instructor and the other students.
Lastly, quality breakfast and lunches are included, healthy snacks and drinks will be provided throughout the weekend sessions.”
Here’s what students have to say:
“John was great in providing guidance and new techniques that students usually don’t think about. It was obvious that he is really passionate about design. He was also very open to answering any questions we had about the field of design.”
“Highly effective, almost perfect.”
“John was an excellent teacher. He gave us so much valuable information and experiences. He created a wonderful, nurturing, and interactive learning environment.”
Enroll online or by calling registration at 310-825-9971.
Looking for that competitive, business-savy edge as a designer? Consider taking Business and Design: The How-To of Making them Work Together this winter. We asked instructor Scott Hindell to tell us a bit more about the course:
“At its core, design is about relating to people and responding to human needs. Business is supposed to be the same thing, but it can also become a selfish pursuit to accumulate wealth and power. This often is where the division between design and business begins.
The reality, though, is the business world needs more designers. Unfortunately, many designers are either timid to enter this domain and/or reject the conventional idea of profit over customer satisfaction. However, the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive; in fact, the better businesses in our communities are able to achieve both.
Business and Design: The How-To of Making them Work Together demystifies business, and presents the development of a business more in the language and process of a designer. Instead of mistaking business for creating opportunities to make money, this course shows you how business is about discovering and understanding the nature of where people and products/services align for a mutually beneficial relationship.
Many of the tools and exercises in the course play off of the designers existing core skills. For example, in order to identify the right price for your product or service, the easiest way is to visually map the alternatives by form, function and objective.”
Here’s what Scott’s previous students have said:
“Scott teaches a complex subject with a clear, concise, and organized method. He is accessible, patient and communicative. I cannot say enough good things about him as a teacher.”
You can enroll online or by calling our registration dept. at 310-825-9971.
“I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.”
– Steve Jobs, on calligraphy
There are many reasons we think it’s important to offer calligraphy here at UCLA Extension, but one of them is its vital connection to design. A strong understanding of hand-letting and typography are a powerful tool for any designer, and the application of those skills can translate into print pieces, advertising, logos, or even, in the case of Jobs, computer design (many consider Macs the first computers to employ sucessful typography).
Carrie Imai has been leading the class successfully for several quarters, and teaches a new alphabet during each session. This spring she will offer the Italic alphabet (characterized by elegant, fluid letterforms). We encourage design students to consider this elective option, as well as anyone interested in gaining skill and learning more about handlettering.
Some samples of Carrie’s work are below. To enroll in this winter’s class, click here.
Here is a video that features Andrew Kutchera’s Typgraphy class last fall quarter from Korean cable-tv station (UGA), along with Dean Cathy Sandeen. Sara Vadgama, who is currently an intern with The J. Paul Getty Museum, has a starring role.
Translation (from Korean):
In the United States, 72% of women are an active member of the workforce. Out of the developed nations, the United States is only one that does not offer special programs that assist married women with job placement. Located in Southern California, UCLA Extension offers approximately 4,000 lectures [on a quarterly basis]. Lecture subjects include studying for a specific license, learning more about a profession, [or] expanding one’s knowledge about an industry. [Currently] UCLA Extension has approximately 120,000 registered students and 60% of them are women. Many of these female students are married women who are looking to reenter the work force. Through institutions like UCLA Extension, women are able to update and maintain current knowledge about their industries that may otherwise be outdated since they’ve left their profession.
The greatest benefit to receiving training at continuing education institutions is that students can learn about all the different changes in their respective industries even if they have been away for long periods of time.
Continuing education institutions allow students to network with [local] established companies. After studying at UCLA Extension, students are about to seek a wider spectrum of potential employers.
Currently, most women return to their profession at a lower position than when they first left. This is because while they have been away, their knowledge base has not grown and therefore is only suited for a lower position.
After expanding and updating their knowledge base about their industry through continuing education institutions like UCLA Extension, women regain their confidence even if they have been away from their profession for a long period of time.