Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Project Schedule UPDATED!

Project Schedule

1/12      First Day of Class – Introduction, Syllabus, Schedule, Slides, Vector Demonstration

            Homework – Assign Logo

1/14      Logo Sketches Due (scanned and emailed to me by 8 am) Continue working with Vector

1/19      Martin Luther King Jr. (Holiday – No Class)

1/21      Logo – Work in class

            Homework – Finish Logo

1/26      Finished Logos Due (high res jpg mailed to me by 9 am), Photoshop Demonstration

1/28      Critique Finished Logos

Homework – Card Deck Proposal – Containing Research, Mind Map, and Sketches
*Blog Post with sketches, Final Logo, and Process/Ideation Statement

2/2        Blog Posts checked, Card Deck Proposals

2/4        Photoshop Demonstration (flat coloring techniques with line art and digital painting crash course)

Homework –Visual Research and Sketches, Create Color Comps for one Face Card and one Number Card. (Assemble as PDF and present to class)

2/9        Review Visual Research, Sketches, and Color Comps in class

Homework - begin thumbnailing entire deck and at least 5 different box designs.

2/11      Work in class on thumbnails and box designs

Homework – finish thumbnails and box designs,
*create a blog post containing all research and development for Card Deck

2/16      Review Card Deck Thumbnails in class

2/18      Review Card Deck Thumbnails in class continued, begin revised card sketches

            Homework – continue working on revised card sketches

2/23      Continue working on revised card sketches

            Homework – begin final card art

2/25      Continue working on final card art

            Homework –continue working on final card art

3/2        Work in class on card box

            Homework – continue working on final card art and card box

3/4        Work in class on card box

            Homework – continue working on final card art and card box

3/9        Spring Break

3/11      Spring Break

3/16     Assign Editorial Illustration, work in class on cards.
            Homework – Editorial Illustration Thumbnails (40) FINISH CARDS!!!

3/18     Final Card Art and Card Box due (emailed by 9am), Editorial Illustration Thumbnails due

            Homework – Five Best Editorial Thumbnail Revised Sketches

3/23      Critique Final Card Art and Box

3/25      Critique Final Card Art and Box continued, review Revised Sketches

3/30      Editorial Illustration due (high res file emailed to me by 9am)

4/1        Critique Editorial Illustration, Assign Imaginary Travel Poster and Postcard

            Homework –
Imaginary Travel Poster & Postcard Research and Thumbnails WITH COPY!
*Editorial Illustration process blog post

4/6        Travel Poster and Postcard thumbnails due

            Homework – Five Best revised sketches

4/8        Work in class on Best revised sketches with Type Treatments

            Homework – finish revised sketches – 5 variations with different type treatments

4/13      Revised Sketches and Type Treatments Due - Review in class (emailed by 8 am)

4/15      Work in class on Final Poster and Postcard

4/20      Work in class on Final Poster and Postcard

4/22      Work in class on Final Poster and Postcard

            Homework – FINISH Poster and Postcard. Emailed to me by midnight Saturday, 4/23

4/27      Critique Final Imaginary Travel Poster and Postcard

4/29      Critique Final Imaginary Travel Poster and Postcard (continued)

            Homework – Imaginary Travel Poster and Postcard Blog Post

5/4        Last Day of Class Turn in Printed and assembled deck, and any project revisions

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Project 1 - Logo design

Project 1 - Logo design

Part 1.
Your task is to design an eye-catching, BUT TASTEFUL logo that communicates the service provided by your company and incorporates the name as well as an iconic element that is easily recognizable.

Gather 10 to 15 examples of creative logos in your sketchbook, post them to your blog, or just keep them handy on a drive.  Make sure to record your thoughts about the logos.  Is the design effective? What are the basic shapes and colors? How do they work (or not) and why? What are the hierarchies? Is the concept clear or confusing?  Can improvements be made?  How would you approach the same concept?

Then create 30 sketches for your company’s logo.  They may be created in Photoshop or illustrator if you are already familiar with those programs.

1/14        Logo sketches Due (scanned and emailed to me by 8am)

                Work in class in Adobe Illustrator on vector logo

1/19        Martin Luther King Jr. (Holiday – No Class)

1/21        Logo – work in class

1/26        Finished Logos Due! (high res jpg mailed to me by 9am), Photoshop Demonstration in class

1/28        Critique Finished Logos!

                Homework – Card Deck Proposal – Containing Research, Mind Map, and Sketches

*Blog Post with sketches, Final Logo, and Process/Ideation Statement

IL365 Illustration: Style and Vision S15 MW 1-3:35pm

Instructor: Shane McDermott       
Office: Gibson Hall # 156                  Hours: Tuesday 2-4

IL365 Illustration: Style and Vision S15 MW 1-3:35pm

Course Description
Encountering a wide variety of subject matter, students respond to assignment prompts reflecting the contemporary illustration marketplace. They are encouraged to develop unique approaches to solutions, showing integrity and authority in their visual speech by delving into style as it relates to and effects substance. Conceptualization with a high level of visual acuity is the main focus.

Course Outcomes
The successful student will achieve the following course outcomes:• Students will be able to visually communicate the source content
• Students will provide evidence of concept development and ideation using various modes of illustrative communication
• Students will be able to competently craft representational images.
• Students will demonstrate knowledge of composition and rendering using various techniques and media
• Students will begin a lifelong investigation of personal voice, documenting exploration of content and process.

P2 Outcomes
The successful student will achieve the following course outcomes:
• Students will demonstrate the ability to document their work.
• Students will demonstrate the ability to exhibit their work beyond the classroom.
• Students will demonstrate computer/software literacy applicable to their field.
• Students will demonstrate the ability to research to stay current in their field.
• Students will demonstrate the ability to work collaboratively.

This course involves both in-class and out-of-class assignments.  Projects will be graded on research (including sketches and visual reference), composition (the design of the picture plane or integration of illustration with text), communication (whether or not your image communicates your intended idea clearly), technique (your exploration and mastery of digital techniques), and personal development.

  • Incomplete work is work that is not completed according to project specifications and not completed for review or critique.  (incomplete thumbnails or unfinished projects)  Incomplete work results in an automatic C, but can be improved upon completion.

  • Late work is any work not presented at the scheduled time for review or critique.  Late work receives zero points, but can be turned in before the next class for a grade no higher than a B.  The project is lowered an additional half letter grade for each week it is late.  It is the student’s responsibility to present late work.  The instructor will not ask for it.

  • A final project grade is the average of the thumbnail, revised sketch, and project grade.  Point deductions for incomplete or late work are made after the average is completed.

  • Misspellings in headline text are deducted 10 points.  Misspellings in body text are deducted 2 points each.

  • Additional points may be deducted for pour resolution or print quality, imagery that is unclear, compositional oversights, or an unprofessional presentation.

  • Every student is expected to participate in critique and to offer both positive and negative feedback for a constructive discussion.
Project grades
Grading information distributed on 1/14/2015

Final Project Grades and Averaging
Research, Sketches, and Blog posts                 50%
Illustration Projects                                             50%


  • There is no penalty for 3 or 4 absences in a MW class.
  • The fifth absence reduces the final grade by 10 points (this can be a tardy-absence)
  • The sixth absence results in automatic failure of the class.
  • Absences during critique irreversibly lower the project grade 5 points unless it is turned in before 9am on the morning of critique.
  • Arriving late to class or leaving early can be marked as a tardy.
  • Three tardies equal one absence.
  • Being tardy for critique irreversibly lowers the project grade by 10 points
  • When possible and as soon as possible, notify your instructor of impending tardies or absences. 

Classroom Etiquette

Cell phones:
Make sure that your cell phones are turned off during class.  You may set your phone to vibrate if you have an ongoing emergency (meaning birth, death, or catastrophic illness).  DO NOT answer your phone in class.  It’s rude.  In the event of an emergency call you may exit class and then answer or return the call. 

Headphones are permitted, but ONLY during in-class work when I am not instructing and ONLY if low enough that you can still hear me if I address you.  Do not play music through the speakers.

I don’t care if you occasionally check your email or watch someone’s bulldog skateboard on YouTube, but it MUST NOT interfere with your work and it should never be through the speakers.

The best way to contact me is at  Please give your email a clear, descriptive subject line because I’m old and easily confused.  In turn, be sure to check your MCA email account regularly because I will contact you if there are any last minute changes to an assignment.

Class materials
  1. A thumb drive with sufficient storage space
  2. Access to a digital camera
  3. Good paper for printing your illustrations (when specified)
  4. Found textures for scanning (when specified)
Class Folder
You will each have a folder on the server and there will be a class folder as well.  This is where you’ll place your assignments for critiques unless stated otherwise.  I will distribute this information when the folders have been completed.

Class Blog
The syllabus, schedule, and first assignments are posted to the class blog at Future assignments will be posted as they are distributed.  NEVER TELL ME YOU DIDN’T HAVE THE ASSIGNMENT!  I will also post instructions here in the event of a class cancellation. 

Health and Safety
All students must comply with health and safety regulations.  Of particular relevance to this class will be disposal of art materials.  The classroom is provided with a sink, but only water should be poured down the sink’s drain.  All other materials should be collected for appropriate processing.  You will be required to have an MSDS (material safety data sheet) with any and all materials you bring to class.  MSDS sheets can be found online at  Keep the sheets with your materials when you bring them to class.  Some materials require latex gloves, goggles, or even masks.  When using such materials you will be required to take the necessary safety measures in class.  If you have turned in MSDS for materials used in a previous semester then you need only update existing supplies and record any new materials you use in class this semester.

Mac Lab Rules

Observe and adhere to all Mac Lab Rules as I will be enforcing them.  No food or drink is allowed in the lab.  Do not draw on the tables or the mouse pads.  Do not chew on tablet pens.  Make sure your area is clean and tidy with your chair pushed under the table when you leave class.