Category Archives: GT40G 2022-23

Instructions and Info for Graphic Tech 40, 2022-23

Designer Portfolio

I want you to have something to show for all of your hard work and creativity this semester, so I’d like you to put together a portfolio of your best work. Mr. C will guide you and show you a great way to do this, but if you prefer to take the information and display it another way (create a website, put together a video, or some other creative use of your talents), that’s fine too. This should be the kind of thing you could take with you to a job interview to dazzle someone with your skills, or prove to your parents that you’ve learned and created a lot this semester.

NOTE: Older course work was supposed to be finished by January 20 anyway, so it is not a priority. That having been said, if there are assignments that can help your mark, I will try to look at them January 30-Feb. 1. You can email me any time in Outlook if you have questions or need help with something, and I will try to catch up with anything that’s already been handed in. Anything else might be looked at before the end of the semester if I have time.

Your job in your portfolio is to display a range of projects that you’ve created and explain the skills that you’ve gained along the way. You should be demonstrating work completed in Illustrator, InDesign, and Photoshop.

Additional Yearbook Pages

Your next task is to add some more creative pages to your yearbook document. The pages you design could end up in the actual yearbook this year!

Please read all of these instructions carefully and ASK FOR HELP if something is unclear! You have a lot of flexibility to be as creative as you want, but there are some things that you need to include, so pay attention to the instructions.

Look through those past yearbooks that I provided in the Hand Out folder (or click HERE) or grab a few books off of the cart in the classroom for some inspiration and ideas. Your job is not to copy me or any previous books/pages, but you could see how these things have been done in the past. Note/remember that different pages have different backgrounds and designs/themes, so be creative and make your pages look great and unique.


Each section has a divider page that introduces the content and contains some pictures that would fit in that section. You need to create AT LEAST one divider page.


  • Academics
  • Arts
  • Athletics
  • Clubs
  • Graduates (or Class of 2024)
  • Portraits
  • Special Events


And then there are pages for specific special programs, clubs, and events. These pages make up most of the book. Sometimes an event/group/topic takes up half a page, sometimes one page or a spread, or an event with lots of photos might even make up more than two pages or more than one spread.

We don’t have all of the photos and information to put in the finished yearbook yet, so you’ll have to find some of your own content. If you would like to try to use photos of an actual event from this year, just ask me and I may be able to help.

You don’t need to use actual photos though! This is your chance to be creative and have fun, so feel free to just make stuff up!

Often, events/themes will have some text placed in. For example, pages for our sports teams usually have a writeup, and a lot of clubs and events do as well. I don’t yet have the actual writeups for this year to add to your pages, so you could place in a document from a different event/club that I’ve used in years past. You can find those in the Hand Out folder, or CLICK HERE.

Feel free to add more pages and add more content for a better mark.

Have fun with this. I look forward to seeing your creative designs!

REMEMBER: You absolutely, positively, definitely need to PACKAGE your file to hand it in. You’ll have a lot of files linked and without those, your pages will not look good.


Major Project 1: “Customer” Portfolio

Congratulations! A small business owner has chosen you as the graphic designer who will be responsible for building the company’s brand. You will be responsible for coming up with a new look and a range of products that will suit that business and grow that business.

This year, if you’re in grade 12, you have a bit of a choice, but in future years, there will be a difference between grade 11 and grade 12.

Grade 11: You come up with a “business” yourself. It can be a real business that you are creating products for, or a made up one. My suggestion is to create a business that is YOU. What are you looking to do with your life? If you want to be a mechanic or a baker or a teacher (please reconsider) or a graphic designer, create a logo and a range of products that would promote your business! If there’s a business you’d like to work for eventually, consider impressing the owner/manager by walking in with a whole new design for their business and show off the skills that you have to offer!

Grade 12 option (not as optional next year): Actually connect with a real business and offer to work for them (yes, for free.) Work with an actual customer to develop something that a real business might be interested in using to build and promote its brand. Local, small businesses will definitely be easiest to work with/for. If you already have a job and want to work with/for your boss, great. If not, consider some of the suggestions below or consider a place where you’d like to work or at least in an industry where you’d ideally like to work and get in touch with the owner/manager! How could someone not want to hire you after you’ve already proven that you can be creative and dedicated?

Folks I know and can get you in touch with:

  • Robson Maintenance (sign & billboard installers)
  • Shorten Automotive (mechanics)
  • Original Pancake House
  • 1882 Fruit-Based Hot Sauce
  • Argy’s Records
  • Trout Forest Music Festival
  • Static Roots Festival
  • ToneToaster Records
  • Times Change(d) High & Lonesome Club (music venue)
  • Hamm-Tone Guitars & Mandolins
  • T & A Garage (house concerts)
  • The StuDome (house concerts)
  • Applied Technologies (software developers)
  • Elevation Woodworks & Signs
  • UMFM 101.5 fm
  • CKUW 95.9 fm
  • I also know or can at least get you in touch with a lot of local & independent musicians who would really appreciate your help!

Or, reach out to local businesses & teams! Make a new logo and promotional goods for one of our Westwood teams or a community team. Make something up for your church or community club. Get in touch with the Westwood Pharmacy, Sushi Terrace, D-Jay’s, King’s Restaurant, Activate, The Real Escape, Pawsh Dog, Burrito Splendido, Earl’s Automotive, Food Fare, a nearby dentist, chiropractor, or just about any small business!

Here’s a really good (but really quick) look at the process of designing or redesigning a brand:

This one is also very informative:

Whether you are working with a real customer or not, you’ll have to explain the business that you’re designing for and who their customers are.

You’ll have to figure out and explain what the customer wants. What are they hoping your designs will do? Will it attract new customers? A whole new audience? Will it change the way their existing brand is perceived, or just build off of an existing design/strategy?

You’ll have to figure out where your designs will be used. What kinds of products are they going to want? Keep in mind the kinds of things that we can make here: business cards, greeting cards, calendars, menus, magazines, advertisements, brochures, booklets, signs, stickers, buttons, shirts, hats, tote bags, toques, water bottles, mugs, ceramic tiles, mouse pads, and more!

Who are the main customers of the business? Are they young, old, male, female, rich, poor, etc.? Knowing that will help guide your design decisions.

What colours & fonts do you want to use to appeal to those customers? Does the owner/manager have colours or types of fonts that they want you to avoid or incorporate?

Once you know all of that, you want to come up with some design concepts!

Do a rough version of a few different ideas and present them to your customer (or me/the class) and get some feedback!

Revise! Then get feedback and revise again if necessary.

Then the fun stuff starts! You start making all of the products that will help the business!


This is a MAJOR PROJECT, so it’ll be worth A LOT more than the projects you’ve done so far! You’ll want to take your time and do the best job possible every step of the way. You’ll want to communicate, ask questions, and get feedback every step of the way!

The idea here is to show what you’ve learned throughout the semester. You’ll likely want to incorporate the three major programs we’ve used (InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop) because each one has a different role in production and design. If you’re only using one, you’re not showing a range of abilities.

You’ll need to produce, or at least prepare for production, some actual products. So you’ll actually print and cut out some business cards, perhaps, You don’t necessarily need to make shirts, hats, bags, mugs, etc., but follow the steps involved and make it so they could actually be made if we wanted to.

Your reflection will consist of the initial research/thinking you did before you started, some of the revision ideas and changes you incorporated, and some feedback in the end telling you how you did. You’ll tell me about what you learned, what you enjoyed about this, and the troubles you had along the way.

Package Design/Redesign

For this project, you’ll come up with a new product or take an existing product and design all-new packaging for it. You can use Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign for this one.

Watch this video for a really insightful look at designing a new package for an existing product:

In that example, the designer took a look at the packaging for an existing product and decided that it needed a serious redesign in order to appeal to kids. She took the time to consider what types of colours, images, and lettering styles might appeal to a kid, and incorporated those into a new package. Your job is to do the same thing.

If there’s an existing product or brand that you like and know well, you could design an all-new package for that product or brand. You could also come up with a new product yourself and show me what the package might look like.

TAKE YOUR TIME. Think about all of the elements you incorporate into your design, and consider how they will increase the appeal for the target audience. You will hand in a reflection explaining your thought process behind the elements and design choices you make. Why did you choose those colours, those images, and that font/type style? How do those choices help make a product that would appeal to a specific audience?

Fun Final Photoshop Project

If you’ve finished the projects that we’ve done in class and have finished three of your own, you should be well on your way to becoming a Photoshop master. Now it’s time to put your impressive skills to the test by creating something AMAZING!

Read through ALL of the instructions before you begin!

You will need to find images for this assignment. For ones found online, make sure that they are BIG, HIGH QUALITY images! If you’re tempted to use good ol’ Google Images, make sure that you use the available search tools to limit your search to LARGE images! CHOOSE WISELY! Quality really counts! Use CREATIVE COMMONS pictures like the ones found on Unsplash, wherever possible!

You may also need to TAKE PHOTOS yourself as well. Use a good camera (ie use one of mine or something similar.) Make sure that your photos turn out well and that you’ve made life easy for yourself (ie if you can help it, take your photo against a plain background, make sure that there’s enough light. We do have a photo studio in the other room, you know!

Any photos placed into your project must include an ORIGINAL copy of the image that you HAVE NOT touched. These will be layers that are hidden, but there for me to compare the ORIGINAL image to the one(s) that you have manipulated.

Any objects that are cut out of the original should be cut out cleanly. Use the correct selection tools/methods, NOT THE ERASER!

All layers should be properly named.

Your file should be saved with the correct name. eg: photoshopproject.psd

You will have to remove/cover/modify parts of an image (or images). Use the correct tools.

Use text! Make that text fit in with the original image (try to match the font, size, colour, or choose something that fits in with what’s already there.)

Use drawing tools/shapes/brushes to add new elements in.

Use layer styles to add appeal/interest to your layers.

The assignment:

Create or modify a movie poster, album cover, or book cover. If you have a different idea, please run it by me first, but I am certainly open to new suggestions.

Find a movie poster/album or book cover online. Add new elements to it using the criteria above OR recreate one with new pieces. Change/modify the look of what’s already there (take out, replace, and/or add new stars to the movie, songs to the CD, information about the book, etc.)

This is NOT as simple as putting your face on top of someone else’s in a movie poster (although that could be part of what you do.) You need to be creative and you need to use the tools listed above.

Doing this well will require some PLANNING/thinking ahead. Before you commit to an idea, take some time to think about what you’re going to remove, add, or modify. If you’re not sure whether something will work or whether it’s a good idea, TALK TO ME.

The finished project should look realistic. If it’s easy to tell what you’ve added/changed/replaced, you probably didn’t do a good job.



DO A GOOD JOB (don’t just worry about just getting it done, actually create something you will be proud of)

Don’t be afraid to MAKE MISTAKES and FIX THEM. This means that you could have to go back a bit and undo some mistakes, or in extreme cases, start again!

If you need help with a particular tool or idea, consider looking up a video tutorial on Youtube or search for one and find a website that will show you how to do something. There are thousands of great Photoshop tutorials out there.

HAVE FUN! If this isn’t fun, you aren’t doing it right!






Some of my QUICK (not necessarily GOOD) Photoshop projects: (yours will be BETTER THAN THESE! These do not necessarily meet all of the criteria for this assignment!):

the-wizard-of-oz swiper SuperDiaperBaby robsonj_book2 Robson_Peanut_Butter_Cups1 robosonj_Bad mr-t Billion

The New You

Have you ever wished that you could live someone else’s life for a while? Well, with the magic of Photoshop, you can!

For this assignment, you’ll blend your face (or mine, or a willing classmate’s) onto a new body, or take someone else’s face and put it on your body. You’ll take your new subject (new face on head/body) and put this person on a new background.

Technically, you don’t need to use a photo of you, me, or someone in the class, but it REALLY HELPS to be able to pose/look in a very specific direction and make sure that you’re using somewhat similar lighting.

MAKE SURE YOU ARE USING HIGH-QUALITY IMAGES! Your end result will not be good if you start with one or more low-quality images! Use a school camera to take your photos if you can.

CHOOSING THE RIGHT IMAGES IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART! Take your time! Make sure that the images would wok and make some kind of sense together. Ideally, the new face will come from a head that is looking in the same direction as the target head. Ideally the light will come from a similar direction.

High-quality photos can easily be found on Unsplash: Click the arrow on top of the thumbnail in your search results to download

If you ABSOLUTELY MUST use another site, MAKE SURE you’re using Google (NOT BING) and click Tools

and change the Size to Large

If you wish to use a picture of yourself or a classmate, borrow a camera from me and take the photo that way. If you want to try to use my picture (or a photo of my kid), there are some HERE

How to start

I would find ALL THREE of the required photos (face, body/head, background) FIRST.

I’d like to print some of these out, so start with a file that is 8.5 x 11 (or 11 x 8.5 if you want it Landscape) with a resolution of 300 pixels per inch

SAVE YOUR WORK in OneDrive right away!

Add each of your photos by going to File and Place Embedded

I want to see a layer for ALL OF THE UNTOUCHED PHOTOS!

Rename your layers and make a copy. Lock and turn off the original. Work on the copy

Background & Subject

Resize your background PROPORTIONALLY so you don’t squish/stretch it

On your body/head layer,

click the Select menu and choose Subject

Make sure the seletion looks good (no parts missing, no extra parts of the background included)

The easiest way to separate the body from the background is Ctrl + J (copy to new layer). Name it.

Now I have my new body on top of the background:

How to swap faces

There are a lot of great tutorials on YouTube that will show you how to use Photoshop to do a face swap.

Here’s a good one:

Here’s another:

You don’t really have to do a reflection for this one. I’ll get you to use these skills in another project later on, and you’ll do a reflection for that one.

InDesign Monthly Calendar

For this project, you’ll create your own monthly calendar, even better than the ones you’ll soon start seeing at the mall!

Here are my tutorials that will show you how to do this my way:

*Important note: I messed up when I set up my calendar in my videos. You actually need 28 pages for it to print out right. You can add December, 2022 or January, 2024, or just a couple of pages of extra photos or a letter to the person you’re giving it to, or whatever you wish!

*Other Important note: If you want your calendar printed (and you should because they look awesome and make great gifts!), you should add a small “Bleed”, which is an extra little bit of your images/background that will be cut off eventually. When you add images and backgrounds, extend the image off the page a bit. Make sure nothing important is in that area because it will get cut off!

Also, if you want it printed, you need to rearrange your pages in a really odd way… Scroll down to the bottom of this post to see how it is laid out for print.

If you don’t like my way, I really like this tutorial:

I also really like THIS WEBSITE

If you need a 2023 calendar to line up your dates right, CLICK HERE

First, decide on a theme for your calendar. If you want to use someone else’s photos, I HIGHLY recommend using unsplash.Remember to click the arrow on top of any photo you want to use in the search page.

I also HIGHLY recommend putting your photos in a folder in OneDrive! Oh, and MAKE SURE ONEDRIVE IS RUNNING!

You’ll need AT LEAST 12 photos (one for every month) but you might want different photos on the front and back cover, and you can have more than one photo per month if you wish.



You added two extra pages. You need to decide whether your extra pages go at the front or the back. My recommendation would be to add December of this year to the front, or some kind of letter to the person you’re giving the calendar to or something like that. Some people prefer to put extra photos at the back or add January of the following year.

Extra pages at the front:

Extra pages at the back:



Logo Design Feedback

One of the most valuable things that you can do to help your designs and the designs of others is to give and take effective feedback. That is your job here. You will look at the logos designed by your classmates and provide some feedback.

The first thing you need to consider is what makes a “good” logo? Here are some helpful tips:

That video mentions things like:

  • knowing your target audience
  • scaleability
  • make it readable
  • keep it simple
  • it must be recognizable
  • make it timeless
  • How does it look in black & white

Those are all ideas that go into a successful logo.

But the most iconic logos are for products that we already know. Think Nike, Adidas, McDonald’s, Apple, etc. You already know those businesses, so the logo can be very, very simple. In our case, we’re building a brand that people outside of this room won’t know, so it needs to have a little more information. It needs to explain what the logo is for a little more than the big brands.

You’ll get marks for providing USEFUL feedback to your classmates. Useful feedback is feedback that will help your classmates (AND YOU) to IMPROVE your logo. You’ll need to take the feedback you get and make changes to your logo, so you’ll want CONSTRUCTIVE feedback.

“Your logo looks great!” is kind, but not at all helpful. If it’s great, there’s nothing to change, and there’s always something to change.

“Your logo looks terrible!” is mean and not at all helpful. Why is it terrible? What could I have done better?

Go through the logos designed by your classmates and comment on as many as you can. Yes, it’ll take a while, but it’ll be very worth it when you get a lot of useful comments (and a great mark) in return!

Below are links to view the logos for your class. If you’d like to see what the other class came up with, feel free, but your job is only really to comment on your class. If you want to be helpful and provide feedback for the other class, that would be very kind and helpful of you, but it isn’t necessary.

Take your time and provide as much HELPFUL, CONSTRUCTIVE feedback as possible. Any suggestions for improvement/change might be useful. If you really can’t think of anything, you probably aren’t trying very hard.



Remember, you’ll get marks for giving good feedback, and for taking the suggestions that others provide and making your work better.

CRAP Review

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

You, being the creative and intelligent individual that you are, can have some freedom in what you design and how you demonstrate those principles. If you have your own ideas or your own projects that you want to design, go for it, so long as you demonstrate all 4 principles and explain how they were used to draw attention toward or away from elements.

If you need a suggestion though, I’ll suggest that you design a poster for an upcoming event. You can use a real event or make one up. You can make it for a sporting event, concert, meeting, bake sale, art showcase, whatever!

You can choose to put this together in InDesign, Illustrator, or Photoshop, so long as it’s 11 inches by 17 inches (The resolution needs to be 300 dpi if you’re in Photoshop)

You need to incorporate images (high quality), some kind of shape(s), and text that is different levels of importance (such as a headline and details.)

Once you’re done, your reflection will consist of explaining how you used the CRAP principles and how they drew attention toward or away from elements in your poster. Explain that clearly in a document and hand it in for your reflection mark.

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


Illustrator Review/Logo Design

Here’s a little challenge for you. You should probably know something about logo design already. You’ve probably had to design one in this course previously. You should also know something about Illustrator and how to create illustrations in that application.

Assignment: Using Illustrator drawing tools AND text, create a logo for Westwood Graphic Tech. Here’s the twist. When you design a logo for a customer, you generally have to come up with a few different concepts so that the customer can have some choices. You will design THREE DIFFERENT logos for Westwood Graphic Tech. THREE. Each one should be unique.

Think carefully about all of the elements you include. Your reflection this time will involve explaining WHY you chose the images, words, fonts, and colours that you did. You’ll also have to get feedback from your customer (ME!) and from your peers, and make changes if necessary.

It doesn’t really matter what size your document is for now, but for easy reference, I’ll make mine Letter sized (the size of a standard piece of paper), 8.5 x 11 inches

STUFF YOU SHOULD ALREADY KNOW (if not, get learning!):

  • The difference between VECTOR and RASTER images,
  • how to draw using various tools (ellipse, rectangle, line, polygon)
  • How to “constrain” to draw perfect squares and circles
  • How to round the corners of a shape
  • How to use the Direct Selection tool to modify shapes
  • How to use the pen or pencil tool to draw freehand
  • Combining shapes with the Pathfinder or Shape Builder Tool
  • Tracing raster images

If you already know how to use Illustrator, or if you think you can pick it up very quickly, this tutorial is very quick, but might be a good reminder/start: Combine shapes to build a logo.

Here’s another excellent tutorial on how to create a logo

If you need more information or help, I recommend looking in the Help menu!

Or go to YouTube or LinkedIn Learning.