Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Scenes with filters

Use at least three of the above images all or part of them to create a scene with depth and tools you have learned and new tools you will learn today.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Creating a photo illustration using Photoshop
  • Read the copy
  • Right click save all 4 images to your desktop into a new folder called photo illo
  • Watch demo and follow handouts
  • Create your own version of the illo
We will begin to explore several of the fun filters and features of photoshop which many of you have discovered through experimenting but really never knew how to incorporate. You also will be working in layers and measuring the resolution. Remember: do not work in RGB, do not stretch photos beyond their compacity and save in photoshop not as a jpg. Do not flatten.
Photo Illustration - is conceptual photography which combines unity imagination and a message. It could be considered surreal and definitely driven by the imagination. Illustration is the visual solution to a literal meaning and has always been created thru drawing, painting, collage. . .but with the invention of photoshop came the manipulation of photography. This opened up the avenue to use photography as a technique in illustration as well.

We will complete several small exercises which will require you to implement the tools you will be learning the next few days. Your ability to demonstrate how to apply this effects will aide you in your photo illustration in our project on Dante's Inferno. Lets begin!

Down load the following images to your shortcut folder into a new folder called Photoshop filters.

Following the demo of the tools and the handout you were given, create your own layout of these elements. You must incorporate:

Ghosting - altering opacity
Silos - selecting using the wand or path
Feather - softening the edges
Smudging - breaking the definition
Invert - flipping the color
Fills - adding color
Cropping and enlarging - for positioning
Layers - pages images reside on
Resolution - maintaining the appropriate PPI
Movement tool - begin able to move images within the layers

I also recommend you apply any/all of the transform and color tools, cropping, cloning tools we have implemented.

These lessons will take a few days. Concentration is vital. If you are feeling confused at anytime, you can come during study, lunch or after school on Tuesdays. Please give me advance notice for after school.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Photo illustration

Creating a photo illustration

For your Idea book, fill a page with digital and hand collaged photo illustrations found in magazines. Must be appropriate and the page must be filled with at least 20 different ones (cannot use the ones on this blog). Online, you can also look at Amy Guip,, or Google digital photo montage. Fill a page with a mix from magazines and computer not all one. Put together on a document, print at 1505 or 1500 and collage together with magazines. Print images ganged up on one - three pages please not single images on one page.

1. Finish Matt Mahurin blog: answer question and complete digital assignment
2. Begin the idea book page.

Due by Next class November Dec 2/3, 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Photo illusion

Herewith, American Photo presents Matt Mahurin who are taking manipulation to brilliant extremes. For each of him, post-production is as important as camera work—and each discipline intimately informs the other. None of this work could have existed before Photoshop, none of their subjects exist in real life, and we find the whole thing terribly exciting.

When you commission a graphic from Matt Mahurin, you never know what you’re going to get. Which is the whole point. Skipping around his toolbox, Mahurin uses whichever media combination will help him create charged images to illustrate difficult stories. No wonder, then, that publications such as Time, Rolling Stone and Men’s Journal hire him to make visual sense of complex topics like Abu Ghraib or the Wall Street crisis.

But while his technique is top-notch, editors and art directors come to Mahurin, based in New York City, for something beyond Photoshop expertise. “They come to me for my point of view,” says Mahurin, who began working with Photoshop soon after its launch in 1990 and personally executes every stage of his photo illustrations. “I walk the line of having an emotional take while working with the point of view of the article.”

Mahurin’s body of work can be read as a chronology of society’s troubles, from the Cold War to AIDS to domestic violence to Middle East strife. Through it all, though, he retains the same artistic sensibility, consistent as any great photographer or painter. “People see Photoshop as a crutch,” he says, “but I see it more as a modern-day dark room where you strive to create a master print.”

Question: Put in your own words what this quote means from the article, what is he saying. Write your answer in an email to me at

 “They come to me for my point of view,” says Mahurin, who began working with Photoshop soon after its launch in 1990 and personally executes every stage of his photo illustrations. “I walk the line of having an emotional take while working with the point of view of the article.”

Nex, the Assignment:
open photoshop,
chose a portrait from the below, right click to save it to your desktop.
Open the image THROUGH photoshop.
convert to CMYK
Begin to experiment:
Try Image/Adjustment/Hue Saturation tool
Try: Filters (sample different ones)
NOTE: some options will not show as available unless you choose a channel in the channel menu (windows/channel) select one color channel at a time

This is a preliminary experimental project before we begin the project. Goal is to get to know color options and filters. Begin today in class

Due November 24-25

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fine art to Graphic art -- Digitally

Watch: How Warhol's Amiga Experiments Were Unearthed

The Andy Warhol Museum recently announced newly-discovered experiments created by Andy Warhol on an Amiga computer in 1985. Warhol’s saved files, trapped on Amiga floppy disks held by The Warhol’s archives collection, were extracted by members of the Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) Computer Club and its Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry in a complex recovery process. The Hillman Photography Initiative at Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) initiated and then documented this process for its The Invisible Photograph series. 
Warhol’s Amiga experiments were the result of a commission by Commodore International to demonstrate the computer’s graphic arts capabilities. They vary from doodles and camera shots of a desktop, to experimenting with Warhol’s classic images of a banana, Marilyn Monroe, Campbell’s soup, and portraits. One artwork resulted from the series, a portrait of Debbie Harry. This artwork is in The Warhol’s collection, but the other images on the disks had been inaccessible due to their obsolete format, since entering the collection in 1994. Also within the museum’s collection is a letter with numerous handwritten amendments by Warhol’s business
manager Fred Hughes, which seems to have served as the contract between Warhol and Commodore International.

The impetus for the extraction project came when artist Cory Arcangel learned of Warhol's Amiga work from a YouTube clip showing Warhol promoting the release of the Amiga 1000 in 1985. During Arcangel’s November 2011 visit to Pittsburgh for his exhibition Masters, at Carnegie Museum of Art, he followed up on this topic with curator Tina Kukielski. Kukielski, who was also a co-curator of the 2013 Carnegie International, subsequently joined the Hillman Photography Initiative at CMOA. Kukielski and Arcangel reached out to CMU’s Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, run by Golan Levin, who connected them both to the CMU Computer Club, which is a student organization known for their comprehensive collection of obsolete computer hardware, as well as their prize-winning retro-computing software development.

In 2011, Matt Wrbican, chief archivist at The Warhol, was approached by Arcangel and Kukielski to discuss the possibility of searching for files on the disks which he first saw in Warhol’s former New York City studio in 1991. Having himself been an Amiga user, he shared their enthusiasm for the hunt for images.

The project was developed in collaboration with staff at The Warhol including Wrbican, Amber Morgan (collection manager), Nicholas Chambers (Milton Fine curator of art), Greg Burchard (senior manager of photography rights and reproductions), and Eric Shiner (director). The team gathered first in March 2013 to read the disks. A video crew from CMOA closely followed the progress, which has now formed a full episode of its five-part documentary, The Invisible Photograph, which investigates the world of photography by way of hidden, inaccessible, or difficult to access images.

Wrbican states, “The Amiga hardware and Warhol’s experiments with it are one small portion of his extraordinary archives, nearly all of which was gifted to the museum from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. In the images, we see a mature artist who had spent about 50 years developing a specific hand-to-eye coordination now suddenly grappling with the bizarre new sensation of a mouse in his palm held several inches from the screen. No doubt he resisted the urge to physically touch the screen – it had to be enormously frustrating, but it also marked a huge transformation in our culture: the dawn of the era of affordable home computing. We can only wonder how he would explore and exploit the technologies that are so ubiquitous today.”

Amber Morgan adds, “One of our responsibilities is to preserve the museum’s collection. Up until now, we have only been able to address the computer disks themselves, and not the content held within them. This project has enabled us to safely extract the data, which can now be properly backed up, ensuring that the images will be preserved even if the original disks fail.”

The Warhol’s Director Eric Shiner said, “Warhol saw no limits to his art practice.  These computer generated images underscore his spirit of experimentation and his willingness to embrace new media – qualities which, in many ways, defined his practice from the early 1960s onwards.”  

The below video clip is what is referenced above. Andy Warhol is no longer alive and this was from several years ago, but demonstrates the fine artists first discovery of the computer as a creative tool. Assignment:
Find one portrait hand created by Andy Warhol prior to the computer and paste into a google doc or word page. Describe how this piece may be simulated digitally in photoshop using the tools you just learned. Send the word doc or google doc to Due by October 22. For homework or in class if you finish your work. This will begin our next lesson. (video starts in the middle zoom to the beginning)

Monday, September 15, 2014


About Typeface


How much attention are you paying to the typeface that these words are printed in? Probably not a lot. Typefaces are everywhere, yet the only time most of us notice them is when they don't work and we can't read them. Skip to next paragraph Eduard Matamoros Not for much longer. Typefaces are becoming as fashionable in their own way as ChloĆ©'s white embroidered tunics. That's always been the case for the handful of people who are passionately interested in them, type designers who blog away about how embarrassingly ubiquitous the Mrs Eaves font has become, or whether Tobias Frere-Jones's Gotham will ever match his Interstate. To the rest of us, the world of typography has been a distant and inscrutable place. As with all elite industries, it has its own leaders and language. The king of contemporary type design is Matthew Carter, a Briton based in Cambridge, Mass., whose Verdana is one of the world's most popular computer fonts. Typography's crown princes are a few New Yorkers: Christian Schwartz, who co-designed the Guardian newspaper's elegant new face; and Frere-Jones, the creator of the Interstate and Gotham fonts, and his partner, Jonathan Hoefler, who together have designed type for Martha Stewart Living and The Wall Street Journal. When Carter started out in the 1950's, he was one of the last to carve letter shapes out of metal to create blocks of type. Technology changed all of that. Today, anyone armed with the right software package can design a typeface, albeit not very well. And whether or not we know it, everyone who uses a computer has become a type consumer, simply by dint of choosing whether to print letters or post an e-mail message in Helvetica, Verdana, Arial, Courier or any of the other typefaces that are dished out for free with software. We novices have quickly become hip to the style code. Helvetica is fine in print but not on-screen. Vice versa for Verdana. And only an uncool idiot would ever use Arial. What we are just beginning to pick up on is that, thanks to the computer, trends in typography are changing as quickly as in fashion. It started in the 1990's, when softer, curvier typefaces — like Verdana and Scala (created by the Dutch designer Martin Majoor and used in Wallpaper's earliest incarnation) — began to supplant the classic sans-serifs Helvetica and Futura. (Translation: sans-serif type has none of those squiggly bits at the ends of the letters.) Verdana and Scala are the typographic equivalent of the soft modernism of Prada's neat little 1990's coatdresses and Christian Liaigre's beige-on-beige interiors at the Mercer Hotel. By the end of the 90's, just as fashionistas were growing bored of global branding and started rummaging around vintage stores for quirky alternatives, type designers turned to their history books, too. The designer Zuzana Licko, based in Berkeley, Calif., led the way with Mrs Eaves, her reinvention of the 18th-century Baskerville typeface. Named after the woman who was John Baskerville's housekeeper and later became his wife, Mrs Eaves is gloriously ornate, with the fanciful swirls and serifs that Bauhaus-influenced designers had long considered verboten. Originally designed for the typography magazine Emigre, it appeared on everything from junk mail to Web sites and unleashed the fashion for elaborate curlicue typefaces like those in early 2000 issues of Paris Vogue and Rolling Stone. Since then, type, like fashion, has sobered up. Just as Lanvin and Rochas are making contemporary clothes seem as precious and lovingly made as vintage pieces by combining modern materials and finishes with old techniques, so too are type designers using their computers to modernize classic typefaces like Bodoni and Bembo. Take the Guardian's Egyptian typeface, designed by Schwartz with Paul Barnes, or Schwartz's new Farnham typeface in the art magazine Frieze. Simpler and more sedate than Mrs Eaves, these faces blend the crispness of digitally created type with a nod to history in their neat serifs. Type purists might wince at the analogy, but Guardian Egyptian and Farnham are the typographic equivalents of the sleek Lanvin shirtdress that I've set my heart on wearing this summer. So, what's next in type? The design historian Emily King suspects it will be the trend to digitize obscure historic faces, like Carter's beautiful title letter for this magazine. Carter redesigned the T from the current New York Times nameplate, which was inspired by early-16th-century German black-letter type. But you may have already guessed that, if you've been paying attention.

Read the above NY Times article on Typefaces and complete the following assignment below:

  • Find three type faces online designed/used in the 80s
  • Research the history of one font. 
  • In google docs or in word: write a brief paragraph include 1. who designed it, 2. the name of the font and 3. whether it is a serif or san serif font. 4. paste into your document a sample of all three font styles you chose and label the names of the fonts
  • Share the file with me or email the word file to me at
  • DUE SEPT 23 Tuesday

Monday, August 18, 2014

History of DTP to Digital design

History of desktop publishing 
and digital design

What is desktop publishing and where did it come from?
Over twenty five years ago several computing technologies, hardware and software, combined to irreversibly change the design and publishing industry.

Did we say twenty five years? Well let’s not quibble about a couple of years here or there. The point is that over a short period in the mid 1980s something quite dramatic happened to the graphic design, prepress and printing industry.

Which company invented desktop publishing?
In the mid 1980s, Apple Computer, Adobe, Aldus and Hewlett-Packard each produced key technologies that, when combined, allowed graphic designers, publishers and pre-press professionals to bring the whole publishing process in-house.

Those four companies were responsible for the hardware and software that, to a large degree, still drives the electronic publishing industry. This literally created desktop publishing, or DTP.

The History of DTP
Although hot metal typesetting and manual publishing techniques had long been replaced by phototypesetting, it was not until the mid 1980’s that design and publishing was truly brought ‘in-house’.

Although the first laser printers were built by Canon, it was Hewlett-Packard’s LaserJet desktop laser printer, developed in 1984, combined with the Apple Macintosh computer and Adobe’s PostScript page description language and Aldus’s PageMaker software, that is generally acknowledged as the cornerstones of DTP.

The Macintosh, with its easy to use graphics user interface (GUI), allowed non-computer literate designers to simulate their normal working environment with its desktop as metaphor approach.

Many design companies and printers have remained loyal to Apple and standardized on the Macintosh. However, with the release of Windows 95 and it’s successors, it is now just as possible to use the same software tools on a Windows-based PC as it is on a Mac. Whilst there used to be much debate as to the advantages of Apple versus Windows for graphic designers, especially around the areas of color accuracy and prepress, it is now generally accepted that, for the most part, the choice of computing platform is now more of a preference, than a requirement.

Desktop publishing software
In 1985 Aldus, a company later bought by Adobe, released the first desktop publishing software. Called PageMaker, it allowed designers to layout pages in WYSIWYG mode, rather than having to type in arcane typesetting code commands.

Although PageMaker was the first professional desktop publishing layout tool, it was soon usurped by a company called Quark, who had developed their own layout package called QuarkXpress. One major advantage of QuarkXpress was its plugin system, known as Xtensions, which allowed publishing companies to purchase add-on technology to suit their particular workflow or industry.

In recent years – well after Adobe had purchased Aldus – Adobe released InDesign, which has been steadily challenging and even overtaking Quark’s dominance of the DTP industry. Adobe also uses software plug-ins for many of its applications.

Apart from layout applications, other desktop publishing software tools were introduced that allowed publishers to take on increasing amounts of the design and production workload. High resolution drum scanners – and later desktop scanners – alongside Adobe Photoshop, soon put paid to the need for enormous film cameras.

PostScript and desktop publishing
Adobe’s PostScript software allowed the designers’ creations to be output accurately to a PostScript enabled device, such as the Apple Laserwiter (the first PostScript enabled desktop laser printer). PostScript was now also being built into high end imagesetters, which allowed for printers and pre-press bureaus to output press quality film, directly from a publishers digital files.

PostScript technology was now also being built into fonts and other DTP publishing tools, such as vector drawing applications like Adobe Illustrator. Indeed it is only recently that PostScript font technology has begun to be replaced by other formats such as OpenType fonts.

DTP myths and misdemeanors
Desk-top publishing has often been criticized by graphic designers as being responsible for lowering design standards. The reasons for this are often related to the ease with which DTP has made it for amateur ‘designers’ to produce published documents. Indeed, the term ‘desktop’ has been criticized as somewhat misleading.

Many classically trained graphic designers point to increasing reliance by businesses on untrained in-house staff to produce everything from newsletter, to designing logos, stationary and even mass distribution brochures and promotional material. The point made is that, whilst DTP technology may allow more and more untrained people to produce publications, it matters little if the documents produced are badly designed and fail to achieve their purpose.

The number of programs coming under the banner of ‘desktop publishing’ has also risen and can sometimes include applications as diverse as PowerPoint, Microsoft’s Publisher and Serif’s PagePlus. Indeed, many word processing programs now claim to include desktop publishing features.

Many printers and pre-press bureaus also complain of receiving incorrectly formatted files from designers who have been taught how to use dtp software to produce layouts, but have not been taught how to process those documents properly for offset-litho commercial printing.

The plethora of non-professional DTP software tools has also led to some printers raising their hands in despair. With many of these tools not supporting basic print production formats, such as CMYK color separation.

The availability of color desktop printers has also led to some inexperienced designers sending ‘desktop proofs’ along with their artwork, without realizing that the colors can often not be matched when printed on a commercial printing press. In much the same way, the colors reproduced on a DTP computer monitor will rarely match those produced when the job is printed.

The future of desktop publishing
The design and publishing business is constantly changing. But most recent changes have yet to be as dramatic as those brought about by the events of the mid 1980s. Computers are constantly getting faster, allowing for more graphics intensive procedures to be performed on the ‘desktop’ by designers. Digital commercial printing machines have reduced the price of short-run full color printing. Albeit perhaps at the cost of quality. And complete on-screen electronic proofing (generally PDF driven) is now commonplace, speeding up the whole production process for non-color critical work.

But perhaps the most dramatic development in desktop publishing has been the web. When companies began to realize that an effective web presence was a crucial marketing tool, many graphic designers eagerly jumped aboard the web design ship. And WYSIWYG web design tools, such as Freeway, Dreamweaver and GoLive, have provided designers with an inroad into the once technically exclusive world of web design, in much the same way that QuarkXpress and Pagemaker opened up the publishing market in the mid-eighties.

Of course, this has sometimes raised many of the same questions of professionalism as were raised by the incorrect use of DTP print publishing tools. Many web developers, who were used to hand coding web sites, have complained that WYSIWYG web design software applications create bloated or non-compliant code.

The ongoing interaction between the printed design world and the interactive digital world will no-doubt continue. The overlap with interactive television technologies has already begun, as has desktop video, design for mobile phones and PDAs. It’s going to be interesting.

Please respond thru post the following question: 1. How familiar are you with digital design programs such as Indesign, Photoshop, Illustrator? Explain your knowledge of one or all these programs. 2. In your own words define what graphic design is and examples of it in our society? Your post is due by Sept 9 Tuesday.