Published on August 4, 2008
Computer Graphics Program at Spotswood High School Spotswood, NJ Joseph Schwartz Instructor & Curriculum Developer This offering of unique public school classes combines attributes of several different disciplines, including traditional art, computers, graphic arts, business and design. Students are instructed on Day One that the lessons learned in these classes can be applied to a multitude of careers. They are told that the goal is not necessarily to turn them into designers or creative gurus, but rather it is to give them a taste of what it’s like to sit on that side of the table. This way, when they need to hire a designer or an advertising agency, they can be better communicators and better clients.
“ Dylan” Poster This is the introductory project for Graphics 1. After the students have been instructed on the basics of Photoshop, they are introduced to some of Milton Glaser’s work, including his iconic poster for Bob Dylan. After profile photographs are taken, the students use Photoshop to create their own interpretation of the poster.
“ Dylan” Poster
This is the introductory project for Graphics 1. After the students have been instructed on the basics of Photoshop, they are introduced to some of Milton Glaser’s work, including his iconic poster for Bob Dylan.
After profile photographs are taken, the students use Photoshop to create their own interpretation of the poster.
“ Love/Hate” Poster For this project, Graphics 1 students are asked to visually interpret the concepts of Love, Hate or both. They are encouraged to not use any of the typical symbols associated with love or hate, such as a heart, swastika, etc.
Pixel Illustration Used as a tool to reinforce Adobe Illustrator skills in Graphics 1 students, the design challenge of this project is to render an image in the simplest terms possible – in this case, as pixels in a 20 x 20 grid. The students are asked to create two illustrations – one of a human celebrity or entertainment character and one self-portrait.
“ SK8S” Project A mid-year project for Graphics 2 students, they are provided with a false company name, “ SK8S ”. Aside from the story that the company is new and sells snowboard/ skateboard products and clothing, they are told little else so that they are free to interpret a visual story for the project. The students are required to design a logo for the company and develop a product line using provided templates. Students are also encouraged to design materials not provided by the instructor.
NJ Travel Poster Graphics 3 students were directed to take a favorite activity or locale in New Jersey and translate that into a destination poster. They were allowed to use pre-existing images but had to reconfigure them into new original solutions.
Conclusion These five projects are just a small sampling of the approximately 30 projects and/or project pieces that students in my Graphics I, II and III students work on each school year. Depending on enrollment numbers, this can equate to approximately 1000 individual projects being managed by my students. For more samples or to discuss anything that you have seen here, please contact me at: Joseph Schwartz Spotswood High School 105 Summerhill Road, Spotswood, NJ 08884 Cell: 908-331-0862 Email: email@example.com
Instructor Biography After a career as a graphic designer and art director spanning 15 years which included stints at Sloan-Millman (with Debbie Millman) and the NBA (for ten years as an art director and Senior Art Director), Mr. Schwartz was offered an opportunity to use his expertise to teach in 2003. After two years as an art teacher, Mr. Schwartz was invited to bring the traditional graphic arts program up to 21 st century standards. Rather than go the route of book-teaching, Mr. Schwartz chose to bring real-world projects gleaned from his experience as a designer and his education at New York’s School of Visual Arts. Mr. Schwartz has also turned his sights to writing and speaking about his experience as a design educator and his support of the notion that all students can gain valuable tools by learning the basics of design, even if they are not destined for art or design schools. In the Fall of 2008, Mr. Schwartz will have papers published in the nationally distributed School Arts magazine and will also present a two-hour session at the NJEA convention in Atlantic City. He will also chair a roundtable discussion on Design Education at the Art Educators of New Jersey Conference. In the Spring of 2009, Mr. Schwartz has been invited to participate in a roundtable discussion on Design Education at the Thinking Creatively conference at Kean University.
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