All of my graphic design lessons are geared toward 4-8th graders and are flexible enough to be adapted to a wide range of classrooms.
Last week, I started talking about teaching the Creative Process.
Now let's look a little deeper at:
STEP ONE: Gather Information
One of the most challenging things about teaching graphic design to younger students is getting them to stay within the boundaries of a project. I am always telling them that in regular art class they get to express their own personalities, but in graphic design they will usually be expressing someone else's identity.
At the beginning of a project, it is crucial to gather as much information as possible about the design. This often comes in the form of a DESIGN BRIEF.
A DESIGN BRIEF is a summary explanation of the goals and guidelines for a design project.
No matter how clever or amazing your design is, if it doesn't not meet the client's goals for the design, it will not be a success! Sometimes clients have a hard time communicating what they want. As designers, there are a few basic questions that we can ask to clear things up. It is as easy as the usual investigative questions.
WHO - Who is the client? Do they have an existing logo/brand that the design needs to adhere to?
Who are they targeting? Kids, Adults, Boys, Girls?
WHAT - What needs to be designed? A logo, flyer, website, etc.
WHERE - Where will people see the design? Outside/Inside? Billboard, magazine, book, store, etc?
WHEN - When is the deadline for the design?
WHY - What is the purpose of the design?
HOW - Are there any ideas they already have? Any images/colors that they want in the design?
Briefbox.me is the best place to find free Graphic Design sample design briefs for students. For the first assignment, I did a variation of this brief. You can scroll through their hundreds of projects to find one that interests you, or you can start with this one. I simplified it since I'm teaching younger students.
"A local store, The Farm Shop, needs a new logo. The Farm shop is a store where customers can buy local, farm fresh foods in a convenient location. Their logo needs to reflect their commitment to natural, organic foods, their partnership with farmers, and the convenience they offer. They would like their logo to be a simple graphic with their store name."
After giving them the brief, write the following questions on the board to discuss them as a class.
WHO - The Farm Shop. They need a new logo, so we are starting from scratch! They want to reach people who buy groceries and who care about natural foods.
WHAT - A Logo
WHERE - A logo will need to be seen in all sorts of places. It should not be too detailed, so that it can be big or small.
WHEN - In this case, you, the teacher, will get to set the deadline!
WHY - They want to communicate their natural foods, partnership with farmers and convenience.
HOW - It should be a simple graphic with the store name.
This may seem repetitive, but it will ensure that everyone understands the object of the assignment. In the real world of design, there is nothing more embarrassing than forgetting a key part of the project. Gathering as much information as you can at the beginning will make designing much easier and prevent unnecessary do-overs.
>>>> Now, stay tuned for Step Two : BRAINSTORMING.
Luke and I are married and have four little munchkins that travel the world with us. I blog about living overseas, travel, kids, education and graphic design.
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