Category Archives: Digital Graphic Design

Lesson 6: Logo Contest

Read the email below to learn about the requirements for a real logo contest!


March 20, 2015


IACTE had a great conference this year in East Peoria. Plans have already begun for next years conference. In addition, IACTE Members and CTE students have been busy legislatively. We need everyone’s involvement so keep reading to see how you can be involved in promoting CTE!

IACTE Conference Logo Contest

The Illinois Association for Career and Technical Education (IACTE) is holding a logo contest for their annual conference. IACTE is the professional organization that brings together CTE educators in Illinois. It is comprised of career and technical educators in administration, agriculture, business, family and consumer sciences, health occupations, technology education, new and related and special needs personnel.

Next year’s conference theme is:

CTE – the Foundation for the Future!

The conference is being held February 17-19, 2016, in East Peoria, Illinois, at the Par-A-Dice Hotel.

Logo’s should be related to the conference theme (given above) and should include the dates and location as well. This is a conference logo, not an IACTE organization logo.

  • When using images they need to be original, royalty – free images, or you must have permission to use them. On a separate document please identify where the image is from and if permission was granted.
  • It is preferred that images be created in Photoshop or Illustrator.
  • All entries should be submitted by April 17, 2015. E-mail entries to Please include the name and email of the student and the instructor and the name of the school.
  • The winner will have their logo featured in all conference publications and will receive a $50 gift card!

Thank you for encouraging your students to participate in this contest. We are anxious to showcase the work of the Illinois CTE students.

Lesson 2B: Enhancements

In this lesson, we’ll continue to learn how to make corrections and enhancements to images.

Basic Photo Corrections

Download the following files to H:Drive > Graphics 161 > 01 – Photoshop > 03 – Basic Corrections:


Using the course textbook, starting on page 5 of the PDF/page 48 of the textnook, complete the steps through page 9/52. Stop when you get to the sub-heading “Replacing Colors in an Image.” If you finish early, you may complete the “Replacing Colors in an Image” section too.

Photoshoot in the pit

In a group of four, decide who has the best camera (Chromebook, digital camera, or personal device), and snap some photos in the pit. Read the following article to get some tips on capturing your best shot: You must collect the following 3 types of images (take at least 5 of each for a minimum total of 15 pictures):

  • Portrait
  • Candid
  • Close up

Email the best of those images to yourself (or connect your device via USB) so you can save them to your project folder called “03 – Basic Corrections.”

Using the images that you captured on our mini-field trip, make basic photo corrections to enhance your images. Save the file as a .PSD AND Save As… a copy as a .JPG (BUT DO NOT OVERWRITE THE ORIGINALS).

Import your before and after pictures to the “Before and After” slide deck that has been shared with you via Google Classroom. I will compile various selections into a single slide deck below.

Bonus Project

If you finish everything else. Attempt the project at the following link:

You may not understand how or why each step works, but you certainly will by the end of the term. Give it a shot!

Welcome Future Titans

Welcome to our Saturday workshops! Today, you’re going to learn how to use Photoshop to make an image composite.

Project Files

Download the following image to your computer’s Desktop.

First we’ll complete the setup portion of this project together. Then I’ll demonstrate the steps you’ll complete. Finally, you’ll watch the tutorial video below and complete the project at your own pace. Once you finish the project, you’ll print it, cut it to size, and slip it in a plastic sleeve.

Tutorial Video

Titan Tech

The image below is an example of the finished project.


Final Project: Designing Product Packaging

This project is largely influenced by Ms. Christine Memler’s Product Packaging Final Project.

Product Packaging

One aspect of graphic design includes the creation of product packaging. From the materials to be used, to the size, shape, and color combinations, businesses invest an incredible amount of time and money in the marketing of products. Is the package functional? Does the package attract your attention? Who is the audience? Graphic designers must consider many variables before a final design is selected and produced.

Final Project Requirements

Of the 12 products available, select one that will present an appropriate level of challenge for you. Your job is to recreate the front of the packaging as closely to the original as possible.

Steps To Success

  1. Save all of your files into a new folder: H:Drive > Graphics 161 > 03 – Final Project 
  2. With a personal device, take several pictures of your product to keep as a reference (use your Chromebook camera if needed)
  3. Measure the dimensions of the front of the package.
  4. Using your exact height and width measurements, create a new Photoshop canvans. Use the RGB color mode and a resolution of 300 pixels per inch (rather than the default of 72 pixels per inch), since we will be printing these when we are finished.
  5. Set up the View>Rulers. This will allow you to create guidelines for precise measurements and aligning the elements of your package.
  6. Set the background color of your packaging. This should be in the bottom layer and can be hidden (and/or locked) at any time.
  7. Using Photoshop’s tool palette, menu options and windows, recreate the package as accurately as possible. Match the typography, size, colors, graphics, and any other details possible.  If there are any photographs on your project, these may be scanned or photographed and added as a separate layer.
  8. For all text, search for the closest matching “Font Family” in Photoshop, then delete/add/modify the anchors and handles as necessary.You may need to design your own text as a custom chape for the packaging.
  9. Submit your final PSD file via Google Classroom. The layers must be distinguishable. DO NOT MERGE LAYERS!

Grading Criteria

Your final project will be graded according to the rubric below:

Useful Resources

You may find the resources below useful as you complete your final project:

Example Notes


Holiday Project – Where’s Buddy?

For this project, we’re going to get in the holiday spirit by combining the challenge of ‘Where’s Waldo” with historical images and the classic holiday character – Buddy the Elf.

Project Files

Download the project files below to 01 – Photoshop > Holiday Project.


  • Extract the files above into your Holiday Project folder.
  • Search for a high resolution historical image and save it to your Holiday Project folder.
  • Create a new Photoshop file that is 960 pixels wide by 540 pixels tall at 72 DPI.
  • Using a layer masks, layer styles (FX), and adjustment layers, insert Buddy the Elf into your historical photo
  • Save your file as a PSD and as a JPG
  • Via Google Classroom, create a new slide in the Where’s Buddy presentation and add your image as a background.
  • In a text-box, add your first name and last initial in the bottom right corner of your slide using size 12 Calibri font

Where’s Buddy?

Lesson 7: Glenview Logos

For this project, you will use Adobe Illustrator to design a timeless logo for a Glenview based business.

Case Study

Let’s examine how the website Medium came up with their new logo.

Project Requirements

Visit the Glenview Chamber of Commerce website, and select a business located here in town. Your job is to redesign a logo for that business using Adobe Illustrator. Like Medium’s logo, yours must include a



See an example project below:

Bonus Project

Check out the link below to learn about Photoshop Actions. Then download the zipped file here: to put your new knowledge into action.

Lesson 4: Open Source Licensing

In this lesson, we’re going to give back by sharing our work with the world via Pixabay. For this project, you will design a repeating wallpaper (or background) for the holidays.

Open Source

Watch the following video and identify at least three benefits of open source licensing?


Pixabay is a repository of images that are free to use, modify, and redistribute. This term, we’ve used pixabay for many of our projects. Today, we’re going to give back to the community by uploading our own original digital works.

  • Open Illustrator, select Web for the profile, and change the height and width to 1920 pixels
  • Create a  repeating holiday or winter pattern
  • Save the image as an Adobe Illustrator File
  • Export the Image as a PNG

How To

The tutorial video below demonstrates how to set up and export this project.

Lesson 3: Shapes

In addition to selecting, aligning, grouping, and arranging objects on a page, manipulating shapes is probably the next most important skill to obtain in Adobe Illustrator.

Project Files

This project comes from Chapter 3  (page 85/PDF page 99) of our third textbook. Download the files below to the following location: H:Drive > Graphics 161 > 02 – Illustrator > 03 – Shapes.

The Pathfinder Panel

For this lesson, we are going to follow the tutorial at the following link:–vector-3306 

Image Trace

Starting on PDF page 131 (textbook page 116) of Chapter 3follow the directions to convert a raster image into a vector image.

***WARNING*** this is super cool.

Part 1

Follow along with the video below.

Building Blocks

Download the file below in to your 03 – Shapes folder. Open it and “Save As..” a working copy of the file. You may duplicate (as many times as you want), modify the color, and change the orientation of the shapes, but do not resize them.

Your goal is to build an elaborate tower out of the shapes like you may have done as a kid. Use the Smart Guides to keep everything lined up neatly. We will conduct a gallery walk at the end of class.

Holiday Greeting Card (1st Semester)

For this project, set the profile to “Print” and set the width to 4.25 inches and set the height to 5.5 inches. This is the size of a piece of printer paper folded into the shape of a card. With the “Print” profile, the resolution should be set to 300 by default. Create 4 Artboards – one for each “page” of the card.

  • Save the file to the following location H:Drive > Graphics 161 > 02 – Illustrator > 04 – Shapes
  • Save the file as “Greeting”

Typically design work is completed in a graphics program, and then imported into a layout program like Adobe InDesign or Microsoft Publisher for printing. Download a Publisher Template below to make the final copy:

Create the front of a holiday greeting card using the tools and techniques that we have learned in Adobe Illustrator. Submit your greeting card to Google Classroom when you are done.

Lesson 2: Selecting and Aligning

Selecting and aligning objects in Illustrator is a fundamental skill that almost all other Illustrator skills are predicated upon.

Project Files

This project comes from Chapter 2 (page 64/pdf page 79) of our third textbook. Download the files below to the following location: H:Drive > Graphics 161 > 02 – Illustrator > 02 – Select and Align.

We will work on the first file together as a class. Turn in the completed second file via Google Classroom.

South Park Likeness

Using what you’ve learned so far, create a South Park inspired likeness of yourself – similar to the one below.