Entries in the 'Software' Category

GRM23 – Week 1 Photoshop Knockoffs

During the semester we will be working with the Adobe Creative Suite, which includes Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Acrobat. If you want to work at home and do not care to sign up for the Adobe Creative Cloud, you may be able to work on your Photoshop assignments using either Gimp or Pixelmator. Gimp is a free PS imitator and works with either Mac or PC. Pixemator is Mac only, and runs $29.95. Both programs export to Photoshop. While neither is as feature-laden as Photoshop, either should suffice for the work we will be doing in GRM23. If, however, you can swing the monthly fee for the Creative Suite, that will be preferable, giving you access to all the software we will use during the course of the semester.

Sign Up Now for Desktop Publishing

GR M24 Desktop Publishing, AKA GR M25 Publication Design.

This is a critically important class for students in graphic design, journalism, photography, art, humanties, or anyone who finds the need to publish.

Hurry and sign up now to take this production-oriented design class that starts in the January 2011 spring semester at Moorpark College. You need to register and pay for this class in the next two weeks to assure your place before it fills up!

Some students have reported difficulties registering online due to the possible lack of a pre-requiste. This obstacle can be overcome by getting a waiver obtained and signed by either Nancy Haberman (Wednesday, Com 109, 6pm), Svetlana Kasolovic (Com bldg.), or the department chair, Steve Callis in Photo/Humanities, or John Grzywacz-Gray Photo/Humanities.


Students will choose their final projects from a myriad of options including a printed, bound book, an e-book, a magazine, a newletter, a calendar, deck of cards or a CD or DVD with an enclosed booklet. The semester consists of a series of lectures, hands-on exercises and multiple page projects designed to present the past, present and explore the cutting edge of publication design, as well as the design and production features of Adobe InDesign CS5 and Adobe Acrobat.

Moorpark College Course Information
Desktop Publishing I – GR M24A 0
Thursdays, 6 p.m. – 10:50 p.m.

CRN:    31700
Duration:    Jan 10, 2011 – May 17, 2011

Adobe CS5 for Students and Faculty

Moorpark College students and faculty can get an outrageously cool deal on Adobe Creative Suite 5 Design Premium. The link is for Mac, but it’s available for the same price for Windows platform. If you decide to look at the academic pricing on the new CS5, take special note of the variety of CS5 offerings. Each collection serves up a different mix of programs. For example, CS5-Design Premium includes InDesign, making it the ideal suite of programs for graphic design for print and on the web.  You can see a comparison chart detailing the contents of each of the CS5 collections on the Adobe website.

The Foundation for California Community Colleges’ site, www.collegebuys.org, has unbeatable prices on Adobe and Microsoft software for community college students and faculty, plus more great buys too numerous to mention. Check it out for yourself.

What is Graphic Design?

I typically pose this question at the beginning of every GRM23 class, and I’m usually met by a classroom of blank stares.

John McWade recently posed this question in his online magazine, Before and After, with some interesting responses.

The Folder

Every assignment must be kept in a 3- or 5 tab manilla folder. The name of the assignment should be written on the tab, along with your first and last name. The folders should be punched with a special two-hole punch, which is kept in the Com151 classroom. (It wanders and the computers are black like the punch, so we may have to be on the lookout.) You’ll need to purchase the steel fastener bases to attach the paperwork generated for each assignment. And you thought with computers, we’d print less?

To assemble, the tab should be on the right with the holes punched on top.  For our first few projects you will generate a project sheet by printing the blog entry describing the project.

folder front

TIP: Label all printouts with their corresponding electronic file name

open folder with contents

Punch and attach the finished project sheet on the left. As you work on a project, you should be keeping track of the time you spend on each facet of the job. It is likely that you will need more than one work session to complete a project, so make sure you keep track of all time spent.

The right side of the folder is for all of the “paper” you generate over the course of the project. These procedures will help organize the workflow on any given project.

Folders and electronic files for all of your projects should be brought to all class sessions. They should be available at all times so that the instructor can advise you on your work habits and give you feedback on your design work. The folders allow the instructor to determine a your progress and spot areas of strength and weakness.

Most important, the folders are a tangible record of the project and the communication between student and instructor that illustrates the steps toward completion.

Calendar Grid with Sliding Numbers

Creating a calendar from scratch and setting up the dates for each month can be tedious and frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. The following method works equally well in Adobe Illustrator or Adobe InDesign.

Begin by creating a paragraph with 14 tab stops using an alignment of your choice. Use these paragraph settings to create a grid of numbers which you’ll duplicate and use on each of the subsequent months. The size of type and amount of leading in your number grid depends on the overall size of the squares used for each day.

For the first line in the number grid, press the “tab key” seven times to move the cursor to the correct position to begin numbering. Set up a grid of numbers as shown below.

The next step is to create a an actual grid, or table to “hold” the numbers and daily information. To create the grid, use the table tool, or create a square that is the same width as your tab set, and depth equal to the leading. Use the “step and repeat” feature to duplicate the squares, and label the days of the week at the top of the grid. When the grid is completed it should look like the illustration below.

To use the calendar in a document, highlight the unused dates and make the type the same color as the background (usually white, i.e., no ink printed, so that one can write in the grid).

To create the calendar for the next month, highlight the number grid with the arrow tool, slide it into the appropriate position and white out the unused numbers.

Hope this technique saves you some time and frustration!

Designing with Line in Adobe Illustrator

The object of this lesson is to create an abstract illustration using ONLY black line — no curves, no fills, no colors. Using design principles reviewed in class, show depth, motion, emotion, in a dynamic and interesting way. You may use the pen tool or the line tool to create straight lines.

Other tools you may use to complete this assignment:

  • Use the selection tool (black arrow) with the option key to duplicate
  • Object>Transform>Transform Again (or Command-D) to step and repeat
  • Rotation tool
  • Blend Tool
  • Add Anchor Point tool
  • Change Stroke Weight

Due. Oct. 2nd at the beginning of class.

Poster-related sites

History of the Poster

The role and appearance of the poster has changed continuously over the past century to meet the changing needs of society. Although its role is less central than it was 100 years ago, the poster will evolve further as the computer and the worldwide web revolutionize the way we communicate in the 21st century.

The Poster Connection

A poster is typically a printed paper announcement that is displayed publicly and functions as a tool for the promotion of a product, an event, or a sentiment or cause through image and/or text. A poster’s principal task is to be noticed: it must attract attention and influence the passerby.

Wikipedia on Posters

Posters from 8-year old Contest

AIGA – Get Out the Vote

Computer Graphics Classes Start August 18th

There is still room in several great Multimedia and Graphic Design classes being offered in the Fall Semester at Moorpark College, starting on Monday August 18th…

Motion Graphics – MM30
In this class you will learn from Mathew how to create stunning Motion Graphics for TV, Films and the Web. Take your computer graphics and video projects to a whole new level. If you thought Photoshop could help you create coolness, wait until you see what After Effects can do.
Wed 6:00pm

Interactive Design – MM50
In this class you will learn to really use Flash for both fun and work. We will explore various types of interactivity by creating simple games that can be played on not only computers, but handheld electronic devices, and even the Wii… We will learn to create dynamic and stunning websites that even incorporate interactive video, using Flash, HTML and a bit of javaScript…
Thur 6:00pm

Computer Illustration – GR26
In this class you will build a solid foundation in Adobe Illustrator. You’ll start with a tour of important menus, tools, and palettes, then explore selection tools, drawing tools, layers, the pen tool (a lesson unto itself) as well as transformations/ distortions, type tools, and modifying paths and shapes. You’ll be surprised how quickly you begin to master this challenging but rewarding software application.Check out the Flyer – http://www.turbocurl.com/moorpark/gr26_fall2008.pdf MW 10:30am – 1:00pm

Desktop Publishing I and II

Publishing brochures, newsletters, reports, and other print pieces can be a challenge without the right tools. Along comes Adobe InDesign with all the features and flexibility and you’ll need to publish professional-quality layouts. This course will impart a working knowledge of the main InDesign tools and features, everything from basic features to using master pages, importing and manipulating objects, controlling text flow and style, to graphic effects such as transparency, drop shadow, and feathering. Your InDesign training will leave you with an understanding of the software and a slew of great portfolio pieces. Taught in Com 151 – PC lab. Instructor: Nancy Haberman MW 1:00am – 3:20pm

Design Fundamentals – GR M30
In this class you will establish a firm foundation for taking on intermediate graphic design classes (Graphic Design 1 and 2). Looking to establish a career as a freelance designer? The course provides you opportunities to hone your design process, as you research each project, develop concepts, work with iterative feedback, and begin to develop quality pieces for your portfolio.You’ll explore the challenges of designing posters, logos, magazine covers, book layouts, 3D designs, and brand identities. W 06:00pm

Announcing BRAND NEW MAC lab… COM109 is being outfitted with brand new 24” iMacs with 4GB of RAM.

Where Have All the Features Gone? InDesign CS3 Loses Its Punch.

I don’t know about anyone else, but after I’ve settled into my comfort zone with a great piece of software, I almost dread upgrading. I haven’t made the switch to Adobe’s CS3 yet, but I’m teaching it, so I have to learn it nonetheless, and I’m constantly sifting through the menus to see where they have moved things. Today as I was presenting a tutorial on the Adobe “workflow,” it came time to convert a 4-page document from reader spreads to printer spreads. And that’s where everything started to go south. Yes, InBooklet, a plug-in written by ALAP and later sold to none other than Quark, no longer exists for InDesign users. Adobe has written it’s own, pared down version of InBooklet they call Print Booklet. Here’s what it doesn’t do…

1. You can no longer save your imposed document to a unique and editable InDesign file.

2. I used InBooklet to create crop marks…I found a nice little trick in InBooklet, but you need to be able to create a separate InDesign document. Before I figured out how to quickly create custom crop marks, I used an Extensis plug-in, but they sold out to Quark.

Hmm…speaking of selling out, I was as surprised and outraged as other printers when I heard that Adobe put a button into CS3’s Acrobat so that users could send files directly to FedEx/Kinko’s. Bummer…no respect for the trade that supported them for the last 20-plus years? If that’s not a monopoly, I don’t know what is. Apparently Adobe saw the error of their ways and have updated Acrobat, removing the button. I’m not sure we’ve heard the end of this one.

Bottom line…I’m not anxious to find new workarounds to creating custom crop marks. If I could find a third party imposition program for a reasonable price, I’d snatch it up…wait, that’s why I bought Imposer Pro, also by ALAP. Great program, but they sold out to Quark.