Category Archives: Graphic Tech 2016-17

Final Project: Portfolio

There is no final exam for this class, so instead there is a final project, which is worth 25% of your overall final grade. It is due ON or BEFORE Friday, January 27.

It will be a summation of everything that you’ve learned and done in the course this year. You need to demonstrate and show an understanding of all of the concepts that we’ve covered, and show a variety of well designed and executed projects demonstrating your skills with different programs and in different situations.

We have worked primarily with:

  • Photoshop
  • In Design
  • Illustrator

All three must be included in your portfolio.

The concepts that we’ve covered include:

  • C.R.A.P. concepts
  • Creative Commons/Copyright
  • Colour choices
  • Typography choices
  • Illustrator logo design
  • Seeking out feedback
  • Revising your work and creating different versions
  • Communicating with a client
  • Creating products that are useful to your client

Again, I’ll be looking for evidence of all of those in your final project.

You will include the elements that you’ve come up with to design and promote your design business.

You will also include any products that you’ve created for clients. You can include things like the school logo and shirt design, but primarily you should be including products that you’ve created for the client of your choice. You should have AT LEAST 5 different items designed for your client. They should have some kind of unifying theme/design/look, but should be useful to the client in different ways (ie you could create merchandise for them to sell, posters or ads that they’d use to promote themselves, items for them to use in their office (letterhead, perhaps.)

Through it all, you need to be able to demonstrate and explain that you’ve revised your work, sought out feedback from others, communicated with a client, and put thought into your colour and typography choices.

You will put it all together in an APPEALING, USEFUL, and IMPRESSIVE unifying portfolio project. That could look like:

  • Printouts compiled in a photo-album or scrapbook type item
  • A multi-page, organized document
  • A detailed set of brochures explaining your skills
  • A website organized into different aspects of your skills and accomplishments
  • A video (documentary or advertisement style)
  • An interesting presentation explaining all above aspects

Staying in Business

Hopefully by now you’ve established your business, pitched your services, and found yourself a client/topic. You should also have created something/some things for your client. Keep in mind that when you are working for yourself, making good use of your time and being accountable to a client is important, so you are receiving marks for how productive you are and how well you seem to be using class time to accomplish your goals.

You should be creating products that would be useful to your client. You need to think about where your client would like to advertise/establish a presence, and what things would help them do that. You might also consider what their customers would want to buy or how they’d like to support the client.

This week I will reveal the information about your final project portfolio. It will require you to have all of the things above done completely and properly. You will also have to demonstrate all of the concepts that we’ve covered so far in your work, including:

  • C.R.A.P. concepts
  • Creative Commons/Copyright
  • Colour choices
  • Typography choices
  • Illustrator logo design
  • Seeking out feedback
  • Revising your work and creating different versions
  • Communicating with a client
  • Creating products that are useful to your client

These are the things that you should be paying attention to as we move forward. If you’ve missed any of these steps, want feedback on your work, or just need to create more products, this is the time to do so!

You’re Hired!

Once you have a client to work for, you need to communicate effectively and efficiently to find out exactly what the client wants from you.

You want to find out things like:

  • Do they have any previous designs & products that they liked or disliked?
  • Do they have any specific colours or logo elements that you should incorporate?
  • Do they have any ideas, themes, or suggestions to pass along?
  • When should you have a first draft ready?
  • etc.

So, if you have someone to work for, just keep me in the loop and show me that you are communicating these things. If you’re not communicating with a real client, you still need to have some kind of record of these ideas, which you will drop off!

You also need to do some research to look at other designs in the field. So if you’re working for Jimmie Jam Radio, for example, you would look at & for other radio station logos. You’d want to see if you could find any student radio stations, especially. You don’t want to copy those, but having an idea what others look like can inspire you to do something along the same lines or entirely different.

I want you to share with me at least 3 other logos in a similar field/area (with links to where you got them.)

Once you have done some research and you have the client’s input, it’s up to you to start designing a logo and colour scheme that you will use in future designs. To present your client with options, you should create:

3 different logos using 3 different (or at least modified) colour schemes

Of course, you should use Illustrator, and use original elements as much as possible. If you need to add in any symbols/icons, use a legal source that provides Creative Commons files.

The Hour of Code 2016

This week is Computer Science Education Week, and there’s a huge worldwide activity going on this week called The Hour of Code, where millions of people will learn how fun and easy it can be to learn to write computer code. Whether you’re trying to build or fix your own website, animate your designs, write an app for your phone or tablet, or just see what you can teach computers to do, learning code is really important and fun. You have no idea how much you’re capable of doing right now, until you try.

These skills will help make you part of a growing workforce of people who require computer science skills. These skills are becoming more important in almost every area of society, and sadly, there aren’t nearly enough people with those skills to fill important positions. By increasing your skills, you give yourself a far greater chance of landing a good job in the future, and unlock worlds of new possibilities now.

Please Join our class:
If you go to, you could just use our class code: MYWKZV

OR you can try it out at CodeHS (a bit more challenging): (class code 9F74)




Get a Job!

Now that you’ve got your business name, logo, and an advertisement to spread the word about who you are and what you do, it’s time to get out there and get a job!

Your assignment for the next while is to get to work designing and making products for a business/service/cause/department/whatever!

If you are in Grade 12, I STRONGLY recommend that you try working for a real client! If you are in grade 11, you can try that if you wish, but you could make something up instead. Either way, you are going to need to regularly seek feedback and revise your work. A client can be difficult  at times. Rarely will you get it right the first time. Most professional projects go through several different drafts. No matter what you choose, you will need to have someone to bounce ideas off of and someone who will give you honest, constructive feedback. Someone who loves everything that you do is going to be TERRIBLE at helping you make your work better. Carefully consider who is going to help you come up with your designs & products!

PICK AN AREA THAT YOU’RE INTERESTED IN! You will have a lot more fun, the ideas will come more easily, and you will come up with better work! It helps if it’s an area where you might actually be able to find a client who would appreciate your services.

ex. I am a music nerd. I love music. I would definitely try to work in that area. Like my pal Stu, who you met at the beginning of the semester, I would most enjoy promoting great music. For me, it would make sense to choose a band/artist, record label, festival, or music venue to work for. I know a lot of people in the music industry, so it wouldn’t be hard for me to email a bunch of people and offer to design some things for them. If music is your thing too, I can try to find something that might interest you.

You should come up with an area that you could work in. You will need to tell me about 3 potential clients and what kinds of things you’d offer to do for those clients. I’ll look that over, make some suggestions, and then you can pitch your services and see if someone would be willing to “hire” you. Unfortunately, you CAN NOT ASK TO BE PAID at this point. Your services are FREE. That having been said, if someone likes your work and offers you something upon completion of your work, well…

Then you’ll have to write a letter pitching your services to a prospective client. Make it look and sound professional! Explain to them what you can do for them and why they should hire you. Show off some samples of your best work. Make it clear that this is for a class project, and that they are not expected to use your designs for anything if they don’t want to, but they have the right to use them if they like.

If you’re in grade 11, or you want to keep it in-house, there are several jobs that I could offer someone.

  • I love promoting Jimmie Jam Radio. We have a nice logo that was made by a student last year, but I’d definitely consider a different one and some promotional materials.
  • I work for a great radio station called UMFM. I’m sure we could put you to work somehow.
  • There are lots of individual shows on Jimmie Jam and UMFM (as well as CKUW,) and I’m sure there’s one that might interest you, and might have a host that might need some promotional materials…. like me! I host two shows. I have logos, but I’m getting mighty tired of them. I could use some new stuff.
  • I host concerts in my living room, a venue I call The Sunset Saloon. I’d love to promote it better.
  • Ms. Tuchscherer would like someone to help with some designs & promotion for the Sustainability Club, aka the EcoJimmies
  • The PE staff would like someone to design some things for our basketball teams. In particular, they would like posters and brochures with the teams’ schedules and rosters to display/hand out
  • Mr. Sculthorp would like some posters designed explaining the P.E.A.C.E. process in English. (probably not a full semester project, but something worthwhile that could be done while you have some down time or in conjunction with a larger project.)

Holiday Card Choices

The results are in and our school division has chosen a winner. But before I tell you who they chose, I’m very curious to find out which one you would have chosen if you were in their position. Take a moment and fill this out. If you’re just going to vote for yourself and give everyone else a low mark, DON’T BOTHER. But if you can honestly look at all of them and decide which one would have been the best choice, then please take a quick look and vote for your favourites.

You’re in business!

Congratulations! You’ve graduated from Graphic Technology school and it’s time to head out into the real world and set up your business!

Well, something like that, anyway.

For the majority of the rest of the semester, you will be acting as if you were a Graphic Designer and working for a client. Whether you decide to actually pursue this type of work after (real) graduation or not, you could set yourself up for a nice little small business that could help you down the line. Regardless of whether you use it or not, it will look great on a resume.

So, step one is to think up a name for your business! If you think you might use it professionally down the line, do a quick search for any names you come up with and make sure that there isn’t already someone using that name in Canada (preferably the world.) Come up with something that describes who you are and what you do. My pal Stu who came in to talk kind of got lucky with the name “Stu Art,” which seems so obvious and simple, but it really describes the business, and it’s clever, because it’s, like, his name and stuff…

Step two is to start designing a logo for your business. Stu came up with this: which again seems pretty simple, but it’s clever and does the trick quite nicely. You want to choose colours that will convey the right feeling, so go back to what each colour means or conveys and choose wisely. You’ll have to explain why you chose the colours and the typeface(s) you did, so choose wisely.

Once you’ve got all of that, you’ll need to design an advertisement for your business that will make people aware of your services and give them some way of contacting you. It would be good though for you to use your real contact information if you’re comfortable with it, but you can use the school as your contact if you wish. Ideally, these could actually be posted and used in the real world, but at this point, they don’t have to be made public if you don’t want to. You’ll decide whether this is an advertisement for the web (perhaps a Facebook cover photo or similar ad) or for print (perhaps an ad that would go in the Yellow Pages or in a magazine or something), or whether it’ll be a poster that you could hang in a mall or grocery store or something. The size, resolution, and colour space (RGB or CMYK) will depend on which format you’ve chosen.

Starting now, you are responsible for your time. In order to run your own business, you need to manage your time and work well within a deadline. You will be marked on how productively you spend your time! Time spent on Facebook, your phone, or doing other unrelated projects WILL LOWER YOUR MARK.

If you get this done, you can either start advertising your services in order to come up with a real client, or we can discuss options for you to do something creative on your own. This will all be discussed with me, so don’t think you can just run with any idea that comes into your head!

School logo T-Shirt Assignment

Most of you have some experience making t-shirts in the past, so this will likely not be too difficult, but it came to my attention that some people haven’t done enough of this and need a review.

Your task will be to make a t-shirt with your school-based logo on it, which you will give to a teacher in your chosen department/area. If you wish to make a shirt for yourself, you simply need to bring in a plain shirt or buy one of ours. Obviously, the one you give to the teacher will be free. You will need to check with the teacher to make sure that he/she wants one and find out which size. If you have more than one version of your logo, you can offer that person a choice, if you wish.

For some of you, your logo will already translate well onto the t-shirt process. Others will need to modify your logo to meet the following requirements/suggestions:

  • You can/should cut and press 2-3 different colours, so your logo may need to be simplified. Remember that you are constrained by the colours that you see next to the cutter.
  • You don’t want too much fine detail, or else it will be too hard to weed out, so some aspects of your logo may need to be simplified.
  • Remember that you can use positive and negative space. (Positive being colours that you add to the shirt, and negative being areas where you use the t-shirt’s colour to fill in some gaps in your logo.

And of course, you should SHOW your Illustrator design file to me BEFORE you cut anything.

And, uh, don’t forget to cut it out BACKWARDS (reverse/flip your design when complete.)