October 9, 2018 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Doing graphic design (5-week workshop) @ Montréal | QC | CA

“Doing Graphic Design” will be a hands-on workshop in which participants learn basic principles of design & more specific technical tricks…through the making of original works. We will focus on crafting visual identities and graphic design for print and web, touching on simple illustration and typography. Each participant should come prepared with a project they want to do and learn through. Each person will work towards producing one poster or flyer and a digital banner. Participants can choose to undertake a larger series or project collaboratively if this is desired.

Course Size: 8 people maximum. Tools Provided: laptops with software (cc photoshop & illustrator) installed. Participants can bring their own laptop or can borrow one to use in class. We’ll contact you after you register to arrange this.

5 sessions of 2.5 hours each. The registration fee covers all 5 sessions.

  • Tuesday, October 9, 7:00-9:30pm
  • Tuesday October 16, 7:00-9:30pm
  • Tuesday October 23, 7:00-9:30pm
  • Tuesday October 30, 7:00-9:30pm
  • Tuesday November 6, 7:00-9:30pm

Workshop Details

Class 1 / What is Design?

To bring/prepare: An example of design that you like. Your initial project idea. Icebreaker:

Prompt: What do you think of design?

Discussion: Representations in visual media.
Prompt: How design is involved in creating/mediating representation. What do we want to see more of? Less of?

Discussion: Pitfalls of design thinking in the ways it is currently taught.
Prompts could include: appropriation, gentrification, vapid trends, no value for self-reflexive & critical thinking, harmful means of production/suppliers and profit.

Discussion: What do we want to prioritize in our design practices? Examples of design manifestos throughout the ages.

Show & Discuss: Examples of design that empowers/design that you like. —— break —–

Lesson: Project briefs.
Defining your project needs, tools, timelines, goals & stakeholders

Lesson: Basics of photoshop and illustrator. When to use which software?
Terminology: vector vs raster/pixel.
Basic functions of each software.

Class Resources: Slideshow & handout (ps & illustrator basics).

Class 2 / Design Lexicon & lil’ History

To bring/prepare: Your project idea & content for your project.

Lesson: Intro to terminology & thinking with type. handouts: (some terms: type: serif vs sans serif, italic, bold, condensed, slab…Layout: spacing, alignment, Means of production, Colour, Illustration style, design historical terms (if known, not necessary)

Lesson & discussion: Short design history – show slideshow of general trends from 1900 to now. Note: really Eurocentric, please help add material to widen the “canon”.

Exercise: Using the terms we just learned. Describe the visual elements and identities of design examples. (Important to note: knowledge of tone is intuitive, so use your own words as much as those we are sharing with you.)

Lesson: Elements of visual identity: choosing type, colour & illustration. How this lends to logo and branding.

—— break —–

Show & discuss: Your project ideas. Briefly describe your project, tell us what tone you want for your project, its purpose, content.

Lesson: Basics of illustrator & photoshop cont’d. File setup: formatting images for print & web. Basics tools and functions: eg. type, how to insert image, toolbox functions, layers.

Class 3 / Photoshop & Illustrator intensive

To bring/prepare: Your projects. Lessons : PHOTOSHOP

1. How to select a workable image. Sizing exercise (checking for & changing size &

resolution) 2. Cut out white background (A. curves & B.magic wand select & mask layers) 3. Photo editing/manipulation tools (saturate, levels, contrast, etc) 4. Saving settings


1. Sizing artboards & setting up files (multipage vs single page)

2. Place an object (from ps) 3. Text layout (kerning, leading) – choose 2 – 3 different fonts (interacting weights, styles,

sizes) 4. Create an icon! (pen tool, shapes, cutout functions) 5. Saving settings: Which file-types to use!

——- break ——

Working on your project

Class 4  / Workshop

To bring/prepare: Send email feedback on what skill-based knowledge you will need, as this class we will have a tailored lesson in illustrator and/or photoshop. Bring your project to work on.

Lesson: Tailored IL & PS workshops based on feedback from class (get suggestions by email).

Working on your project – cont’d.

——- break ——

Lesson/Discussion: Tools for critiquing work & group critique (pick two projects to critique)

Class 5 / Saving & Showing Projects


1. Best practice on organizing your many image files 2. How to save final files for print & save for web.

Resource share: Adding final resources & get each others contact info.

——- break ——

Show off yr projects!

Workshop Schedule

Class 1

  • Introducing and discussing our projects
  • What is design?
  • Examples of rad design throughout the ages
  • Project briefs: defining your project needs, tools, timelines, goals & stakeholders
  • Basics of photoshop and illustrator

Class 2

  • Crafting Visual Identity: choosing type, colour & illustration
  • Formatting images for print & web.
  • Basics of photoshop and illustrator cont’d

Class 3

  • Basics of typography (key terms & tips and design-historical references) & layout
  • Basics of photoshop and illustrator cont’d

Class 4

  • Tools for critiquing representations in visual media
  • Examples of design that empowers
  • Group feedback on each other’s work

Class 5

  • Finishing up your project
  • & best practice on organizing your many image files
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