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Course Spotlight: Package Design

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.

Course Spotlight: Icons, Logos, and Logotype Design

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:

There’s still room in the online section of Icons, Logos, and Logotype  Design, this winter. Click here to enroll today.

Adobe Illustrator User’s Group: Workflow with Adobe Ideas

January 18, 2012 06:45 – 08:30 PM
MacMall Retail Store
1505 Wilshire Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90403
310-394-7779

Chevon Hicks will present workflow for Adobe Ideas and Adobe Illustrator.

Chevon has spent over 20 years in both the traditional and digital agency worlds, combining art and technology to bring digitally driven experiences to life. His career began in high school as an art department intern at ad agency Kresser/Craig, just as the agency world began to shift from creating ads by hand to doing everything on computers. This experience proved unique in that Chevon was steeped in the values of traditional design and advertising, an increasingly lost art these days, before being thrust headfirst into digital.

As a teenager he was old enough to master the old practices and young enough absorb the new technology that was rapidly taking over the industry. An eventual Fine Arts major at Otis/Parsons, Chevon applied his knowledge of technology to his artwork. Technology manifested itself as part of the creative process of traditional media and sometimes the execution of the work itself in the form of installations, paintings, sculptures and CD-ROM experiences. He felt that it was important to major in Fine Arts, not Advertising or Design, in order to give himself the broadest possible perspective on visual communication. Besides, he was learning advertising the real way — on the job, while putting himself through school.

In art school, Chevon became most well known for city-wide poster campaigns where the artist promoted himself. These “campaigns” expressed themselves as wheat pasted posters, uninvited lecture series and impromptu autograph sessions. The experiment was Warholian — the idea that putting something on a pedestal makes it great, ala the way Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans were able to transcend the banal by being immortalized on canvas and viewed in a gallery setting. People would show up to Chevon’s lectures and autograph signings simply because it was “advertised”. These were the methods used to promote his work — the secret being that the campaign was the work itself. It was clear that he found it hard to escape his advertising industry influence, even within the incubator of a world-class fine arts program.

Chevon founded Heavenspot in 1997, two years out of college and has been creating amazing interactive ever since. Chevon’s expertise in interactive design has been recognized by The Webby’s, Communication Arts, HOW Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, The FWA, Variety and BusinessWeek.

In addition to his duties at Heavenspot, Chevon teaches an undergraduate course at the USC School of Cinematic Arts entitled, “Interface Design for Games” in the Robert Zemeckis Center. His other passion is soccer, the beautiful game, which led him to the creation of a thriving adult’s league complete with corporate sponsorship.

Chevon lives in the Silverlake district of Los Angeles with his wife Stephanie and their son Ziggy.

Click here for more information. 

The event is free! Please RSVP on the Adobe Illustrator User’s Group Facebook page.

Parking is free in the lot behind the store!

Internship at Green Graphics

Green Graphics and Printing is a graphic and website design studio as well as an eco-friendly print shop. We have a casual and fun work environment in a pleasant atmosphere. The owner is a UCLA Extension DCA grad!

We are seeking a full or part time Graphic Design intern in our Woodland Hills office to gain hands on experience working with an extremely wide variety of projects. We work with both small and large companies and design everything from logos, stationery, postcards, and brochures, to product packing, books, custom die cut collateral and websites and many other different types of projects.

Please note, this is an unpaid internship, (although we usually give our interns a monetary gift at the end 🙂

Qualifications:

– Knowledge of Photoshop and Illustrator. Knowledge of InDesign a plus.
– Ability to work in a fast paced environment and to take direction
– Creativity!
– Must love dogs. We bring ours to work, and you can too if they get along with our big pooches!
– We are looking for someone who can work 2-3 days/ week 6-8 hours a day.

What you will do and learn:

• How to properly set up artwork for print and web
• Work start to finish on projects, and you will be allowed the use of some projects that you create to use in your portfolio.
• We never have the same job twice, so you will always have something new to work on!

What we will never ask you to do:
• You will never be made to run errands, get coffee, file papers, or do office work.

We are here to help give you real world experience and teach you tips and tricks you may not have learned in school. We will gladly help answer any questions, and you can even use our laser printer to make nice prints for your portfolio and other class projects, free of charge.

Please email us a resume and/or portfolio to info@gotgreenprinting.com .

Course Spotlight: Typography: Coin Design Workshop

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.

Coin casting and prototypes by John Clark. From l-r: aluminum positive casting, urethane positive casting, and wood prototype

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.”

From left, wood positive, silicon negative mold, cast urethane positive

 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.

Who Are We – Visual Arts

If you’re dropping by this blog but are not familiar with who we are or what we do, here’s a little introduction.

UCLA Extension is the continuing education arm of UCLA. Here in the visual arts program, we offer open enrollment courses in fine art (including drawing, painting, mixed media, etc), art history, and photography. That means that anyone can enroll – you don’t have to be a UCLA student, and there’s no formal application process to go through. We program our own classes, separately from campus (although we do offer courses that carry UC transfer credit), and our instructors are working professionals in their fields.

Most of our courses are offered on weekday evenings, or on weekends, and our students are largly working professionals who have a passion for the arts and want to keep their practice active, or just learn more about figuration, Photoshop, or the masters of the Renaissance.

You can see samples of our students’ work on this blog, and a few instructor images included below. Click here to see what we’re offering this quarter. There are courses appropriate for all experience levels, and we provide a classroom environment that is supportive yet challenging.

Questions about the program? Call (310) 206-1422 to speak with an advisor.

Typography field trip explores the “the uncommon beauty of common things”

Instructor Andrew Byrom shared two exhibits with his students, the first called California Design, 1930–1965: “Living in a Modern Way” at LACMA, part of the Pacific Standard Time project celebrating the birth of the L.A. art scene.

The class then hustled across Wilshire Blvd. before it was shut down for President Obama’s motorcade to the Architecture and Design Museum, where Andrew discussed “the uncommon beauty of common things” at the exhibit on Charles and Ray Eames he co-created with Deborah Sussman.

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Interview with Masaki Koike

UCLA Extension Design Communication Arts instructor Masaki Koike won a Grammy Award in 2008 for his design of the “What It Is: Funk Soul & Rare Grooves” box set from Rhino Records. He sat down with UCLA Extension’s Karen Lauritsen to talk about the design project and the “Design Fundamentals” course he teaches at UCLA Extension.

 

10 Things to Know When Working on Your DCA Certificate at UCLA Extension

A big thanks to graduate Sherene Strausberg for looking out for current students. Read on for her guidance and my notes:

1. Look at job listings for design positions while you’re in school. Yes, this is normally something you’d consider once you’re finished with school, or almost finished. It actually makes much more sense to look at what’s in demand while you are still in school. Knowing what positions are in demand will likely influence your course selection, and perhaps even alter your focus.

– I’d like to add looking at design portfolios while you’re in school is important too. You want to know what the industry demands, who you’re competing with, and where to find inspiration. There are some graduate portfolios linked to the blog, on the right side. – Karen

2. Talking to senior level designers while you’re in school will also help in your course selection. For example, if you’re interested in working in book design, you may talk to a creative director at Penguin Books who informs you that typography is something they look for even more so than packaging. Well, perhaps taking Advanced Typography is more important than a Package Design class (even if you reaaaallly want to take that Package Design class). However, if you speak to someone at a Package Design Agency, they may stress the importance of including several packaging samples in your portfolio, which you can do easily if you take a Package Design class.

– It’s much easier to get access to professionals as a student than it is as someone looking for a job. I’m also happy to advise you on course selection after a review of your work and a conversation your interests. – Karen

3. When given design resources begin to organize them immediately. One year out from graduation, I became overwhelmed by the exponential increase in designers I was meeting, following their blogs not to mention looking at portfolios and software tutorials. It became a monumental task to organize the abundant amount of resources in such a way that I could actually find them useful as helpful resources. Once you’re working in a job, there isn’t time to search through a dozen stock photography websites, but knowing which ones are your favorites and most useful is good to know before you begin working. Delicious.com is a great way to organize them. But keeping a spreadsheet or an updated Bookmarks/Favorites document is good to be able to transfer them between browsers and computers. Spending a few minutes after each class organizing what websites are most helpful will become a huge timesaver once you’re working full-time as a designer.

– That said, please remember that we encourage students to use their own materials and photography rather than stock. – Karen

4. Create (and access!) your own resources. At times I waste hours at work searching for a perfect photo or a certain Photoshop brush. You can easily make your own resources…take photos everywhere you go, turn cool letters into a font or make a pattern into a brush. Then, through cloud computing, and such websites like dropbox.com, you can keep your own stock photos, brushes, fonts, etc. in a folder that you can access from a work computer, home computer or smart phone.

– Yes!

5. Develop relationships with your instructors from the beginning. Your instructors are one of the most useful resources UCLA Extension offers. Get to class early and stay late. Every instructor is a working designer with contacts, connections and an employer. Heck, your instructor may even have his/her own design employees! Connect with them onFacebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Every instructor has a wealth of knowledge and experience that you can tap into. Of course, always treat them with respect, and understand they’re just as busy as everyone else!

6. Use Social Media to stay connected in the world of design.I was on Facebook and LinkedIn and thought that was the gist of social media. Twitter is even better, despite my initial misgivings about it. Like me, you may be thinking, “Why do I want to read 140 character long comments from some designer a thousand miles away?” Because they’re tapped in, that’s why! By following them, you stay dialed into current news and updates of what’s going on in the world of design. It’s good to follow famous designers, or even smaller designers whose work you admire. Some of the most talented designers make regular tweets and you may interview with them one day; knowing what they’ve been tweeting about can make you stand out in an interview. (Examples of designers I follow: http://twitter.com/#!/bantjes and http://twitter.com/#!/abstractcity)

7. Attend every AIGA event you can. As a student, I felt like I didn’t belong there. It’s not true! AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) is an incredible resource to learn about jobs, internships, lectures, events and contests. Even if your membership expires, consider volunteering — just a few hours a week will give you the opportunity to meet other designers and make useful connections that can lead to an internship, freelance work or even a job.

– Many students never utilize the incredible one-year benefit we buy for our 16-course certificate students. I echo Sherene… Go! And stay involved. You can renew as a student for as long as you’re enrolled in the program. – Karen

8. Try to take classes in the order suggested by the DCA program. There is a reason the classes are meant to flow in a particular order. Your efforts in school will make more sense because skills build upon each other and you’ll utilize tools from previous classes in subsequent classes.

9. Connect with Karen Lauritsen. Continuing Education has different nuances than undergraduate or graduate programs. Karen understands the issues that students coming from different careers are facing. She can provide helpful advice that’s not found on UCLA’s website or the catalog or any design book.

– Thanks, Sherene! You can reach me through this blog or at dca@uclaextension.edu or 310-206-1422.

10. Read this blog and join the Facebook group. Reading this blog (which you’re obviously doing right now!) is helpful to learn about internships, new classes, design lectures and student events. And joining the Facebook group will help you feel like you’re part of a community to connect with peers who are maybe a few years ahead of you or a year behind you. Starting a new career can be very challenging, but having a place to connect with people in your same situation can help the transition.

– Find us on facebook.com/uclaextensionvisualarts
By Sherene Strausberg, UCLA DCA Certificate 2010. Sherene is currently working as a Multimedia Graphic Designer for Katz Marketing Solutions in New York City. She can be reached at sherene@sweetnotes.com.

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