Graphic Design for Websites (and beyond)
“Graphic Design for Websites” is a workshop placing an emphasis on the basic elements and principles of graphic design in relationship to front end web design aesthetics. Students will be exposed to various examples and applications for wordpress based websites (on the CUNY academic commons and beyond). The workshop will also introduce and apply a myriad of Open Education Resources on design, techniques and software. Hands on exercises will be explored. Bring your laptop.
Welcome to the Graphic Design for Websites workshop!
Here we are, March 19th 2019 at the CUNY Graduate Center, NYC for the Digital Initiatives program!
Reminder #1 – Nothing is static.
Reminder #2 – Everything is default until we intervene, investigate, interact and define who we are in relationship to that thing.
Introductions – This presentation and workshop is a blog post! A URL! It was specifically organized, designed and published this way, which all takes place on website.
URL, please meet the in real-life workshop students and guests. In real-life workshop students and guests please meet the URL. This blog post will grow and expand, I greatly look forward to your additions, suggestions and comments!
What is Graphic Design?
A great definition by: Juliette Cezzar
“Graphic design, also known as communication design, is the art and practice of planning and projecting ideas and experiences with visual and textual content. The form it takes can be physical or virtual and can include images, words, or graphics. The experience can take place in an instant or over a long period of time. The work can happen at any scale, from the design of a single postage stamp to a national postal signage system. It can be intended for a small number of people, such as a one-off or limited-edition book or exhibition design, or can be seen by millions, as with the interlinked digital and physical content of an international news organization. It can also be for any purpose, whether commercial, educational, cultural, or political.” https://www.aiga.org/guide-whatisgraphicdesign
Question – After reading this definition, what is the first image that comes to your mind / attention?
What is Visual Literacy? The ability to recognize and understand ideas conveyed through visible actions or images, such as pictures. (according to)
Visual literacy is a skill. A visual literacy is the ability to both understand and produce visual messages. In today’s world of ever-expanding mass media it is becoming increasingly more important to understand. As almost all information and entertainment is acquired through non-print media, the ability to think critically and visually about the images and content presented becomes crucial.
Where is Graphic Design visually present?
Everywhere! Literally. All kinds of signs and symbols both digital and non, transportation, corporate identity and branding, all forms of packaging, printed materials, Internet / online content, websites, Ads, banners, blogs, e-books, album covers, news media, film and television titles, graphics of all kinds, fashion, clothing designs, art and so much more!
But wait, Are you a Designer? You’re all designing things each day, all day long, lets take a look into what this means..
How does design effect communication?
We must ask the question, what is the language of Design? One must identify and understand the Elements and Principles. The elements and principles are the design vocabulary – (Standard – the way it is defined in academic terms – versus – Customized – the way it is defined via each individual person)
- OER Resource – Understanding the Elements and Principles of Design
- Elements – Color, Line, Mass, Movement, Space, Texture, Type & Value.
- Principles – Balance, Contrast, Direction, Economy, Emphasis, Proportion, Rhythm & Unity.
- A great “E & P” explanation Video (lets take a look) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqQx75OPRa0
*An exercise for later – Generate a series of images taken with your smart phone that visually define the elements and principles of design in public space. We are in NYC, so…design is everywhere, reaching us both consciously and unconsciously. However, we never see a “single design” or “a single building” we see it with in relationship to everything else that is around it. Gather your images and publish them into a blog post. Send your published URL to me no later than tomorrow at 8am. (Im kidding, at leisure)
Where is the attention of human beings these days?
Obviously, online. The Internet!
How does design play a role in the way that we use the Internet and websites for teaching, learning, creating new courses, sharing course work, assignments and generating discussions? What about the way we conduct research, shop, entertain ourselves and so on? Are you consuming more than creating? Is it possible to creatively consume?
What is Creativity?
Creativity is the action and ability to give tangible form to an idea, impulse or intuition. It can be a new idea, or it can be an extension of something that already exists. Creativity can change the context of something in a new and innovating way.
Creativity and being human are synonymous (even thought your ego can trick you into not believing this) Creativity’s desire is your human desire and need of physical expression.
What role does storytelling play in the application of design and websites?
It comes down to Intention. Conscious intention. How can we apply this? Where do we start?
Let’s chat about Contrast. Contrast is wonderful. But contrast can also be a great motivator of procrastination. Endlessly seeking more and more examples can equal less and less actual action. Anyone guilty of this?
What would you like to create? What would you like to make? How will you go about it? Are you willing to practice?
Storytelling & Design & the power of the URL!
Process, Practice & Permission to be Experimental:
Here is your permission intervention. I hereby give you the permission to jump in! Its not at all uncommon to have MULTIPLE projects happening at once on the web. We all know this from the classes that we are taking and the classes that we may be teaching. (Im teaching 8 courses between 4 colleges and taking 2 courses for myself) From the projects we are a part of both individually and collaboratively, the more that we do, the more we realize that we can do. Sometimes “more” is simply being experimental! Its OK to use experimentation as the SUBJECT. Narrate and illustrate the process and observe how it organically takes form.
- CUNY Academic Commons – Free for all CUNY teaching faculty and students – wordpress platform that functions as a social network with in the larger CUNY community as a whole. How can you not be a part of this?
- WordPress & Reclaim Hosting – I highly recommend this synthesis of awesomeness.
- Tumblr – Free and very customizable, lots of options.
- WIX – Free and paid versions, also very customizable with a lot of options.
Projects as Websites, Websites as Projects, either way, its COMMUNICATION. Make it open, make it transparent.
Teaching NET-ART – Teach the Course(s) you have always wanted to teach! Create, design and build it! Your rules, your examples, your unique way of sharing. Im using the CUNY Academic Commons for this course.
Cross Campus Collaboration – My CUNY BMCC foundation Graphic Design course collaborated with my York college Digital Storytelling class to produce both an online and public example of collaboration. Our cross course ZINE was created in partnership and donated to the NYPL’s public ZINE collection and archive.
Public Projects / Group Exhibitions / Galleries & Open Calls:
Presentations – Lightning Talk!
(Above – a graphic icon / logo remix created with the Assembly app for iOS mobile)
The Industry standard software / tools for graphic design is Adobe.
Adobe Photoshop & Adobe Illustrator are powerful tools that can be used to generate virtually anything visual. From all types of static images and graphics, to logos, icons and animations, to retouching and layout. Adobe offers monthly subscriptions for their software and if it is affordable on the end of the user, it should be applied and taken advantage of.
Alternatives to Adobe Software:
GIMP – https://www.gimp.org/ – iOs & Windows
Web Browser applications:
PIXLR – https://pixlr.com
vectr – https://vectr.com
Assembly (iOS only) http://assemblyapp.co/
Additional Digital Art & Design Tools – This is a growing list and archive that has been building right here on this website. I encourage you to jump in, pick a new application or platform every few weeks and experiment!
Lets get to the DESIGN Making PART!
Lets assume that you do not have access to adobe photoshop, but you do have access to the internet, a web browser, and creativity that is pouring out of you!
- Lets open pixlr and Design a logo, icon or symbol that communicates and or supports something that you are currently working on. A logo for your course or personal website? A hybrid graphic icon to express several things that you are interested in? I created the logo / graphic for this presentation at the top of the post using pixlr and icons from the noun project. I added the text in pixlr as well. I applied attribution to the creators via the Creative Commons policy.
- Lets use pixlr again to generate a poster design that uses transparent graphic assets and text. I created a public folder here where you can access, download and the apply the graphics. Lets practice composing a picture using multiple elements. (Of course you can also discover and apply your own graphics!)
Save your work as a .jpg file and e-mail it to me! Rseslow@york.cuny.edu or Ryan (at) ryanseslow.com – I will build a gallery of workshop contributions below this sentence!
(((((COMING SOON in this SPACE – The WORKSHOP OUTCOMES!)))))
Open Education Resources – Courses to follow along with by Professor Seslow:
OER Resources – Text Books (online):
Digital Foundations: http://write.flossmanuals.net/digital-foundations/introduction
Graphic Design and Print Production Fundamentals: https://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/textbooks/344
Free Udemy Course:
Intro to Graphic Design – https://www.udemy.com/share/1001yQAkITd1dbTHQ=/
Online Guides, Tutorials & Project Resources:
Adobe – https://www.adobe.com
Adobe Photoshop Tutorials – https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/tutorials.html
Adobe Illustrator Tutorials – https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/tutorials.html
Terry White’s Youtube Channel for Adobe Tutorials & Beyond – https://www.youtube.com/user/terrywhitetechblog/videos
Wpbeginner.com – WordPress tips, tricks and more – https://www.wpbeginner.com/guides/
DS106 Assignment Bank – http://assignments.ds106.us/
Daily Create – http://daily.ds106.us/
Image Repositories and Graphic Resources:
The Noun Project – “Graphic Icons for anything”
Open-Access – Digital Collection – The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Public Domain Images Public domain images, royalty free stock photos, copyright friendly free images. Not copyrighted, no rights reserved.
Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Images from the Library of Congress, now in the public domain.
National Gallery of Art With the launch of NGA Images, the National Gallery of Art implements an open access policy for digital images of works of art that the Gallery believes to be in the public domain.
Digital Public Library of America The Digital Public Library of America
NYPL – The New York Public Library Digital Collections Archive
Flickr CC – Creative Commons on Flickr.
Gif Cities – Internet Archive
Useful Articles & Inspiration:
What is Graphic Design? https://www.aiga.org/guide-whatisgraphicdesign
Design History.org – http://www.designhistory.org
Key Moments in Graphic Design / Timeline – https://www.thoughtco.com/key-moments-in-graphic-design-history-1697527
Gestalt – Introduction – https://www.canva.com/learn/gestalt-theory/
Useful Article on Color Theory 1:
Useful Article on Color Theory 2:
Useful Article on Color Theory 3:
Color & Logos / Brand Identity:
New York City Transit Graphics Standards Manual – 1970
Dribbble – Graphic Design Community / Social Network
1. Graphic Design: The New Basics Paperback, Ellen Lupton, Jennifer Cole Phillips, Princeton Architectural Press, 1st Edition – ISBN# 1568987021;9781568987026
2. How to: Michael Bierut, Harper Collins Publishers, ISBN# 978-0-06-241390-1
3. Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign Visual Quickstart Guides (Peachpit Press)
Many thanks to Dr. Lisa Rhody for the opportunity to present and share this workshop!