Monday, Sep. 20: Zoom meeting – check in + Introduction of Project 2

Monday, Sept. 27: Zoom meeting: Critique of Family of Characters

Monday, Oct. 4: Work Day- History of Poster Design

Monday, Oct. 11: 8 a.m. Zoom meeting – Poster Design Check in. Discussion on Typography, Composition and Visual Hierarchy.

Monday, Oct 18: Zoom meeting: Critique of History of Poster Design

Monday, Oct. 25: Zoom meeting: Introduction of Putting it into Perspective

Monday, Nov. 1: Work Day

Monday, Nov. 8: Work Day – individual check in

Monday, Nov. 15: Zoom meeting: Intro to Socio -Political Poster

Monday, Nov. 22: email check in work day for Perspective and Socio-Politico

Monday, Nov. 29: Zoom meeting: Critique of Putting it Into Perspective

Monday, Dec. 6: Work Day Socio-Political

Monday, Dec 13: Last class + Final critique!

Movie Posters: Norton


  1. Virtuall view Norton Movie Poster Exhibit and Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit!
  2. Choose either an old movie or current movie to put into this vintage style.
  3. Create illustrations to illustrate characters, scene, props, etc
  4. Choose type wisely. Play with it, layer it. Remember Visual Hierarchy.
  5. At critique – show both your version, and the vintage poster it was inspired by.

New movie poster references: 

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Shepard Fairey

Invisible CreaturesNASA_1_Up_4



Vintage Movie Poster References:

  1. Saul Bass Archive
  2. Toulouse – Lautrec
  3. Poster Design History
  4. Excellent Examples

Be inspired! Excellent student examples from previous Illustrator 2 classes: 

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Tips and Tricks: Highlights + Warp

Keep learning every week! I stumbled upon this really good link of Illustrator tips. I liked the illustration of how adding highlights really makes a difference to faces – definitely relevant for our Family of Characters! Whatever your aesthetic is – keep adding details, highlights, shadows, gradients, accessories to tell the most complex narrative!

LIVE DEMOS with links for reference:

Puppet Warp is a technique that might be useful in Character Design

When you are building multiple characters, use this tool to sculpt and change the same unifying body to a unique character.

See this great Adobe Puppet Warp tutorial

Shadows and Glows

Drop shadows, glows and feathering

Light effects

Using Mesh Overlay

Mesh Overlay

Monday, Aug. 30

Zoom Meeting 8 a.m:

Come to class with 1-2 ideas to discuss for your Family of Characters

We will discuss Character Development and have a few Technical Demonstrations that will help you once you’ve developed the conceptual part of your narrative.

Questions to ask:

Who is part of your family?

What is their story – collectively and individually?

What unifies them and makes them unique?

Where do they live? What details can you add to the background that contribute to the storytelling part of this assignment?

What did they do before this scene and after? Is your narrative loud enough that we can “hear” it?

Project 1: Family of Characters

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Selfie Family 

Lovely Ladies

“Demain” – Children’s Book

Aviva Short Stories

ETSY.COM: Family Portrait

Dribbble search

Love these

Coronavirus Family!

These are stunning animal character design

Great use of shapes and color in character design

Adobe Illustrator is for illustrators.. In this project, communicate your “illustrative style” by starting from a blank document and using the pen tool, in addition to others, building a cohesive character design. This character design should be seen as a creative illustration – one that could later be used in a children’s book, to print and frame as a gift, to later animate, the possibilities are endless!


Project Requirements: Sketch and develop character designs for 4-6 people in a setting of your choice. (Could include animals!)

Include details that make the character “human” – accessories, facial expressions, texture, color, etc.

Technical requirements: show skill with the pen tool, composition, color design

There is alot of creativity within the style of illustration – I am open and excited about your ideas!

Size: 8 1/2 x 11″

DUE DATE (uploaded to Canvas Assignment): Monday, September 27 by 8 a.m.. We will have  individual “half-way there” check in’s via email for feedback purposes. You can also email me ANYTIME for feedback on your projects.

Project critique: Monday, Sept. 27 – 8:15 a.m.

Previous sensational student examples done in former Illustrator 2 semesters:

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Monday, Aug. 23: Introductions

Hello and welcome to Illustrator 2!

I will meet you on Canvas Zoom today at 8:15 a.m.

Happy first day of Virtual Fall 2021 semester… Today we will go over the syllabus, our proposed projects, options for online tutorials and basic Illustrator technical questions. Please be sure to look at our syllabus, which you can find here .

Please stay posted as I design our class blog. Follow along and log on from home to access assignments, due dates and links to inspiring designers.

It is very important that you keep up with your projects as well as participate in our Design Critiques- not only for the benefit of your grade, but for your greater benefit towards becoming professional graphic designers!

I’m looking forward to a great semester!

Best, Prof. Hopkins

Course Description: This advanced course will give essential skills in vector graphics through the Illustrator program, covering a range of projects and creative explorations. Emphasis will be placed on creative problem solving, the pen tool, shape building, pattern creation and typographic experimentation.

  1. Family of Characters- a warm up project to get re-acquainted with the Illustrator tools and toolbar.                                                                                                  From Sketch to Vector + Character Design
  2. History of Poster Design     Inspired by previous Norton Museum Movie poster exhibit – we will take a virtual field trip, explore historical ideas of typography, discuss the “anatomy of poster design” and research an “old movie”.

      3. Putting Things in Perspective: Vector Landscapes

Perspective tool, advanced image tracing, advanced color + gradients

4. Socio-Political Poster Design:

Choose a topic, take a stand and use your design skills for change!

Homework for next week:

  1. Start sketching your “family”!
  2. Start thinking about projects!

What to expect in terms of method of working: We will use this website for all class assignments, submit files through Canvas and have critiques through Canvas Zoom, as well as have at least one “half-way” check in on each assignment.

And FYI – you can email me ANYTIME for feedback, technical assistance, or just to say hello 😉

Mock ups

For your Pattern Design project you are working on a Pattern Collection –

Three DIFFERENT patterns that work within a theme.

Think of all the different ways to find connection – theme, color, line, shape, texture.

Your final PDF file should have 4 artboards.

  1. Pattern 1
  2. Pattern 2
  3. Pattern 3
  4. Choose one pattern to present on a mockup

Mock ups are a powerful tool for designers to use to visually present their designs to the masses. You may choose any direction of where you see your pattern being used – ideas include but not limited to –

Textiles – pillows, bedspreads, towels, etc

Clothing – shirts, hoodies, swimsuits, etc

Products – backpacks, notebooks, mugs, etc

Packaging – tea, wine labels,

Here are some resources for free mockups – but lots of others online too.

Adobe Stock (10 free images)

If you’d like to challenge yourself to something more complex – try Dimension and this tutorial for 3D packaging visualization.

Music Illustration Poster Design

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It’s our last project… Let’s make it great!

Adobe Illustrator is for illustrators.. In this project, you need to communicate your “illustrative style” by starting from a blank document and using the pen tool, in addition to others, building a cohesive poster design for your favorite band. The poster illustration should be seen as an illustrative ad, marketing a particular performance/location.

Once you decide on your band/group/solo artist, work in your sketchbook to play around with composition, type and color palette. Your aesthetic direction is very important in this project!

Saul Bass: Master Graphic Artist

Charley Harper: Graphic Artist and Illustrator

50 Amazing Poster Designs

Music Festival Branding Campaign

Typography + Music Illustration

Music Icons

House of Blues

Fort Lauderdale Designers: Iron Forge Press


Choosing a band of your choice, design an illustrative advertising poster combining all of your acquired technical skills so far: THE PEN TOOL, image trace, pattern making, typography, shape builder, the blob tool, recolor artwork, layer/file management, etc. Is an “effect” something you would like to try?

This could be your dream concert, favorite band, with a fictional location/time and date.

Design elements to consider: Composition, basic principles of design (Repetition and Rhythm , Scale and Proportion, Directional Force, Balance, Emphasis, Contrast), Typography, Color Theory.

Size requirements – larger: 13 x 19″ – 18×24″


Great tutorial from Adobe:

Books to reference:

Masters of Poster Design

Gig Posters

1000 Posters from Toulouse-Latrec to Sagmeister

Naive: Modernism and Folklore in Contemporary Graphic Design




Link to Just Like Being There – documentary on Gig Posters (watch it! On Netflix)


BELOW you will see some beautiful student examples from previous semesters!

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DUE: Tuesday, May 4 – in Google Drive. Last critique and meeting: WEDNESDAY, May 5

Patterns on Patterns

Digital patterning

Watch these Video tutorials:

Adobe help: 

Excellent short video

Another tutorial

  • Objectives: Using the pen tool, shape builder tools and others – create a digital pattern that can be made into a piece of fabric, wallpaper, or other paper goods. (Journal, file folder, etc.) We are also going to learn how to “Recolor Artwork” so you can see your pattern in different color schemes. We will also cover color and color swatches in Illustrator. Pattern Options and Pattern Tiling.

Create a digital pattern repeat in Illustrator using 2-5 colors within the file.


1. Experimenting with: Basic tiling, brick, hexing, and mirroring.

2. Present a ” Pattern Collection” for critique consisting of 3 different patterns with one unifying theme

  • 8″ x 10″ for each of the 3 art boards – final saved as a .pdf and uploaded to our Google Drive

Things to think about:

1. Color palette/harmony

2. Execution: What do you see this pattern being used for?

3. Tech: pen tool, shape builder, arrangement of layers, (overlapping shapes) composition, Recoloring Artwork, scale tool, etc.

4. Stylistic: Abstract, non-representational, representational, whimsical, geometric?

Online Research:

Spoonflower – print on demand by textile designers and artists.

Behance Pattern Design

Michelle Weinberg: Miami artist and designer

Marimekko: Modern Scandinavian design

Real Simple Magazine

Amy Butler Textile Designer

And, of course, we can’t talk about wallpaper design without talking about the amazing Arts and Crafts artist and designer, William Morris.

Here are some links to his famous designs:

Victoria and Albert Museum, London

William Morris Society

Books referenced for this project:

1. Grammar of the Ornament by Owen Jones

2. “Over and Over: A Collection of Hand drawn Patterns” by Mike Perry

3. 1000 Patterns

SCAD grad fashion designer

See below for amazing former student pattern collection examples!

Wednesday, Feb. 24 : Lab day for Infographics

Today will be a lab day for Infographics – work from home to gather information and plan your project

These are the steps I would recommend for this project: 

  1. Research / Data Gathering
  2. Compositional Layout – How are you going to present all this info?
  3. Title Design
  4. Typography + Color
  5. Design Icons/Elements

Next week we will also do a technical demo on how to use the “Edit Colors/Recolor Artwork” feature in Illustrator so you can be sure you are certain about your color decisions.

Color support:

Recolor Artwork

Extra AMAZING link for professional Data Visualization examples

We will meet live at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, March 3 – please have your project started and have questions ready!

Use this as inspiration for planning!