Project Title– “The Cross College, Campus, Course ZINE Project!”
Participating Courses & Campuses:
Professor Ryan Seslow – CUNY York College, NYC, CT101, Digital Storytelling, CUNY, BMCC, NYC, Foundations of Digital Graphic Design, Touro College, Graduate School of Technology, NYC, Foundations & History of Design
Professor Michelle McAuliffe – Galluadet University, Washington, DC
Welcome! This project is a collaborative open education exploration using design, digital tools, the creative human potential and the Internet. It is our intention to generate, discuss and fuse together disciplines through visual communication.
The “The Cross College, Campus, Course ZINE Project” project synthesizes the disciplines of communication technology, graphic design, and digital storytelling courses across multiple campuses. Each course is given the same information and assignment below to complete the project from the perspective of their class content and personal experiences.
As individual courses, we are interested in knowing how traditional design principles relate and contrast to the medium of visual communication and storytelling (and vice versa) through the use of integrated software applications and web tools when applied and presented in a public space. “Public space” has an interesting context both physically and virtually. We wanted to test both.
What will the results be both digitally and non-digitally?
How will the immediacy of publishing to the Internet and the contrast of using public library spaces to experience the same content effect the overall generating and receiving of the works?
What kind of dialog would this create? (This is the short list of questions, we have many more!)
This project begins today 11/12/2019 by introducing the specifications of the project and publicly inviting other professors, students and courses to join in! Are you interested?
PART 1 – Design
Design Specifications – You have been selected to contribute 1 page to a collaborative magazine that produces a rare publication in both a (DIY) – Do it Yourself printed edition and an online digital version.
*Your submission to the publication will creatively communicate:
“How technology and creativity are powerful learning tools for communication, inspiration, digital storytelling and design.”
You have the creative freedom to produce and generate your contributions with full autonomy as to how you experience or define this statement above, however, your final submissions should display an integrated composition of imagery (use of layers and opacity) along with descriptive verbiage that has been typeset creatively.
***Size Requirements – 8.5″ X 11″ inches vertical, please. (What is the potential of a rectangle?)
Usage of Imagery – Participants should NOT randomly use images that are simply just found on the Internet, especially with-out proper attribution to its creator. Please refer to this resource page and work from the numerous repositories of public domain images and creative commons sources.
Software Skill Showcase – Over the past weeks we have all toggled through learning various techniques and methods working with adobe photoshop and related design tools. All image related composing and manipulations should be generated in photoshop, or another image making application that allows for a saved out-put as a .jpg or .png file.
Completed Submissions –
1. I would like to ask all students and participants to publish their completed pages as a blog post describing the process and meaning of your completes page / contribution. You may write the post as a tutorial that maps your process from start to finish. You can then share the link to your individual post when comment about the project below (the comments area).
2. Students will save all of their design work and submit one file ( .jpeg or .png image file) for both the digital zine publication here on the NET-ART website as well as a printed copy for the print version of the Zine. (E-mail this file to me – firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com )
Part 2 – Commenting & Dialog
In the comments section below: all students and participants will respond and react to both the project as a whole (yes, in the comments space directly below) and individually to each other’s submissions. You can click on an individual image in the gallery in this post on the piece that stands out to you and add your comments. (As submissions come in they will appear).
The Academic Commons is a public platform and space for CUNY and beyond, the C.A.C commons community will also be invited to participate in commenting and creating dialog here.
Please consider addressing the following questions in your comments:
*What common threads or similarities do you see between the submitted work?
*What differences do you see?
*How does seeing all of the works organized into one space enhance or disrupt your interpretation of the project and its outcome?
Wait, what exactly is a portfolio? There seems to be a context…or is there?
Let’s define it, and perhaps there is metaphoric value and context in each one of these “traditional definition” examples below..
According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary:
Definition of “portfolio”:
1: a hinged cover or flexible case for carrying loose papers, pictures, or pamphlets
2: from the use of such a case to carry documents of state: the office and functions of a minister of state or member of a cabinet
3: the securities held by an investor: the commercial paper held by a financial house (such as a bank)
4: a set of pictures (such as drawings or photographs) usually bound in book form or loose in a folder
5: a selection of a student’s work (such as papers and tests) compiled over a period of time and used for assessing performance or progress
Hold up, whoa! I can already feel your inner physiological triggers sending a bright red waving flag to your ego saying: “but making a portfolio is sooooo much work!”.
LET, AND ALLOW FOR THIS HAPPEN!
It is perfectly normal and alright to let your “old-portfolio-definition-self” bleed out. Exercise that energy. Let’s release it. Ill wait….Take a breath, and let’s remind ourselves that things need to be replaced and upgraded. Nothing is static. We learn, we grow, we expand and we can’t allow past experiences to drive the bus on new opportunities and new ways of seeing, experiencing and re-defining things.
The word “portfolio” is not a bad word. If anything, like anything else, it’s a default term that officially requires your interaction, research, resonance and re-defining within context to who you are and who you are becoming in the process! With that said, let’s think about what the next step is in creating your new portfolio.
Let us understand the “why” part. Why do I need a portfolio? What is the purpose?
Here is a short list (feel free to add more to your updated definition)
To showcase a body of your work. This is obvious, but curating and organizing things with intention becomes very specific. It activates a higher level of awareness and attention to the process / project. You will learn how to get selective, and this takes practice.
2. To show off your strengths, creativity, skills, effectiveness, efficiency, enthusiasm and passion! Of course, this energy translates directly through the work included in the portfolio. This will be what you believe is your best work at the time, but there is context. Keep reading.. (PS – it’s OK to have more than one portfolio to help showcase various bodies of works and projects.) For example, I’m an applied artist, a digital artist, animation-maker, graphic-designer and a professor of art and design. Some of the works in my portfolio can overlap in theory but I keep a lot of the works separate to subject, but enjoy showcasing them together on my website. That’s right, my website is my portfolio. In fact, I have created a few, the links are below to help.
3. Display your process and evolution. Duration is your friend! Nothing shows off progress better than time. A metric of growth shows itself through time. When I look back at the design work I was doing 10 years ago in comparison to today I see an incredible difference in skill, technique, taste and where my thinking and focus was at the time. I also find a lot of ideas that can be pushed and expanded upon with more with my “awareness-of-growth eyes.” I write a lot about my work and share my process. I believe that this helps me reflect and explain myself better.
4. Stand out and show your style and authenticity – There is only one “you” that you can be. Yes, we certainly learn and are greatly inspired and influenced by others, but at the end of the day we must learn how to be our authentic selves. We must learn how to translate that through our mediums of choice. How will you do this? The short answer is through consistent experimentation and practice. Over time you will create your inner curator, and that part of yourself will begin putting pieces together in groups and compartments. The process will build and flow. This aspect is a journey and it too is anything from static. I take great interest in making changes, learning new things and applying them to the foundations that I continue to build.
OK, all easier said than done… or is it you ask?
I hope that this post will inspire you to begin! Be patient with yourself. The goal is not to create a portfolio in one hour, and there is no such thing as “perfection”. or the perfect portfolio. Let’s produce a result and discuss that result. Be generous with yourself in the process.
I admit it. I love to experiment, test, tweak, deconstruct, remix and repeat processes. I treat the creation process of such a task, creating a new portfolio, the same way that I approach making art. Suspend your judgement! Allow yourself to “make something that may really suck” as a first iteration. This is crucial to developing a contrast of your own. Again, you need to produce a result in order to make an assessment about the result. Until you do this, your contrast is someone else’s stuff / thing that has inspired or affected you.
I would like for you to consider both of these portfolio building and displaying options below. Im a huge fan of both the Academic Commons and the OpenLab platforms. (If you are reading this and are not a part of CUNY somehow, then you can easily follow along individually as both the commons and the OpenLab are powered by WordPress.) Using your own self-hosted WordPress based website and account via ReclaimHosting.com – I have created a sample and template / example using both the Academic Commons, OpenLab and my own self-hosted projects that go into the process. I consider all of these links below to be portfolios. Perhaps you have a preference over one or the other? I hope that these links below will help you get started.
Im excited to share this blog post with you today (and beyond as it will be updated and archived). As you all know, I’m a big fan of the CUNY Academic Commons. There are more reasons than I can mention at the moment, but I wanted to take this opportunity to emphasize the idea of how essential and easy it is to create a portfolio on the platform. I know, the word “portfolio” itself has several internal triggers. We almost always associate it with “work” or a “job” and it is time to purge, bypass and rethink this. That part is OUR responsibility. Lets not forget the word “FUN” as a part of this process because it can be the driving force behind actually creating something that you are both proud of and eager to put out into the world- (our community here and beyond).
The portfolio site is designed as a visual tutorial that gives both suggestions and instructions, it will help you get started. Think of your visit to the site as inspiration on what some of the potentials can be. It is intended to be the fuel that sparks your ideas into action. I’m also here to help, so feel free to reach out. The example website can be applied to a professional faculty portfolio, a collaborative group project, a specific event or accomplishment. This can also easily be the template for your students, and student work, including helping students create their own variations.
Vintage postcard Remix fun – Greetings From New York…
Been working on an example for one of the first assignments of the semester. Its not required that students have to “remix” existing content to achieve their final outcome, but it sure is a lot of fun, and sets a great tone for a written narrative.) Which is a part of the assignment).
Skills practiced and applied: Composition, organization of elements, figure/ground, pen tool basics, cutting, pasting, measuring & mounting.
PS – this is not computer dependent, a series of color photocopies, an x-acto knife, bristol paper and rubber cement will also do the trick.
Looking for useful tools, apps & tutorials to get your submission started?CLICK HERE!
Looking for examples of “what” has been submitted previously? Explore here!
The NET-ART Submission Guidelines:
Submissions may be generated by CUNY faculty, students of all levels, alumni & community members. CUNY classes/courses may also submit collaborative proposals as a group. CUNY faculty & students may also collaborate with others from outside of CUNY as well.
All submitted works will be featured and published as individual blog posts as well as added to existing galleries on the NET-ART website.
Depending on the submission’s proposal, relevant and in context, various submissions will be published and exhibited as an individual page created specifically for the project.
All submissions should be described in written detail with a clear vision, context and meaning. Supporting images and links should be provided as well.
Authors of the submissions and their collaborators must be willing to participate, respond to comments and expand upon their projects with incoming queries via the commons, twitter and beyond.
The purpose of exhibiting submissions in various categories displays a platform for creative and experimental methods of pedagogy. Please consider how your work will contribute to a larger whole that will be archived for teaching, learning, reference and posterity.
We anticipate your submissions!
Question, Proposals & Submissions can be sent via e-mail or via Twitter to:
This blog post is a contribution that I made for the CUNY BMCC Open Pedagogy website here on the Academic Commons. I am lucky to be a part of the BMCC teaching and learning team this summer!
This blog post will serve as a series of examples to help inspire, format and display the myriads of potentials that wordpress based websites offer for teaching, learning, presenting, publishing, archiving & sharing. I am drawing from my own courses and examples here, please feel free to leave comments below or in the forum. My examples range from my courses on the academic commons, the Openlab, and a self-hosted private website. All of which use the wordpress interface.
The question I continue to ask myself through these experiences is; “what are the ongoing potentials of this website/ blog /blog post(s) as an experience?” How can I offer more value? I start with a draft and build/generate content over time as I go. For me, this is a really fun process, I enjoy creating and curating my courses and course content! By all means, be experimental, ask questions, and most of all have fun with the process.
Lets jump in! Perhaps you will click on each example and take a brief tour of each site listed below as you read through here. you can always open each link in a new tab and compare and contrast them as well.
1. https://ct101.us – CT101 – Digital Storytelling. (This is the example that I share at the workshop) This website is a good example of how the course functions as both a repository of content, course calendar and assignment bank with students contributing as authors to the website. The course calendar page is populated with many creative projects that you can follow along with on your own. CT101 is a hybrid course, it is meant to be accessible for distant learners.
2. https://bmccmma100.commons.gc.cuny.edu – This is a foundation graphic design course that places an emphasis on learning the elements and principles of design in relationship to industry standard software applications (Adobe CC). The website serves as the course guide and calendar. Weekly blog posts are published to share assignments, assignment descriptions, research, resources, examples, videos and student contributions via the comment section.
3. https://netart.commons.gc.cuny.eduNet Art is a CUNY-Wide open source course, collaborative exhibition space, research project and experimental “such-ness” created specifically for the Commons. The course is a template and repository for animated GIFs, digital art and video art projects. Contributions come from other CUNY professors, students, courses and beyond! You are welcome to participate and or use any of the projects for yourself and your courses! Submit!
4. Creating presentation content in the blog post format –https://bit.ly/2IZN76OThis example will most likely be published as its own blog post here later but I also wanted to include it as a part of this post for contrast. Sometimes an individual blog post can inspire the building of an entire website. This is what this post has inspired for myself. In March of 2019 I was in invited to conduct a workshop at the Graduate Center for the Digital Humanities Initiatives program. The workshop was an introduction to graphic design in relationship to applying it to content created for websites, especially those teaching on the commons and with wordpress. (There are tons of resources here! Enjoy!)
5. Piloting on the OpenLab –https://openlab.bmcc.cuny.edu/mma100-seslow-spring-2019/ – For the spring of 2019 I was invited to pilot my BMCC MMA100 Graphic Design class on the OpenLab – there are many similarities between the Commons and the OpenLab. I am placing this link and example here for visual contrast. Many of you may find yourselves also working with both platforms as you move forward developing courses at BMCC and in CUNY.
Thoughts and feedback? Feel free to leave a comment and or visit us in the learning lounge during our summer hours!
PS- if you would like to see another creative example of a wordpress blog / portfolio website that mixes together a series of different things, check out my blog here – https://ryanseslow.com 🙂
“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!
“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)
*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?
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?
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.
(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.
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:
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.