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Graphics is boring...discuss

Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by dttrainee, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. dttrainee

    dttrainee New commenter

    Before anyone gets worked up, I come from a graphics background. I am a trained graphic designer and have worked in graphics and multimedia companies. I do genuinely enjoy graphics as a subject. Might I say, I have never once designed a point of sale stand until I became a teacher though!

    However, during my NQT year, have found it difficult to come up with graphics projects worth doing and that will motivate the kids but that also fit into the set curriculum and materials.

    This year I was asked to do a mechanisms project, a packaging project, a photoshop project, vinyl cutting FTP and theory work.

    I did a VIP theme park ride opening invitation for the mechanisms one, disposable sports shoe box that oculd be dispensed in school changing rooms and stickers to go round the school enforcing corridor rules.

    However, owing to limited resources and the ammount of theory you realistically need to cover, I have found it tough to motivate the kids into doing some work they're genuinely excited about.

    I think because of the nature of the job of a graphic designer, you'd 99% of the time be expected to design for other people, so how do we get around this obstacle and make projects that the kids can make personal to them and want to take home?

    I am thinking of chaging the boot box to a chocolate bar design next year where the pupils can design their own chocolate bar on ArtCam and make a mould and packaging for it.

    I would be interested to hear what other people teach in year 10 graphics and how your course is structured to find out how you stop it from getting boring!

     
  2. dttrainee

    dttrainee New commenter

    Before anyone gets worked up, I come from a graphics background. I am a trained graphic designer and have worked in graphics and multimedia companies. I do genuinely enjoy graphics as a subject. Might I say, I have never once designed a point of sale stand until I became a teacher though!

    However, during my NQT year, have found it difficult to come up with graphics projects worth doing and that will motivate the kids but that also fit into the set curriculum and materials.

    This year I was asked to do a mechanisms project, a packaging project, a photoshop project, vinyl cutting FTP and theory work.

    I did a VIP theme park ride opening invitation for the mechanisms one, disposable sports shoe box that oculd be dispensed in school changing rooms and stickers to go round the school enforcing corridor rules.

    However, owing to limited resources and the ammount of theory you realistically need to cover, I have found it tough to motivate the kids into doing some work they're genuinely excited about.

    I think because of the nature of the job of a graphic designer, you'd 99% of the time be expected to design for other people, so how do we get around this obstacle and make projects that the kids can make personal to them and want to take home?

    I am thinking of chaging the boot box to a chocolate bar design next year where the pupils can design their own chocolate bar on ArtCam and make a mould and packaging for it.

    I would be interested to hear what other people teach in year 10 graphics and how your course is structured to find out how you stop it from getting boring!

     
  3. In Y9 we do a photoshop project. The pupils have to come up with a new way of a company selling smell. E.g. Calvin Klein not just selling it in a glass bottle. We use creativity techniques to generate new ideas, e.g. Smelly temporary tattoo, smell watch that releases scent at regular intervals. The kids research how these would work. We then create the packaging in Photoshop... see here...

    http://www.designandtech.com/gallery/details.php?image_id...

    The kids get a buzz from coming up with a truly 'new' product. The photoshop packaging is also interesting to them has they are packaging their product that they are proud they came up with (well most of them)

    In Y10 we work in teams of 4. (our school is heavily into cooperative learning). The team is a 'design company'. During the project, which concentrates on Net design rather than graphics, they are working for another team in the class, who chooses the product they have to package, the target market and writes them a specification. (e.g. pack of 3 lightbulbs aimed at the elderly, Computer mouse for girls, etc).
    They have to return/present to their 'client' team periodically when designing the net.
    When it comes to the graphics for the box they pass the design onto another team... It avoids spending too long on the same product.

    We also do DVD covers to brush up our Photoshop skills. I have some pre-written films for them to advertise. see...
    http://www.designandtech.com/movieads/2die2dont.html
    or
    http://www.designandtech.com/movieads/beginagain.html

    Some of their work can be seen here...
    http://www.designandtech.com/gallery/categories.php?cat_i...
    This is a short and sweet project, about 6 lessons. The aim is to create a realistic looking cover. I like this because it hones their photoshop skills, they are aiming for a realistic cover which focuses them on the layout etc. rather than just chucking images together and hoping they look good.

    Hope this is of help to someone.

    I would like some other ideas from other people though... Could do with a few shorter projects to stuff into the year here and there.

    Andy
     
  4. Correct.
     
  5. That boring we've binned it at KS4
     
  6. We always do a point of sale as part of year 10, they have to produce (obviously) a point of sale on which their product will be marketed. Possibly a leaflet or flyer and the good kids do a shop front showing what a shop in the city would look like with their product. They love it, you have to pick the right project for the pupil though. Ballet for boys doesn't work mostly (though did this year!)
     
  7. It is what you make it
     
  8. In a world where so much information is passed using a visual medium, where children especially at KS2/KS3 are more Visually Orientated than Kinaesthetically or Auditorily biased shouldn't we be pushing Graphics in all formats. The title of this thread should have been Graphics for the 21st Century - Discuss .. not a preconceived negative viewpoint.
     
  9. All credit to AndyJones above doing Photoshop.. nice examples of work. Well done.

    Most schools I have been in, Graphics is just a colouring in lesson and features no Photoshop or similar because the expertise and/or software and/or inclination just isn't there.
     
  10. dttrainee

    dttrainee New commenter

    The kids love the Photoshop work. We do a DVD game sleeve in y9 where the kids draw their own images, scan them in, add colour, put gradients on, add text etc. Some struggle but most have a good go at it.

    I didn't learn photoshop until I went to uni. I think the unis will get a shock in 2-3 years time when these kids arrive. I have a bit of a hatred of schools making posters etc, in programmes such as word or publisher where kids just take images from google and make a collage, involving very little skill on their part.

    As I said, I love the graphics work, but sometimes it takes strong one on one teaching to do the photoshop activities properly and the issue turns back to class sizes...

     
  11. Am in my final year of teaching graphic products at ks4 as I am dropping it in favour of Product Design. I am getting both bored and frustrated with the limitations of using just paper, card and vacuum formed plastics.
    In year 10, we do a project based around tribal tattoo's and how they have been used to influence company logos. Pupils create their own company logo with a tribal tattoo image incorporated. Pupils then create a range of blister packaged keyfobs with a tribal design on to promote the company.
    Next project is a point of sale display to promote a new range of manga based PC games / films where they create their own characters. We also do a v simple travel board game, and a fashion / sports type shop packaging. Most stuff is done by hand with a little computer imput purely and simply as we have three old pc's in my room, not much software and no access to ICT suites.
    Saying that, Graphic Products is getting more popular than ever with pupils, this is my third year and I now have the biggest class for a long time.
    Try and do things that will interest pupils, pick up on topical stuff.
    By the way, I have seen identical projects on the AQA Product Design cd and AQA Graphic Products cd. Product Design seems to offer much more scope for pupils to express themselves and should (I hope) attract more pupils to the subject.
     
  12. To reply to Insaneone, two points, firstly increasing number of students which can't be too bad and secondly Product Design has that inbuilt failure system that students (a) get no pre release sheet and (b) have a chance, as they used to on the old SEG paper, of choosing a totally different set of questions to tackle than those that they were supposed to.
     
  13. Fair point lancon and one I take on board.
    However, with the changes that are to be implemented in 2008 I was given a choice by my HOD of teaching either systems and control or product design. I believe that systems and control would not be a viable option at my school.
    With Product Design I can adapt what I am doing to suit this changeover without too much hassle.
     
  14. The treat of invasion
    oh so true mr jones
     
  15. Well spotted Whoops!
    "the treat of invasion"

    ...It was of course on purpose...um... we were doing a cross-curricular lesson with History about Propaganda.

    lol

     
  16. I'm really lucky and teach graphics in a computer room.
    I teach "photobodgery" teaching them how to blend animals together (& and some celebrities too!)
    We also use sketchup to reander things & generally fool about (whilst learning most of the functions of the program). We then go onto a spell on Pro Desktop, the modelling & the rendering bit.
    I do a vinyl notepad (with aluminum sheet for front & back) project with 2D Design & the Sticka machine.
    Sometimes I do a box & board game prject they seem to love.
    I keep everything snappy, usually only a couple of lessons per software - I see KS3 twice a week for 6 weeks.
    It's all on the VLE with some how to use videos.
     
  17. It's as exciting as you make it - the theory pops in whichever GCSE course you choose, it's sadly unavoidable.
    For graphics, we teach various short projects - packaging for a product (varies depending on the group) to cover nets, using 2D Design and the laser; a CD case, on Photoshop; a pop-up book, mainly using Illustrator; and then a selection of really short projects teaching screen printing, creating relief embossing/prints, sub printing, aand anything else we can slip in with a practical, and dropping the theory in during odd lessons and amongst the practical.
    Most of the projects last no longer than a half term, unless we can't avoid it
     

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