Well Designed, Well Read


Our graduating class of students have each developed a picture book as part of their communication design classes with me. In their first term, students were invited to think about storytelling and create a character for a children’s book (or, in some cases for an older audience, using the format and visual language of a children’s book). In their second term, students developed their character into a series of sketches, primarily using Illustrator. After an introductory course in typography and print design, students had a term to develop their illustrations into a finished book.

We saw many great projects come out of these classes. Here are four that stood out…

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Adobe MAX Education Summit: Books in Print and Books on Screen

I had the chance to speak at the Adobe MAX Education Summit this October in Los Angeles. The talk I gave was entitled, “Books in Print and Books on Screen.” I spoke about changing conditions in the publishing industry, book design and some of the opportunities designers and publishers have in this very new era of mobile publishing.

I also relayed our experience at VFS Digital Design working with the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite (DPS), and showcased some of our best student work, both in print and mobile. We’ve had so much fun making children’s books as part of our Communication Design stream. A couple have even been published, such as Lady Treble and the Seven Notes by Eliyana Biklou, and The Many Faces of Peter (which we just blogged about) by Keiko Furukawa.

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Digital Design Students Embrace Print

Digital Design students work with the latest visual technology, but they still have a lot to learn from the analogue world of print. In this video, that provides a sneak peek into the Communication Design course I instruct, you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at students presenting an editorial project with an emphasis on typography and layout. The students had to choose to tackle either a children’s book or a branding guide.

ABCs of Typography

Cover: Typographique Abecedarium We’ve seen what happens when our Digital Design students let loose their motion graphics mojo on the subject of Typography. But what about the Print Designers?

Generally, Digital Design students are given assets to work with to make a small book. In the past, we have worked with local award-winning publisher Simply Read Books. Simply Read Books has allowed us to use professionally prepared images and text for children’s books.

This class did a special version of the project, The ABCs of Typography.

The “special version of the project” spanned classes and even terms – the students created the basic assets of The ABCs of Typography in Typography class, and in the next term’s Print Design class, they all drew from that pool of assets to create the books, which were printed at school and bound professionally.

The results are simply stunning. They did an exceptional job of sharing ideas and assets and produced a great array of well-designed books.

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