Talented graphic artists are equipped to pursue a range of careers in the fields of advertising, marketing, animation, telecommunications and web design. Although graphic design may seem complicated to beginners, simple projects that utilise straightforward design principles and software are suitable for high school students just beginning to explore the world of graphic arts. Successful graphic arts projects incorporate a range of design skills, including digital imaging, typography and image manipulation.
Graphic arts projects for high school students should explore the basic tenants of graphic design, but you should also consider the skill level and prior experience of your students. Open-ended projects that allow students to create their own final designs allow students with experience in web design to opt for more complicated elements while beginners can stick to the basics. Another consideration is the software available through your school district. Standard graphic design software includes vector graphic platforms such as CoralDRAW or Adobe Illustrator, web design programs like DreamWeaver or Pagemill and editing software like Adobe Photoshop or Photo Impact.
Digital Imaging Projects
Digital imaging projects introduce students to the basic tools used for manipulating existing images and photos and transforming them into digital art. Digital images are a cornerstone of many graphic design projects, and digital imaging software offers straightforward tools for altering the colour, size, texture and overall visual landscape of an image. A beginner project may instruct students to alter a self-portrait using digital imaging tools. For more advanced learners, altering an existing piece of art requires more careful editing.
Graphic designers are vital members of advertising and marketing teams, so projects that challenge students to combine their graphic design skills with business knowledge are particularly useful for older high school students. An introductory assignment to a graphic advertisement project should invite students to explore the world of advertising with particular attention paid to print media and logo design. For a long-term project, groups of students should create a brand or product as the basis of a marketing campaign. Teams might design print advertisements, posters and company logos to establish a corporate identity using their graphic design skills.
Effective web design begins with an eye for graphic design. Designing websites requires knowledge of visual graphics as well as the ability to create interactive elements for users or site visitors. Web design projects can be included as part of larger advertisement or marketing projects. Another option is to create an isolated web design project in which students create online portfolios of their course work or create an interactive web-based self-portrait of their interests and hobbies.
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