During a trip home recently I was so crazy excited to visit some of my former students. It's the beginning of the second semester which is a particularly intense time for seniors. There's that end of high school buzz, college acceptances are rolling in, and prom planning has begun so I was looking forward to hearing how the year is going and about their future plans. My visit reminded me of all the fun stuff we accomplished in the year I was there so while perusing some old student work I thought I'd share another lesson. An intermediate project I really enjoyed focused on branding. One of my goals for the year was to discuss potential career paths for graphic designers. Most students took my class just to fulfill their art requirement, but I think it's important, whether you intend to pursue a career in the arts or not, to have an awareness of the opportunities available to creative individuals. People have questioned the validity of my career path for as long as I've been on it so hopefully exposing young people to the possibilities will help end that inane conversation once and for all. Anyway, here's what we did!
After previewing some examples of branding layouts, students completed an introspective worksheet identifying the core tenets of their personal brand (which in the age of social media is rapidly becoming relevant even for teenagers... it's weird, but it's there so why not turn it into a teaching moment?). Together we used Photoshop's shapes tools to compose a general template including tagline, business card, letterhead, cell phone case, logo, and app icon. Then it was their responsibility to transform the template into a branding layout specific to the personal brand outlined in their worksheet. This lesson provided students with a lot of freedom within the template to customize each piece and I enjoyed getting to know each student better just through grading their work. Most of the students ran with the idea and ended up with a thoughtful and cohesive design... something I'm still working on myself if you can't already tell from my erratic instagram feed and disjointed Etsy shop... it's probably time to take a cue from the teens!