Learn the fundamentals of graphic design in this design studio. Graphic design is all around you — on subway posters, websites, T‑shirts, and candy wrappers. It is the medium in which words and images combine to communicate messages effectively. In this class, students focus on learning analog and digital creative problem-solving techniques and the basics of graphic form and expressive typography. Assignments will offer students the opportunity for maximum creative input while challenging each individual to be innovative thinkers and successful problem solvers. All assignments are framed within the graphic design methodology of research, concept development, critique, analog and digital production methods, professional output, and presentation.

session 1

topics: introductions, moodboards, where to find inspiration

session 2

topics: posters & history, fileformats, RGB vs CMYK, bitmaps vs vector, computer shortcuts

session 3

topics: How posters work, Portfolio event Parsons

session 4

topics: library info session. how to critique

session 5

topics: Typography intro, homage vs plagiarism

session 6

topics: monograms, history of typography, the purple cow, writing workshop

session 7

topics: Learning Center session, collages

session 8

guest: Nikita Prokhorov

session 9

topics: guest: Kimberley Sampson, Designed to Create

session 10

topics: prepare all work for presentation


Student Work

the assignments:
Project 1: Me Poster (Self Portrait without a Face)
Starting with mood boards to introduce your personality, define a project that will serve as a self-portrait, revealing or concealing identity, without using a literal face. It can contain shapes of a face, just not a selfie.

Project 2: Monogram, Large Type Poster
Using a grid of checker-board squares (either 3 or 4 rows up and/or down) play with letters shapes & counter shapes. Sign the work with a monogram of your initials. This poster can be b/w or colorized in one or two colors, but the main focus should be the interplay of negative shapes.

Project 3: Valley of the Cute (and/or Evil) character design
Create a cute character, using illustrator vectors. It can later be turned into a silk-screened t‑shirt or fabric. If you have time, also design its arch-enemy antagonist and create a world and story around it.

Project 4: Artist Statement and “about” text in any application or cover letter
We always need a paragraph, or 2 or 3 to describe our work. This will be useful for your Linkedin, Tumbler about, resume, cover letter, etc. We will discuss several warm-ups and techniques.

Project 5: Animated GIF to post on social media platforms
to post on social media platforms. Choose a topic that reflects current world events, social issues, and personal experiences and interests as a springboard for your design inspiration. For example, you might choose issues of diversity and inclusion and how we can educate ourselves to contribute as informed participants of society.

we also worked on a collage and took pictures of typography around the neighborhood.

Alexandra Jefferson

My name is Alexandra Jefferson, I live in New Jersey, where I was born and raised, and as I am writing this I am 16 years old. For this graphic design course, I created a “Me” poster titled The World In Colors. It is named this way because it represents the “colorful” and bubbly personality my friends and family say I have. In my poster, I present this idea as the world around me is held in ominous black and white tones, and, in contrast, the world I see through my sunglasses is bright and colorful. I do this so my poster can show a good contrast of the idea that others see the world differently than me. I also do this so that others can see the point I am trying to get across very clearly.

I hope to one day show my designs to a big audience and be recognized as an artist at renowned organizations. I also hope to go to school in New York for either fashion or graphic design and jump-start my career in design. 

Sabrina Leber

Anton Maunier

Aivery Jade Pena

Music: vocal or instrumental sounds (or both) combined in such a way as to produce beauty of form, harmony, and expression of emotion. Music consistently plays in my ears, my mind; it surrounds me. The slightest sound can turn into a melodic masterpiece. By artists and musicians embedding emotion through their songs or pieces, it leaves the listeners to interpret how they feel when listening to it. Music alters or amplifies people’s moods. And how they exert that feeling while listening to music is remarkable. 

I am Aivery Jade Pena, a 16-year old based in Jersey City. This piece describes the fluid motions of what goes on in my head while listening to music, how it creates a domino effect leading me to make art that I enjoy. My mind wanders a lot which can be very distracting. Everything spurring out of my headphones is what manifests into my imagination. The background results from indescribable feelings compared to how the outside world makes me feel. Music and my headphones let it run wild, inspired by tempo, beats, harmonies, etc., enhancing how I feel. 

Zara Raza

Hi, My name is Zara Raza. I live in Queens, New York and I am 16 years old. I am an artist who enjoys all mediums of art, but is mainly experienced in traditional mediums such as sketching and painting. This Graphic Design course taught me new ways to draw and utilize technology to make meaningful art. The poster I created showcases elements of my culture and demonstrates my spontaneous personality. The repetition of the henna patterns with different colors and in different directions depicts a visual map of my creative mind. I’m someone who always develops new ideas and finds ways to express them. After this course, I want to learn more about digital art and gain valuable skills in that area to bring my traditional pieces to life. 

Gerard Renodo

The art I create all has 1 thing in common. They are all inspired by the rabbit holes I go down. Now the rabbit holes I go down aren’t exactly planned, and nothing, in particular, will get my mind going, but every once in a while I might see an image, a sign, a concept, or even another piece of art and my mind will start. I leap from a connected idea to another in rapid succession. But the beauty of the rabbit hole is that it takes you as far as you want, you could end it early after 2 connected thoughts, or spend an entire day navigating the ideas around the inspiration. And wherever my mind ends, is where the pencil starts.

Lulu Romer

Hello, my name is Lulu Romer. I was born in New Jersey but grew up in Beacon, NY. I am an artist interested in many different art media- photography, painting, music, pottery, etc. For my Graphic design class, I created a poster called Crazy Sun. It represents my personality and the things that I love, including movies with friends, represented by the Studio Ghibli stars, or the sun, representing my crazy mind. I hope one day to create art that means something to everyone and help other people create art that means something to them personally. I hope to be an art therapist or something along with that one day.

Tara Sugavanam

My name is Tara Sugavanam. I’m 17, and I live in San Diego, California. I enjoy creating and learning about different forms of media: film, photography, and graphic design, for example. My “Me Poster” is set in space because I feel like that represents my personality; my friends and I always talk about how outer space fascinates us. Sometimes it feels like my mind is in space, thinking about something else. My first name means “star” in my parent’s language, also represented in my monogram. I hope that I can have a career where I can express myself creatively in the future.