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Below is a look at the evolution of three students’ work as they moved through the Visual Art Department.

 

Scroll down the page to see their work or click on a name below to jump to their section.
David Kohagen

Sophomore

Assignment

Create a Photoshop Illustration using at least five images to show something coming through a door. Your “door” can be literal or metaphorical. Use your own dynamic imagery to show motion through a doorway. 

Critique

David did a very good job with this piece and shows a good understanding of how to use Photoshop masks (cutting backgrounds out of images). His use of space and direction works well with showing the road come out of the laundry door. Shadows and lighting look natural off of the figure and apple. This shows basic understanding of Photoshop masks, layers, effects, and overall design thinking at a Sophomore level.

As David moved through the program from a Freshman to a Senior, his Graphic Design skills continued to grow.

David Kohagen

Senior

Assignment

Design a desktop, tablet, and mobile friendly website from start to finish. Create custom branding for a real or made up company.

Critique

In this project, David showed his full range of design skills. He designed a logo that works in a variety of uses and a brand guide for consistent color, logo, image, and other visual use across the site. He made adjustments to scale this site from desktop, tablet, and mobile use. He conducted user testing with multiple testing groups and used that information to make his site more efficient. David has shown significant growth in tackling new challenges. He has learned where his design style fits into the market, while at the same time he has learned to modify his work to fit the needs of each project. It was no suprise that after graduating from NNU, he was hired in our Marketing Department.

Ellery Pearson

Sophomore

Assignment

Create an infographic showcasing information in an understandable and interesting way. Choose a topic that you are passionate about and that you can research to find good reliable information about. 

Critique

Ellery did a good job on this project. The color, font choice, and information is well thought out and clear. The approach of having the money strewn about is an interesting choice. In some sense, it leans to the haphazard nature of equal pay.  On the other hand, it makes this information a little difficult to digest.  There isn’t a strong tie between the imagery and the facts. The imagery acts more as a filler element for space instead of helping to deliver the message. This could have been stronger if the visuals from the money matched men and women or better yet–the statistics. The illustration style in the money is well done. Making this feel more playful might be a funny commentary on how much a joke equal pay is. Certainly from your research, we can see how much of a gap there still really is.

Ellery’s growth in the Visual Arts was fantastic. She loved illustration and drawing and was able to find ways to incorporate both in her design work.

Ellery Pearson

Senior

Assignment

Creating a full type face including uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and punctuation. Well thought out type faces give narrative to content and style to words.

After sketches of your type face have been developed, you will translate your imagery into Illustrator where you will tweak and edit your letterforms until they speak cohesively. Then you will set up your letters in Type Tool and configure spacing between all elements. 

After this is done, you will put together a printed and digital type specimen booklet. This booklet is to be at least eight pages including a cover, sketches of your original idea, notes from critique within sketches, explanation of your typeface, character set of uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and punctuation, three examples of your type used in a practical setting (a poster, logo, business card, t-shirt, etc.). Everything about your type specimen booklet should reinforce the message of your font. Your booklet should be created in InDesign and saved with all links and fonts. 

Critique

This whole look book came together very nicely. Ellery’s video was spot on and her story was as well. The name of the typeface (Misfit) really worked well with the other visual language being used. Things were just a little off here and there, which was perfect. Other than making the letters animate out faster, I think the video is really nice. She could have also made the characters that ride in with letters fall off the page or screen instead of just fading out, but I understand that takes a good amount of time. Your project was very well planned out from the start and it shows. She showed a steady methodical approach to design while incorporating a ton of creativity. This shows a high level of design thinking from the smallest letter characters all the way up to the flow of information and how is delivered in the book and video. That is a lot of messaging to control. She controlled every element very well. 

Sophomore

Ryan Marx

 

Assignment

Create a Photoshop Illustration using at least five images to show something coming through a door. Your “door” can be literal or metaphorical. Use your own dynamic imagery to show motion through a doorway. 

 

Critique

This work from Ryan is a good example of some students who come into our department with knowledge in Photoshop. Especially in an introductory class, it can be difficult to teach students who have never used a Mac Computer let alone Photoshop, while at the same time teach students like Ryan who was fluent on a Mac and well versed in Photoshop. That being said, there is always room to refine students’ skills, occasionally break bad habits, and show them professional standards of how programs are used.

Ryan is using the basics in Photoshop well in this image. He essentially cut out all of these images from different images and made them “float” through the doorway. His lighting and shadow work is well done. The situation is believable. What I then focused on with him, was the story of the image. What is happening here? What other objects could add to the mystery of this? Would it help if more objects were closer to the viewer? What would a human element mean in this image? This image is a good example of technical skills being very high and storytelling skills in development. 

As Ryan grew as a designer and visual storyteller, he also learned how to incorporate photography into his design work.

Ryan Marx

Senior

Assignment

Design a city tour guide book. 

Critique

By the time Ryan was putting together senior-level work, all of the elements of a strong designer were coming together. In this book, he highlighted Boise coffee shops. Ryan’s use of big and bold text created a strong hierarchy in this book starting with the cover. He was also able to showcase his own photography. The thematic orange color ties in well from the front cover to the table of contents and onto the spotlight page for the District Coffee House. Looking at the inside of the book, you can see his clear sense of a grid with the feature of the District Coffee House. Hierarchy and the flow of information work well from left to right and logically lead you from one section to the next. Overall this book shows all of the things we look for in a senior designer: strong hierarchy, good typeface combinations, thoughtful color use, cohesive grid structure, consistent brand message, story-based photography, and professional presentation.