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AIGA LA Student Portfolio Review

DCA students, don’t miss this great opportunity to not only receive critical feedback on your work but to also meet other students and professionals in the local design community. Click here for reviewer bios. 

Register Now as there is limited room and the fee doubles at the door.

Event Description
The AIGA Student Portfolio Review is a day-long event designed to give students­­—about to embark on a career in the design industry—a dvice on how to present themselves and their work. This prestigious event brings together over 50 industry professionals with 100 AIGA student members for the purpose of portfolio review. Students receive thoughtful, constructive, one-on-one evaluation of their work by an array of design professionals—art directors, senior designers, educators, and hiring managers—from the greater Los Angeles area. The goal is to offer candid advice about student portfolios based on professional experience.

9am – 4pm

Westwood College, Los Angeles
3250 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Show map

AIGA Student Members $15
pre-registration deadline March 6
Day of Event On-site Registration $30

Course Spotlight: Designing for Humans: Culture and AnthroDesign (Online)

Looking to get a jump on an elective for our upcoming User Experience Design certificate? This quarter, enroll in Designing for Humans: Culture and AnthroDesign (Online). Instructor Zelda Harrison was kind enough to tell us more:

Why is this course important for my design education?

Most of us understand the immediate benefit of living and working in a global economy. A significant number of us will collaborate with colleagues and clients in another country, and even locally, we will be called upon to develop products and communication for people who either speak a different language and/or live very differently from us.

The good news is that technology has provided us with the tools to communicate and work effectively across time zones and geographical locations. The trick is in managing the “soft skills” by developing a toolkit that takes into account the audience’s culture and values. It should be noted that when we speak of “culture,” we are talking about generational and lifestyle differences too, not just ethnic differences.

Anthrodesign is not “politically-correct” design or “designing to appeal to everyone.” The Anthrodesigner is like a detective, using anthropological observation techniques to develop an awareness of the end user, and inform herself about appropriate design choices.

When people ask you what you do, how do you explain it?

I work primarily as a designer in visual communications. I also explain that I specialise in anthrodesign, which means I have developed tools that allow me to discern the audience’s values and priorities, and therefore communicate more effectively with them.

What will I take away from this course?

In addition to honing your skills as a designer, you will have a better grasp of the research methods and how to apply them. Many designers are pretty happy with applying their skills, coming up with concepts and then perfecting the visual product.

But there are important industry changes for the designer : in a service-based economy, the “communication” and “functional” aspect of our work is informing more and more the “visual” aspect, so our primary vocation is engaging people by appealing to their values and environment, not just their taste. To do this effectively, you must “walk in the user’s shoes.”

In addition to this, many designers are now working “in-house” which means they are obliged to work on multi-disciplinary teams with non-designers. It also means that designers must understand the business and marketing aspects of the projects, ie., the audience’s needs, and participate in defining the message and product to the audience.

In my opinion, this role enhances the value of design, but it also means increased commitment and responsibility from the designer, beyond concept and design execution.

What are companies looking for when they hire an “AnthroDesigner” both in terms of skills and portfolio?

There are very few hiring companies who will reject a designer with a portfolio that demonstrates an acute understanding of the target audience and with the research and working papers to back it up. Naturally, the design and messaging need to be consistent with findings and definition of the target audience. This is something we will explore thoroughly in the class.

In the “real world,” selling/being paid the time to conduct research or dissect the target audience is very difficult, especially to small and medium sized businesses. The purpose of this class to give participants the space and time to develop analytical tools that will make them efficient and persuasive. I believe these tools will carry them for the rest of their careers.

What could be a challenge for students this class?

I can’t argue enough in support of the time honoured matra that “form follows function.” A colleague of mine, Mr. Peji, takes it a step further by asserting “form follows culture.” Students will be encouraged to use their skills and talent to define a creative brief and concepts based not on their own experiences, but on the audience’s.

Students who are unable to “walk in the shoes of the user” will find this challenge, hopefully one worth taking on.

Do you have a sample exercise/assignment?

Yes, my group, the Center for CrossCultural Design, has been compiling examples of great design inspired by anthropological investigation and crosscultural awareness.

We organised a competition to explore the application of design and culture and gave the first prize to Beth Shirrell from Kentucky. Here’s what she had to say about her work :

“Kalakari translates from Hindi to English to mean ornamentation. I explored typographic expression by creating a display font that captures and reflects the ornate culture of India. Specifically taking impetus from the countries architecture, the ancient art of henna painting, and Hindu iconography. The font is a collection of 26 majuscule forms that make up the English alphabet. The collection is entitled Kalakari Display.”

Design Researchers can be the designer’s closest collaborator and partner. For those interested in understanding the landscape of design research, check out this article by Uday Dandavate of SonicRim.

You are also welcome to explore the Center’s activity on our blog and facebook. You’ll find a smagasbord of topics ranging from geopolitics and economics to design and culture. I believe this reflects a reality of most skilled anthrodesingers : polymath approach to audiences is critical.

Karen Brings News of Life-Size Computer Games

 

Karen Lauritsen, your former DCA advisor, has organized an exciting event at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo this Friday featuring the work of UCLAx’s own Scott Hutchinson and Michael Newman.

Here’s the press release:

Cal Poly Science Café Presents Life-Size Computer Game Workshop on Feb. 10

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Cal Poly’s Kennedy Library will host DIY: Physical Computing at Play, a workshop to create a large-scale, computer-based, interactive game. The workshop will run from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Kennedy Library’s second-floor lounge. The event is free and open to all skill levels.

Participants will learn how to design and build a game using an Arduinos (an open-source electronics platform) and breadboards (reusable electronic test boards analogous to circuit boards). Participants will also determine the strategy and layout of the physical game board.

The event will culminate with a tennis ball target competition in the stairwell. Scoring monitors will broadcast the players’ success electronically.

The hands-on event is designed to blend the virtual world with physical play and encourage participants to experiment with Arduinos. It will be led by art designers and digital media specialists Scott Hutchinson and Michael J. Newman.

The event is part of the Science Café series and co-sponsored by the Cal Poly Robotics Club. For more information about DIY: Physical Computing at Play and the Science Café series, click here.

Be sure to let any design-minded friends in the SLO area know about what promises to be a memorable event. And for those of you who weren’t able to witness Michael Newman’s TedxUCLA talk in June, you can check it out here.

Course Spotlights: Web Design I, II and III

 

What will you learn in our web design sequence? Master instructor Mitch Gohman broke it down for us:

Web Design I: HTML & CSS
This class no longer focuses on Dreamweaver – in fact it allows students to use any software they wish to generate the code that builds websites. A great deal of the industry has moved away from Dreamweaver professionally, and it allows us to focus more on real-world web production techniques.

The backbone of this class is the relationship between HTML5 and CSS3. Students gain an intermediate understanding of this relationship to produce more compelling and modern web designs.

• S1: An Introduction to Web Design
• S2: CSS Selector Types
• S3: Relationships
• S4: Web Imagery
• S5: The CSS Cascade
• S6: Floats and Positioning
• S7: Project Review and Layout Conversion
• S8: CSS Navigations and Web Build
• S9: Advanced CSS Navigations
• S10: CSS3
• S11: Project Review and Workshop
• S12: Completion and Workshop

Web Design 2: JavaScript and jQuery
This class is about understanding user interactivity and making things move. Engaged experiences. We look at rollovers, swap images, slideshows, tabs, light boxes, banner ads without gifs or flash, parallax, AJAX.

• S1: JQuery Basics
• S2: Events and Animations
• S3: Swaps and Rollovers
• S4: Tabs and Banner Ads
• S5: Project Review
• S6: Degrading Gracefully
• S7: Parallax
• S8: Project Review
• S9: AJAX
• S10: Form Processing
• S11: Project Review and Workshop
• S12: Completion (Optional Attendance)

Web Design 3: Real World Application
Taking everything you learned from Web design 1 and 2, this course gives you the opportunity to tackle real world projects. You can look at the first 2 classes as training wheels, in this class the wheels come off and you are challenged to develop your skills through application. Imagine being guided through intermediate concepts, but also challenged to think beyond those concepts by applying what you have learned to your own creative solutions.

• S1: Course Overview and Refresher
• S2: Magazine Translation
• S3: Analysis and Class Development
• S4: eNewsletter
• S5: Analysis and Class Development
• S6: Drop Down Menus
• S7: Analysis and Class Development
• S8: Contact Us Email (with server-side and client-side form validation)
• S9: Analysis and Class Development
• S10: Parallax
• S11: Analysis and Class Development
• S12: Final

A Wide World of End Users

My brother lives in Singapore, where Chinese New Year is the biggest celebration of the year. He shared this Pizza Hut ad with me, which in turn made me think of our spring quarter course, Designing for Humans: Culture and AnthroDesign and the rich array of end users a designer can potentially reach.

Check back soon for a more detailed post on this upcoming course.

 

Sneak peak: Luba Lukova’s spring catalog cover

This just in! Acclaimed artist Luba Lukova has shared some of her sketches with us from her upcoming spring catalog cover. Luba’s artwork, known for its economy of line, color, and text as well as its succinct social commentary, has won many international awards and is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Library of Congress, Washington, DC; and Bibliotheque nationale de France. She was also kind enough to tell us a bit more about the process behind the piece.

What can we look forward to in the design you’ve chosen? Did you have a particular inspiration for it?

Here in New York it’s very cold and gray now and just thinking about the spring made me feel good. I wanted to capture that feeling in my design. I love the little garden in the backyard of my studio and every spring I enjoy planting there small flower seedlings. It’s always fascinating to watch how they become strong plants. I thought this would be a good metaphor for an educational institution like UCLA Extension.

In my drawing I transformed the gardener into this small tool, called a widger, that’s used for replanting seedlings. I think this brings another dimension to the design, that man is connected with nature.

I guess my image can also be read in different ways. Gardening, like education, is sometimes a messy, dirty job but the end results justify the means. Also, to plant something new, you need to dig deep. I showed to Scott (Hutchinson) several drawings (shown here) and we decided to go with this particular rendition. Scott mentioned that the Dean was a gardener too, and she immediately understood the image which made me happy.

Did you have a particular message in mind with this piece?

Very often, when I design posters and covers I look for a single, bold image. I think this particular cover design is a bit different as a graphic approach. The drawing is lighter and more spread, so to say, and the type treatment is very simple and unpretentious. I did that on purpose, to express that feeling of openness and clarity that the spring brings each year.

You’ll be able to see the final product when the spring quarter UCLA Extension catalog, featuring Luba’s cover artwork, launches on Monday, February 13th.

Online enrollment for spring quarter begins Monday, February 6th.

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.

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