Tag Archives: MMA100

Week #2 – Fall 2018

Week 2 – The Elements of Design:

We began our course and first assignment / project here in MMA 100 last week and will start our second class by reviewing the thumbnails, roughs and comps individually generated by the class. We will discuss the critique process and presenting our thumbnails, roughs and comps in the group setting. 

*Did you miss week #1 and its information, including assignment #1 Click here

We will spend our class time working on the Postcard project. We will get familiar with our work stations, get started with adobe photoshop, electronic imaging, scanning / photo documenting images and artwork, creating and working with various file types and bringing our roughs & comps into photoshop to produce the finished design.

**All Students will e-mail their finished Post card assignment to me as a jpg. file rseslow@bmm.cuny.edu or ryan@ryanseslow.com

Did you find research materials and examples for the Postcard project? 

Here are a few more reference examples – Click here

Vintage Postcards   – and here are tons of NYC World’s Fair Postcard examples 

We have a huge selection of OER Resources on our class resources page here too

*This Week’s Exercise – Cutting out Images in Photoshop / Making Graphic Assets: Cutting out images in various fragments is a task that all graphic designers will face on a regular basis. Learning various methods for cutting out images is a necessity. We will explore, experiment and share a few methods on how. 

Students will select and practice from 2-3 images from a public domain, OER or creative commons sources on the Internet or they may use images that they have on their devices. Again, We have a huge selection of OER Resources on our class resources page here too

(This technique will be applied to the post card project if necessary).

Video Screening: Cutting out images in Photoshop (examples)

These tutorials above will help get you started with our class exercise, but ultimately, you will need to master the pen tool in both photoshop and illustrator for the cleanest vector cut outs. The video below is a great tutorial.

(Is there a specific tutorial that you learned from recently or over time? Share the URL link with a description of your experience in the comments section below)

Elements of Design: 

The Elements & Principles of Design are the governing vocabulary that define, illustrate and communicate how Graphic Design functions all around us. We will start with the Elements.

Color – typically known as hue. This word represents a specific color or light wavelength found in the color spectrum, ranging circularly from red to yellow, green, blue and back to red.

Line – is a line just a series of points? Or is it the best way to get from point “A” to point “B”? As a geometric conception, a line is a point in motion, with only one dimension – length. Line has both a position and a direction in space. The variables of line are: size, shape, position, direction, number, interval and density. Points create lines, lines create shapes or planes and volume.

Mass – Here, mass is interchangeable with volume. A mass is a solid body or a grouping of visual elements (line, color, texture, etc.) that compose a solid form. Volume is a three-dimensional form comprising length, width, and depth. Three-dimensional forms contain points (vertices), lines (edges), and planes (surfaces). A mass is the two-dimensional appearance of a three-dimensional form.

Movement – Also known as motion. This element portrays the act or process of changing place or direction, orientation, and/or position through the visual illustration of starting or stopping points, blurring of action, etc. This is not animation, although animation is an end product of movement, as well as other elements of design.

Space – A two-or three-dimensional element defined by other elements of design.

Texture – A technique used in two-dimensional design to replicate three-dimensional surfaces through various drawing and media techniques. On three-dimensional surfaces, it is experienced by touch or by visual experience.

Type – Also known as typography, and it is considered an element in graphic design. Although it consists of elements of design, it is – in itself – often an element in the form of visual communication.

Value – Another word for the lightness or darkness of an area. Brightness measured in relationship to a graded scale from white to black.

What are some of today’s trends in Graphic Design? Lets take a look at this video below.


Spring 2018 MMA 100 News / Update

Dear BMCC MMA100 Spring 2018 Graphic Design Students,

I hope that this message finds you all well! As the summer begins to winds down I wanted to alert you to a few things:

  1. First and foremost, our awesome class ZINE collaboration with CT101 students from York College is now officially accessible in print and available at the NYPL at their 5th Avenue & 42nd Street location – DeWitt Wallace Periodical Room at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building . As a public space, all visitors to the NYPL can take out the zine for review. There are two copies reserved and forever archived. I will also be submitting 1 copy of the zine to the BMCC library on campus. I will let you know once it has been cataloged and is ready for viewing. You can also revisit, comment and contribute in reflection to the project by clicking on the graphic below.

Cross CUNY Campus – BMCC & York College Zine Collaboration


2. The fall 2018 semester is upon us! I will be using this website on the CUNY Academic Commons for our class again. This means, that you will be receiving e-mails about class assignments, exercises and resources for the fall 2018 semester. I strongly suggest that you remain a part of our community! There are foundation elements that will be re-emphasized and to your learning and retaining advantage. I hope to see your comments and future contributions! The class will run at the same time and on the same day (Wednesdays – 5:30pm – 9:10pm) in the Fiterman Building – Room 706. Come and visit! Incoming students will learn from your wisdom as you share what you are applying into the field now.

PS – you can always unsubscribe from the e-mail list if you wish and simply come and visit the website for new information!

PSS – I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you are working on!

Week 15 – 5/16 & 5/17

Week 15 – 5/16 & 5/17

Welcome to week 15! (We will meet tonight on 5/16 and 5/17 for the snow make up class!)

Tonight’s emphasis will be on the completion, application, printing and presentation of your Logo Design Project. Lets discuss those options.

Discussion & Class Exercise::

Formatting your logo – presentation for clients, critiques and otherness.

Business card & stationary layout.

Web graphics VS. print media

Previous class resources for the Logo project are here: 



Week 14

Image by Julio Gonzalez

Welcome to Week 14!

Part 1 – Students will go here <—- to read and respond to the Collaborative zine project dialog blog post. The reactions from our York College collaborators await us!

The cross CUNY course zine project between BMCC MMA100 graphic design and YORK College CT101 Digital Storytelling continues. Please make sure that you comment on the project as a whole as well as selecting your favorite pieces to comment on!

 Students will go here <—-

Part 2 – The LOGO project!

Lets format, prepare, print and take a look at our work in progress!  Its time to put our work up on the critique board and share our progress.


Cross CUNY Campus – BMCC & York College Zine Collaboration

Above: Individual pages submitted by BMCC MMA 100 Foundations of Graphic Design Students

(Click any image to activate the slideshows of individual works)

Below: Individual pages submitted by York College CT101 Digital Storytelling Students

Synopsis – Professor Ryan Seslow’s students at CUNY BMCC & York College have come together to create an experimental cross course and CUNY campus collaborative zine. The zine project synthesizes the two disciplines of graphic design foundation and digital storytelling courses. Both courses were given the same information and assignment below to complete the project from the perspective of their class content and personal experiences.

As individual courses, we were interested in knowing how traditional design principles relate and contrast to the medium of storytelling (and vice versa) through the use of integrated software applications and web tools when applied and presented in a public space? “Public space” has an interesting context both physically and virtually. We wanted to test both.

What will the results be both digitally and non-digitally?

How will the immediacy of publishing to the Internet and the contrast of using a public library (NYPL) to experience the same content effect the overall generating and receiving of the works?

What kind of dialog would this create? (This is the short list of questions, we have many more!)

This blog post displays several examples of the creative learning potential of what can be achieved between two different college courses on two different campuses. It shows the creative potential of how we as human beings see things from our own unique perspectives and how things can always be another way. Solutions are friendly and inspired by collaboration. This blog post also severs as a gallery and exhibition space for the project.

We jumped in. 

The process::

Part 1 – Design

Design Project Specifications & Simulation – You have been selected to contribute 1-2 pages to a collaborative cross discipline magazine that produces a quarterly publication in both a DIY – Do it Yourself printed edition for public access (NYPL Zine Collection) and an online digital version hosted on the CUNY Academic Commons BMCC MMA 100 Website.)

A downloadable pdf. version of the entire zine will also be available upon full completion of the project. (Anticipated publishing date 5/25/18)

Your submission to the publication will creatively communicate:

“How technology and creativity are powerful learning tools for inspiration, expression, digital storytelling and design.”

You have the creative freedom to produce and generate your contributions with full autonomy as to how you experience or define the description above. However, your final submissions should display an integrated composition of imagery (use of layers and opacity) along with descriptive verbiage typeset creatively.

***Size Requirements – 8.5 X 11 inches vertical, please, jpeg & pdf file formats.

Edition #1 of the printed version of the ZINE is now available at the NYPL on 5th Ave NYC.

Part 2 – Commenting & Dialog

In the comments section below: BMCC & York students will respond and react to both the project as a whole (in the space directly below) and individually to each other’s submissions (click on an individual piece that stands out to you and add your comments.)

The Academic Commons is a public platform and space for CUNY and beyond, the C.A.C commons community will also be invited to participate in commenting and creating dialog here.

Please consider addressing the following questions:

*What common threads or similarities do you see between the submitted work?

*What differences do you see?

*How does seeing all of the works organized into one space enhance or disrupt your interpretation of the project and its outcome?

*How do you think the general public will appreciate the project viewing it as a tangible object rather than an online experience? Do you prefer one over the other? Please explain and describe your answers.  The printed zine will be donated to the NYPL’s Zine collection at their 5th Avenue & 42nd Street location – DeWitt Wallace Periodical Room at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building 

The printed ZINES will also be available at the BMCC & York College Libraries as of fall 2018. 

Additional statements and questions can be generated by each student below as well.


A HUGE Thank You to all of the participating Students!!

*Featured image above by BMCC student Tugberk Ozpir

* Front and back cover Art by Marquis Gregory & Shaquille Edwards

* Special Thanks to Shannon Keller at the NYPL & The CUNY Academic Commons Committee

For additional queries contact me here – rseslow (at) bmmc.cuny.edu

Week #12 & 13 – Logo & Visual Identity Continued


Week #12 & 13 – Logos and Visual Identity, Creating a logo design brief.                              

Type in LogosSymbols, Icons & Pictograms  

What is Visual Identity? Brands and Branding, research, discovery and process.

Assignment #5 – Discussion

Lets design our first Logo!

What is a logo? – Great Definition here – https://logogeek.uk/logo-design/why-logos-matter/

What is branding? – Great Definition here –  http://blog.creativelive.com/personal-branding-debbie-millman/

This is a multiple part assignment, please make that each step is followed.

Assignment specifications – 

Part 1 – Students will create a fictional company. The company can produce any kind of product or service that you wish. Students will generate a one paragraph written description about the company, its products and services. The company will need a new logo and visual identity created from scratch to help bring its presence to life.

Part 2 – Creating a design brief and doing the research – Now that you have decided on the type of company, its products and services, who is the competition out there that already exists? What do those logos look like and are they effective? Who are your companies customers? What is the age range of your customer? Where will they find your business? Online or offline? Describe why. The more you know about your business, its products and services (and the believe in them) the more you can offer a solution to your client. A logo is usually the first thing that they will see. How will you grab their attention with your companies visual identity?

Part 3 – Sketch and development. Watch Draplin’s video below. He has a great style and technique for the process. Create a series of sketches in pencil. I suggest making small thumbnail sketches as we have discussed in our class.

**We will be using Adobe Illustrator for this project from start to finish.

Below are a series of helpful resources to explore the world of logos, branding and identity. The videos and podcasts below are super helpful and applicable.

Aaron Draplin, the logo Master – Draplin’s official website – http://www.draplin.com/

Some history, the video below has context – >

(This is a great informative Video on Logo Design by definition and application!)

Adobe makes great tutorials  – This is a great beginner video using illustrator – https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/how-to/logo-design.html

Tutorial to follow along with.

Tutorial to follow along with.

Logo Inspiration Galore, Resources:






Great resources from Logo Geek – https://logogeek.uk/logo-design/resources/


Podcasts –

Debbie MillmanDesign Matters – https://www.designmattersmedia.com/designmatters

Logo Geek – https://logogeek.uk/ – podcast website – https://logogeek.uk/podcast/


**Student Resources & Examples – What are some of your favorite logos and brand identities? Share a few examples in the comments section below by using a URL.


Week #10 – Midterm Revisions & Critique on 4/18/18

Week #10 – Midterm Revisions & Critique

I hope everyone had a great spring break! As you know this coming Wednesday 4/11/18 BMCC will follow a Friday class schedule so we will not be meeting in person.

We will meet again on Wednesday 4/18/18 at 5:30pm.

On this evening we will have a lot to do. 🙂

The first hour of our class lab will be dedicated to revising our Midterm Projects based on the critique we had right before spring break. If you need to review the assignment guidelines and specifications please go here <—

We will need to print two copies of your work. One to manually hand in to me for the collaborative zine (we will put it together as a group) and one to put up on the critique board for our discussion.

Week #9

Week #9

**Midterm Project – Full Lab Session & class critique** 

(The example image above is an RGB mode JPEG formatted for screen resolution and the web, however, when you click on the image it directs you to a print ready CMYK formatted PDF).

Specific Communication – Composition, Type, Image & Color – Solving Problems

Project Title – “Collaborative ZINE”

(This will be a cross CUNY campus collaboration project with CUNy York College CT101 Digital Storytelling Students!)

We will have a full lab session to work on and prepare our Mid-term projects this week during our class time tonight on 3/28/18 due to the snow cancellation last week. We will present our final designs in class tonight as well – 3/28/18. (and continued after spring break if we need to as well)

Design Specs  – As per our conversation during our last class session – You have been selected to contribute 2 pages to a collaborative magazine that produces a quarterly publication in both a printed edition and an online digital version. Your submission to the publication will creatively communicate how technology and creativity are powerful tools for inspiration, digital storytelling and design. You have the creative freedom to produce and generate your contributions with full autonomy, however, your final submissions should display an integrated composition of imagery (use of layers and opacity) along with text. (see example above)

Students will have the ability to revise the works after the first critique and submit their updated iterations.

***Size Requirements – 8.5 X 11 inches Vertical

Usage of Imagery – Students should NOT randomly use images that find on the Internet, especially with out proper attribution to its creator. Please refer to our class resources page and work from the numerous repositories of public domain and creative commons sources – go here – https://bmccmma100.commons.gc.cuny.edu/course-resources/

Software Skill Showcase – Over the past 6 weeks we have toggled through learning various techniques and methods working with both adobe photoshop and illustrator. All image related composing and manipulations should be generated in photoshop, saved as a .psd file and placed into a new illustrator document (sized at 8.5 X 11 CMYK color mode) for typesetting and laying down text. (Please do not use photoshop for adding text with this assignment).

Submissions – Students will save all of their work and submit a compressed folder of all of their working files. This will include the original .psd photoshop and .Ai illustrator files – A .pdf saved via illustrator for print (display for class critique on 3/28/18) and one high resolution jpeg. for the digital zine publication on this website. (Convert to smart object and e-mail to me).

***I will give a demonstration on creating the folder and compressing it for submission on 3/28.


YES, you MAY create more than the minimum of two examples that you are being asked to complete!