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Introduction to Imagemaking

Introduction to Imagemaking

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Introduction to Imagemaking

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During this course, we’ll be making exploratory images to expand your visual vocabulary


About this Course

We'll create pieces that are expressive, meditative, or 'design-y' to instigate, evoke, experiment, record, explain, or to try out a media. The first two weeks are experimental and exploratory; we won’t be concerned with meaning or communication (although, to be honest, every image does exist in a context, and therefore communicates—or can convey—meaning, connotation, associations, and expressiveness). In the second two weeks, we’ll invite the images to deliberately and intentionally carry meaning and communication through relational moves like juxtaposition, composition, and context. Everyone has a natural, intuitive way of putting things together. We’ll look at developing and expanding the range of approaches for putting things together, composing page spreads with your images. Since nothing exists without context, we look at how to intentionally drive the image’s connotations, meanings and associations generated through elements of composition and “visual contrasts.” through style, juxtaposition, closure and figures of speech.

Introduction to Imagemaking is course 3 of 5 in the Graphic Design Specialization.

Graphic design is all around us, in a myriad of forms, both on screen and in print, yet it is always made up of images and words to create a communication goal. This four-course sequence exposes students to the fundamental skills required to make sophisticated graphic design: process, historical context, and communication through image-making and typography. The sequence is completed by a capstone project that applies the skills of each course and peer feedback in a finished branding project suitable for a professional portfolio. The goal of this specialization is to equip learners with a set of transferable formal and conceptual tools for “making and communicating” in the field of graphic design. This core skill set will equip learners for formal studies in graphic design, and a starting point for further work in interface design, motion graphics, and editorial design.


Week 1

Week 1: Image-based Research

  1. About this Course
  2. Essential Skills
  3. Visual Research
  1. Assignment: Select and Research Your Subject
Week 2

Week 2: Making Images

  1. Experiment and Improv
  2. Images and Meaning
  3. Representational Strategies
  1. Assignment: Range of Representation
Week 3

Week 3: Composition is Relational

  1. Composition and Arrangement
  2. Using Hierarchy
  3. More Compositional Strategies
  4. Assignment
  1. Assignment: Composing Simple Spreads
Week 4

Week 4: Designing a Book with Your Images

  1. Bookishness
  2. Laying out the book: by hand
  3. Laying out the book in InDesign
  4. Binding the book
  5. Assignment

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Video Quality

4 weeks
2-4 hours/week