Yesterday, I presented my final project in my first graphic design class. We were given the opportunity to design a book, magazine, or CD cover with specific requirements. It needed to contain at least 5 images (preferably your own), use all the techniques learned in the class, and realistic elements like bar codes, pricing, etc. We each had to give an artistic statement and walk through the many layers and design choices.
It was the first time in several months I had to stand in front of a group of people and give a presentation. Normally, I’m very confident and comfortable public speaking. In my job I had to do it frequently and I knew the material inside and out, so there was no need to be nervous. Presenting your own work for possible critique and feedback is a whole different ball game! It was a refreshing feeling to get up and present on something that made me feel a little uncomfortable and outside my scope of knowledge. It was also great to hear and see everyone else’s assignments – public speaking it always nice when no one is exempt from the hot seat.
Below I will share my final project with you all, but first I want to share some of my design choices and experiences.
First, this was the third iteration of design. I started two previous magazine covers, but found myself struggling to integrate all the project requirements and keep it clean. I found it difficult to come up with a theme and then find the photos and composite design. After setting the project aside for a few days, I decided to go through my photo files and grab whatever inspired me. Once I started to work backwards it all fell into place, I found the right background images and it seemed like the rest of the piece just started to fit together.
Overall, I’m pleased with the final outcome. Given that I haven’t done any magazine covers or composite work I struggled with getting the additional elements to blend with the background to make it look realistic. With more practice and my next graphic class this fall I’m hoping I will learn some more tricks to get things to come together better.
In total I used six different images to create this look. I hand drew the shadows and the bar code to get the look I wanted. After many adjustment and filter layers plus some tricks with masking this is the final result!
An interesting thing I learned was the importance of occasionally printing out comps of your progress to see how it looks in the printed version. For example, the font for two of the article tag lines were in a blue similar to the title on the screen it looked great, but once I printed it I noticed it was a little harder to read.
This was a wonderful project and a great experience, while I spent the better part of a week working on it I loved it and can’t believe people get to do this for a living. The class has concluded, now I wait for grades to post and a long six week wait for the next term to start has me both sad and worried about losing the skills I’ve learned. I’m thinking of coming up with some assignments and projects to give myself to work on just to keep things fresh.
The experience of going back to school and starting a new chapter hasn’t been disappointing yet, onward and upward!