A stop-motion, cut-paper, collaborative project by students in SVA's Pre-college advertising design workshop, July 2019. Thanks to students Harry, O.J., Julianna, Matt & Melanie. Special thanks to TA Shin!
That’s how a designer who took part in our recent on-site color workshop at SYPartners described the experience.
For me, the workshop instructor, hearing this is also pure joy. That’s the effect of playing with color.
For the last 18 years, I’ve been very lucky to do something I truly love—teaching people how to love color. At the School of Visual Arts, I teach color theory in my foundation classes for advertising & graphic design students. In my typography classes, I encourage students to always consider color. And I lead one-day color workshops in SVA’s Continuing Education program, called Life Beyond Black, White & Red.
And now, I’m very happy to offer on-site color workshops.
The color workshop requires 6 hours—all in one day, or divided into two 3-hour sessions. Ideally, everyone works together in the same room on shared tables. The materials we use are simple: Color-aid paper, mounting boards, scissors and glue.
The color workshops have been a great success. The experience itself is positive—just the act of sorting colors is therapeutic. The lessons learned through hands-on color exercises are engaging, memorable, and useful in profession practice. The take-away is an intense awareness of how we actually perceive color.
The designs in this slideshow were created by students Esther, Hana, Hava, Mathilde, Mia, Nefaur and Roger, in the online class Principles of Visual Language: Form and Color, January–April 2017.
In Form and Color, students explore ways to create engaging and memorable two-dimensional design. Using accessible materials and simple techniques, both handmade and digital, they experiment with design principles and color theory, including: figure and ground; unity of form; contrasts (geometric & organic forms, shape, size, direction, texture); unit/super-unit/pattern; visual hierarchy, harmony, rhythm and narrative; the seven color contrasts; color illusion and color expression.
The goal of this course is for each student to develop a creative toolkit of ideas and techniques, to embrace a unique awareness of form and color, and strengthen design skills. The lectures and assignments encourage students to adopt a a disciplined, yet playful, creative process.
Form and Color is led by instructor Richard Mehl. The class is fully online and asynchronous. Students participate in weekly modules according to their own schedule. Assignments are submitted using VoiceThread, a learning platform that allows students to see the work of their classmates, and add voice or text comments. In addition to peer review, students receive weekly detailed comments from the instructor.
The work in this collection was created during the Fall session of the online class Principles of Visual Language: Form & Color. Many thanks to students Khadijah, Mirna, Lizzie, Laura, Lauren, Audrey, Jennifer and Kening for their hard work and dedication—the success of the class belongs to them.
The Fall session was our first using VoiceThread, an interactive platform that gives students the means to upload images with written or voice comments about their own work, and comment on the work of their classmates. The students in the Fall session took full advantage of this new feature, especially voice commenting—by mid-point in the course, they were discussing the work using the language of design. VoiceThread has added great value to the course—we can now more fully embrace Josef Albers' teaching philosophy of practice followed by theory.
Homage to David Bowie, a cut-paper stop motion animation created by students in my SVA PreCollege class Unconventional Advertising, July 2016.
Still frame by student Clara K. "Life on Mars" performed by Seu Jorge. Photographed and lovingly edited by Anthony Carhuayo. Thanks to my dedicated student animators: Clara K, Erica L, Samantha P, Alana G, Riva W, Julie T and Jenny Z for their excellent work!
These compositions were recently created by students in the online class Principles of Visual Language: Form and Color. The image grid is arranged in reverse chronological order, beginning with final projects, and concluding with the first assignments of the semester—tangrams.
Many thanks to my talented students—Barney, Alexandra, Molly, Sarah, Ben, Alice, Lily, Jackson, Kris, Daniela, Gabriella, Nancy, Aditi, Mitra, Donald, Helen and Sethi—for their good work and dedication to the study of design!
Tape drawing: a collaborative assignment created in approximately 30 minutes by students in my Wednesday Visual Language class.
The goals of the assignment:
- collaboration—build upon the work of your partners
- unity of form—create a composition entirely of triangular shapes
- contrast of size and shape—create a variety of different triangles...different sizes, different shapes
- color contrast—use colors to create visual hierarchy...lines that appear to emerge and recede
Many thanks to my students—Gisell, Bairu, Rad, Pierre, Steven, Kayla, Cindy, Min, Sarah, Emily, Alice, James, Thomas, Jessica, Sujin, Gaeun, Debbie, Tut, Milaci, Matthew, Sahir, Brandon, Tamara, Woo Jae.