Author Archives: misterjr

Grad Ticket Sheets

Once you have finished designing your card’s front and back, it’s time to print them out. They are very small so you can fit a bunch of them on a sheet of paper. This part of the assignment is to create the sheet and cut it out, producing 16 tickets.

We will be printing these on 11×17 paper. You DO NOT need a bleed for this file, but a .5 inch margin might help. Create a file in InDesign that is 17 inches wide and 11 inches tall. You do not want or need Facing Pages. Just make one page for now.

Of course, the first thing you should do is to OPEN ONEDRIVE and SAVE your work with an appropriate name:

To create the frames where the tickets will go, use the Rectangle Frame Tool (press F)

Click on your blank page somewhere

Create a frame that is the size of your ticket: 4 inches by 2.5 inches

Put that frame in the top left corner. If you’ve set up your margins correctly, it should be easy to place in the proper spot, but you can (and should) check your Properties panel to make sure that the frame is placed at X: .5 in and Y: .5 in

You should see a frame in the top left corner:

Now switch to the Selection Tool (press V) and click on the Frame

Go to File/Place (Ctrl + D) and find the ticket that you designed. Place the InDesign file!
MAKE SURE you turn on Show Import Options!

When you turn on Show Import Options it will allow you to choose between your two pages (front and back) and will allow you to see the Bleed.

You will import each page separately. Make sure the Pages panel says Previewed Page

and make sure you can see the front (page 1)

You also need to go into the Options box and Crop to: Bleed bounding box

You’ll press OK only when your Place box looks like this:

You should have one ticket properly placed in the top left of the page. If you’ve set everything up correctly, the ticket should fill the frame.

Go back to the Pages panel.

Right click on Page 1 and choose Duplicate Spread

That will make a copy of Page 1

Now you just need to place Page 2 into the Frame. Use File/Place or Ctrl + D and replace page 1/the front with page 2/the back

Now switch to the Selection Tool (press V) and click on the Frame

On your keyboard, hold Alt and Shift, then click on the frame and drag a copy beside it

Click in a blank spot on or just off of your page

Drag out a box to select both of the Frames

On your keyboard, hold Alt and Shift, then click on the frame and drag a copy of both tickets beside the other ones

Now that you’ve got one row filled, you can click in a blank spot and drag a box to select the whole row

On your keyboard, hold Alt and Shift, then click on the frame and drag a copy of both tickets BELOW the other ones.

Do this until your page is filled:

Go back to the other page and do the exact same thing:

Once you’ve got both pages filled, you should be done!

Save your work!

Remember to PACKAGE and hand in

Make sure you have no errors and no missing Links:

Once you have that packaged folder handed in to your OneDrive folder, let me know that it’s time to print your sheet and you’ll get to cut them out!

First Logo Design

One of the most common jobs for a graphic designer is to come up with a company/organization’s logo. Once a business has a good logo, they can use it to help build their business, and a good logo can go a long way toward building brand recognition and helping to get the word out about a product or service.

But what is a logo and why is it so important?

There are different types of logos as well. Some are more detailed and descriptive, and some are extremely simple.

Should you continue on with Graphic Tech next year (and I sincerely hope that you do,) you’ll do a lot more logo design and there will be more to consider. For now, you can be as creative as you want.

If you come up with a great logo, it might even look good on a shirt or hat or bag or coaster or…

What makes a great logo?

You can even technically use whichever program you want. Logos could be made on InDesign, I suppose, but Photoshop or Illustrator would be the best choice. Illustrator, in particular, is what we would use to make a proper logo because a professional logo needs to be scalable, so having a vector graphic is essential for commercial use.

Later on, your logo would have to be fully original, but for now, you could incorporate elements from places like Unsplash or The Noun Project.

If you want to see samples of logos for inspiration, I recommend looking at Brands of the World.

Illustrator tips/tutorials:

Build your logo with basic shapes

Add text to your logo

Essential techniques for effective logo design

Build a logo (step by step)

Combine shapes to build a logo. (step by step)


If you want more logo design tips, I like this video as well:

Acronym Banner

When I started at Westwood, there were a few copies of this banner in the halls:

The thing is, it was obviously up there for a LONG time. Some of those people are long gone. Schmeichel had hair and wore a TIE! I have no idea who decided on the word DRIVE or the parts that made it up.

Time for a redo!

You’re going to create your own acronym banner. If you make one that might look good hanging in the halls here, we’ll print it on actual banner material and put it up where that old one was!

If you would prefer, you’re welcome to make a personal one instead. We could print some of those on paper and you could take it home. If you designed it vertically, you could hang it inside of your locker.

Think of a word that describes Westwood and come up with what each letter could stand for.

The old one said: DRIVE

  • Diversity
  • Respect
  • Integrity
  • Vision
  • Effort

What word would fit now? What qualities exemplify this school, its students, staff, and culture?

Again, if you just want to make one with your name or a different topic, that’s fine.

You’ll need lots of HIGH QUALITY images to fit inside of your letters! Take photos yourself if you can. If you want photos from the school, I could share some yearbook photos with you.

If you want to find photos online, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND using Unsplash: (remember to click on the arrow at the bottom right corner of a photo on Unsplash to download)

Use Photoshop to put it together.

The banner that was up in the hall is 28 inches wide and about 8.5 inches high (300 pixels per inch!) If you really want to try to design something that we could use in that spot, use those dimensions.

More likely, though, we’ll just print it on paper. The roll of paper is a little narrower than the plastic banner, so use 24 as the width or height if you’re making something designed for paper:

The instructions for putting this together are a lot like an assignment you did last year… Remember that the instructions for the size and what to include were a little different then. You’ll need to add more photos and more text this time!

Show Me Your Westwood (Photo Letters)


Here are some great school-based ones:

And some other ideas:

Pride Logo

Recently our school division announced that they would be selling shirts to commemorate pride week, which happens this year May 24th to June 2nd. It looks like this:

My immediate thought was that our talented students could have come up with something a little better than that!

We would like to come up with something different which will be used and sold at our school. You could be the designer and get free stuff!

Your creativity and ideas are welcome. You could use a Westwood logo or the school division logo, which you can get from my website: Westwood logos. Remember that vector logos (.ai, .svg, .eps) will work best.

You might also want a pride flag. There is a good one in the HAND OUT FOLDER

You could look at an organization like Pride Winnipeg for information and ideas.

You can use whatever program you like to design this, but Illustrator is generally the best choice for a logo. Set up your page to be 8.5 inches by 11 inches, and if you’re using Photoshop, make sure the resolution is 300 pixels/inch.


First Photos

Previously you had a bit of practice taking photos, but I didn’t give you many guidelines and didn’t ask to see the photos that you took. Today that changes. You will be asked to come up with 3 “good” photos and hand them in, explaining what you like about them.

If your camera is set to take photos in the RAW format, you will have more ability to edit and correct, but you will have to export or convert them before you can use those photos in another program.

If you set your camera to take photos as .jpg files, they are easier to work with, but harder to edit.

You can use the MENU button on your camera to change modes if you wish.

TWO THINGS to consider that will help you take GOOD photos:

  1. Photography is all about LIGHT. The name literally means LIGHT DRAWING. Pay attention to the type of light and where it’s coming from. Sunlight is the brightest, best light available. Your eye can adjust to lower light levels better than your camera can. Just because it looks bright enough in an area to your eye, that does not mean your camera can get enough light. Look for places that are very bright. Then look for where the light is coming from and make sure it is directed onto your…
  2. SUBJECT is important. What are you taking a photo of? Is it clear and obvious? If there are distracting and annoying elements that draw attention away from the actual subject, that is a problem that you want to consider. The easiest way to cut out annoying or distracting elements would be to zoom in or move closer/to a different viewpoint.


Probably the easiest way to import your photos and edit them is in Lightroom. There are actually two programs, Lightroom and Lightroom Classic. It’s confusing. They each have advantages.

Lightroom might be the easiest to start with:

To see the important bar on the left side of the screen, press the letter p on your keyboard to access Photos or open this little icon at the top left:

To get your photos from your card into the programme, you need to Import them. You can do that with the Add Photos button at the top:

Then find the card:

or the File menu

Once you find your card, you should see all of the photos on there. They may not all be yours, so you may wish to deselect some of them. You can always delete some later if you wish.

Once you import your photos, you may wish to EDIT them. You can press the letter E on your keyboard or find this icon:

There’s a button that corrects photos automatically that usually does a great job:

Feel free to mess around with any of those settings though! The cool thing about a RAW file is that you aren’t actually changing it, so you can always go back to the original image. No matter what changes you make, they’re always reversible on a RAW file, even if you close the program!

Once you are happy with a photo, you need to Export it to another format to make it usable in more programs:

.jpg is the most common image type, so will work in the most places/programs


When you have THREE GOOD PHOTOS, I want you to hand them in WITH A REFLECTION!

Answer the following questions:

1) What is your subject/what are you taking a photo of?

2) What kind of light was present and which direction was it coming from?

3) What do you like about your photo? What stands out to you?

Put that together in a document or PowerPoint or some such thing and hand it into your OneDrive hand-in folder!

Grad Ticket Design

The 2024 graduating class needs your help! It’s time to start thinking about buying a ticket for this year’s graduation and we need a new design for those tickets.

Here’s what we had last year:

and here’s what we had the year before that:

You, being the talented designer that you are, could surely come up with something even more interesting!

The first step is to design the actual ticket. Later you’ll put a bunch on a sheet and cut them out.

The setup for one ticket is:

3.5 in by 2 inches, plus a .25 inch bleed

These could be designed in Illustrator or InDesign. If you want to use Photoshop, make sure you are setting up your page to be 4 inches by 2.5 inches, and leaving a margin that is about .5 inches on all sides (.25 inch bleed & .25 inch margin). (if you need help with setting up Photoshop properly, check THIS POST. The size is different, so the measurements will change, but the idea is the same.)

You’ll design the front and the back of the ticket, so make sure you have two pages/artboards! You do not need Facing Pages if you’re using InDesign.



Information to include:

Graduation Dinner
Thursday, June 27th, 2024
Doors/Reception 5:00 PM, Dinner 6:00 PM
Safe Grad to follow at 10 PM
Victoria Inn & Convention Centre
1808 Wellington Ave.
$75.00 per person (non-refundable)
Table #:

You don’t have a lot of space and there’s a lot of text to include, so don’t add in too much more, but feel free to work a logo in or just use shapes & colours and more interesting fonts to make the ticket look much more appealing!

some samples from previous students (note that the details are not correct for this year!):


Illustrator Drawing Tools Practice

Before we get too carried away with Illustrator, let’s slow down and practice some of the amazing tools available in the program.

You’ll work through some tutorials. Show me the completed examples when you are done.

Tutorial 1: Create with Drawing tools

You can download the practice files HERE

Tutorial 2: Start creating with the Pen tool

You can download the practice files HERE

Tutorial 3: Edit Paths you Draw

You can download the practice files HERE

Tutorial 4: Transform and edit artwork

You can download the practice files HERE


CRAP Review / Event Poster

I know it’s only March and the snow isn’t gone yet, but it’s that time of year when my thoughts start to drift toward summer, my favourite time of year. One of my very favourite things about the summer is that I get to visit a lot of cool music festivals.

I would like you to design a poster like one that would be used to advertise an upcoming music festival. Yours doesn’t have to be a music festival, but it should contain similar information. You could promote whatever type of event you like, or just make a poster like the ones you’d see advertising a new movie.

You could visit my website or the Westwood site if you want to make a poster that we can use to advertise an upcoming event, like FLOTA, our family of schools concert, the junior musical (Lion King Junior), graduation, the graduation pow-wow, or just about anything else!

Make your work CRAP!

By now you should know about the 4 main principles of design (aka CRAP or CARP or PARC), Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity.

If you need a review, this is a  pretty good one (although there are many on YouTube)


Here are a few different examples of different types of posters that would work for this assignment:


and some examples from previous classes:


You should notice that these posters contain a lot of information that is categorized/organized into levels of importance. Use Contrast and different sizes/colours to organize your information and show what information is most important and what could be considered the “fine print”/more minor details.

Event posters generally use appealing photographs/images and bright colours to draw attention.

For your details, think of the 4 of the 5 Ws, (who, what, when, where – you probably don’t need to worry about why or how…)


11 inches by 17 inches (or 17 by 11)

make sure you have a .25 inch bleed and extend your colour/images to that bleed line. We will cut off that part, so don’t put anything important in that area.

Remember to SAVE your file in ONEDRIVE with a good file name (EventPoster.ind would be a good example)

Remember to download HIGH QUALITY images and PLACE them properly

Remember to scale proportionally. Do not enlarge small .jpg files.

Remember to make your poster APPEALING and INTERESTING. A good poster should catch the attention of people walking by. Make it colourful and exciting.

When you think you’re done, SHOW IT TO SOMEONE to get feedback. If that person has no suggestions, ASK SOMEONE ELSE!

When you’re sure your poster is appealing, interesting, and useful, PACKAGE everything together and hand it in for marking!

Photoshop Trading Card

Using your newfound Photoshop skills, you will design your very own trading card in the style of a hockey/baseball/football/basketball card, or perhaps a Pokemon style card. Your job is to be creative and original while using something like that as inspiration. You will design both the front and the back of the card.

Here is my example:

You can almost certainly come up with something better than that! I have a few sample cards on my desk that you could look at, or just google a hockey card and see what one could look like.

You DO NOT have to use yourself as the subject of the card, although that would be a lot of fun! You are encouraged to make one about yourself, of course, but can make one about your favourite athlete/musician/Pokemon, etc.

A standard trading card is about 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches. You can decide whether to design it in Portrait orientation (tall) or Landscape (wide.) Make sure your resolution is 300 pixels/inch and you are using the CMYK color mode.

If you come up with something good, I’ll even print it out and give it to you! When we cut them out, it is difficult to cut precisely on the line, so we often end up with a strip of white paper on the outside. To prevent this, we add in something called a BLEED, which is an extra bit of the background that extends past the edge of the intended page. This area gets cut off, so you don’t want to put anything important in there.

We actually want our card to be 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches, but we’ll add in an extra .25 inch bleed on all sides:

By default, Photoshop files always start out with one page/canvas, but you can add another.

If you go into the Layer menu, then choose New, then Artboard…

You can have multiple pages/canvases/artboards, which show up in the Layers panel

You’ll notice two pages that you can work on side-by-side:


In order to properly keep that Bleed area separate, you need to set up some Guides. In order to do that, you need to be able to see your Rulers.

Go into the View menu and choose Rulers (or press Ctrl + R)

Click on the ruler at the top of the page and pull down. Do this OFF of your page (beside it)

Drag down until you’re just onto your page.

You should see a light blue line appear on your page. With the Move tool active (press v on your keyboard), click on the line/Guide to select it. Then Right-click and choose Edit Selected Guides:

The top guide should be .25 inch into the page.

Repeat this process, placing guides at the top and bottom of the page. The next one should be at 3.75 inches

If you’ve done it correctly, those guides will extend out onto both artboards and all you’ll need to do is add the vertical guides on both sides

Drag from the left ruler onto the page and set a guide at .25 in

And another at 2.75 in

The other artboard requires a bit of math because the spacing is a bit odd, but lucky for you, I’ve done it for you! Put one at 3.583 in

and a final one at 6.083 in

In the end, you should see something like this, with guides marking off that bleed area on the front and back of the card


Those guides are just for your information. They will not appear on the printed card!

When you create your background, make sure it extends out to the edge of the page. Remember that the section between the guide and the edge of the page is designed to be cut off, so never put anything important in there!

Remember that the guides will be the edge of the page when cut, so never put anything important too close to those guides! Keep a bit of a margin area blank all the way around.

Here’s what that might look like:

Anything important should be in that area that I have grey (Safe area.)




Get to Know Illustrator

It’s now time to start with a simple look at one of the more complicated but important programs we’ll look at this year, Adobe Illustrator.

Illustrator and Photoshop create and manipulate images in very different ways. In order to understand this, you need to know the difference between RASTER and VECTOR images.

Here’s a good tutorial that will help demonstrate this. Click THIS LINK, then find the button that says Begin Tutorial in Illustrator


THIS TUTORIAL will take you on a tour of the app. CLICK THIS LINK, then find the button that says Begin Tutorial in Illustrator

Here are some tutorials that will help you get started:

Get to know Illustrator tutorial


Get started with shapes. Read the instructions below or check out THIS TUTORIAL. CLICK THIS LINK, then find the button that says Begin Tutorial in Illustrator

Adding and editing Text in Illustrator is very similar to Photoshop. For some great information, check out THIS TUTORIAL. CLICK THIS LINK, then find the button that says Begin Tutorial in Illustrator


Open Illustrator

The first step is to create a new file

Make your file 14 inches wide and 6 inches tall. You can easily change the size later if you need to.

Before you even start your work, you should always SAVE your work. In this case, clicking Save (Ctrl + S) OR Save As will do the same thing:

When you save your work, make sure it has a name that reflects the contents.

Make sure you save your work On your computer.

Hopefully you have already opened OneDrive today. If not, do that now!

Save your work into your OneDrive folder. You might even have a Graphic Tech folder to organize your work (NOT the one with your name on it that you use to hand things in. Only put your work in there when it is DONE)

You don’t need to change anything in this box:

Up on the top right of the Illustrator window, you will be able to choose the way your panels in the program are laid out. You can always change this later. I like my Workspace to be set on Essentials Classic. If you want your screen to look like mine, choose that Workspace. You are free to choose whichever one you like, but keep in mind that your screen will look different than mine.

Up across the top of the screen you will see the program menus. Perhaps the most important one is the Window menu. If you can’t find a panel or want to change your workspace, go there.

There are a couple of ways to look at your primary toolbar. For right now, mine will be set to Basic.

The basic toolbar usually shows up in one column like this:

But if you want, you can change it to two columns with the little arrow at the top:

There are many more tools that you can see by clicking the three dots at the bottom:

The tool we use the most is the Selection Tool. It looks like a grey arrow outlined with white. You can activate it by pressing the letter v on your keyboard:

NOTE: There is another selection tool that we won’t use nearly as often. It’s the one that’s filled in with white. That is the Direct Selection tool, and it works very differently. We’ll ignore that one for now:

The other tools we’ll work with for now are the shape tools. Yours will probably look like a rectangle. You can activate that tool by pressing m on your keyboard:

If you hold your mouse button down on that tool, you’ll see the other shape tools hiding underneath:

If you wish, you can Float those tools by clicking the tiny triangle on the right.

This will pop out a separate panel that you can move around

On the right side of your screen, you will find another super important panel, Properties

Each shape is made up of two parts, the Fill and the Stroke. The Stroke is the outline and the Fill is what’s in the middle.

If I draw a shape with those Properties, my rectangle will have a black outline and will be filled in with white:

To change the Fill, click on the little square next to Fill. Choose a colour to fill your shape in with:

You could also change the outline by clicking on the Stroke square (swatch)

You could also make that outline thicker or thinner

My rectangle now looks like this:

NOTE: if you want to draw a square instead of a rectangle, hold SHIFT as you drag out your shape:

I really recommend that you turn OFF the Stroke for this assignment. Pick a fill colour and turn the stroke off by choosing the empty white square with the diagonal red line through it:

To move or resize a shape, use the Selection Tool

If you look in one of the corners of a rectangle, you will see a tiny dot. If you click that dot and drag it in, you can round off the corners of your shape:

If you want to rotate a shape, move the Selection tool outside of a corner and click and drag to rotate:

Another interesting tool is the Polygon Tool. This one draws flat sided shapes but you can choose how many sides it has. Choose that tool on either the main or floating tool bar:

If you want, you can double click on your page (the Artboard) to choose how many sides before you draw your shape. You can also choose the size.

OR, you can draw the shape first.

On the right side of the shape, you’ll see a little diamond. Drag that down to add more sides:

Or drag it up to have fewer sides:

For today, just play around and draw something using these simple tools! Feel free to explore and play around. Figure out other tools if you’d like!

If you want to get to know more about Illustrator, you can click on the Help menu and go to Illustrator Help…

Click on Discover how Illustrator artwork is unique

There are many more tutorials that will help you to get to know the program. You can access those from the Help menu, then go into Tutorials…

If you’re looking for a good one to help you get started, click the link below: