Parsons Class Spotlight: Print Design 2

One of the best things about Parsons is that there is a great deal of diversity in the majors and classes offered. Every time I read over the course catalog there are always so many different classes that I want to take! Since I don’t have enough time in my schedule to take every class I’ve ever been interested in, I’m forced to live vicariously through my friends instead. I chatted with my friend, Pauline Shin, a rising junior in Communication Design, about an elective she just finished this past semester and one of her favorite projects she worked on in the class as well. 

Pauline sketching on her roof

LD: Electives are a great way to choose classes that you really want to take. Tell me about an elective you enjoyed last semester.
PS: I really liked my Print Design 2 elective class with Kevin Smith. I wanted to take it not only because I heard great things about the class, but the teacher as well. It’s a continuation of Print Design 1, and it focuses a lot on both digital work and the presentation, packaging, and branding aspects as well.

LD: What was a typical class like?
PS: A lot of the classes consisted of learning new tools and design elements, but it was mostly used as a critique class. We were able to receive feedback on a project we were working on, and also see what our peers were doing, offering feedback and comments on their work as well.

Pauline’s sketches from the currency project

LD: I was flipping through your sketchbook and noticed some interesting sketches of currency. What was that project about?
PS: We had three major projects throughout the semester, and the currency project was the second. Every student was given a country to design the currency for – I was given the Philippines. My main theme surrounded around the arts and culture of the country, specifically the sculpture. So, in the currency I incorporated sculpture from a specific area in the Philippines. On top of this we also had to design a book that incorporated the history of the Phillipines and the currency aspect of it as well. This was the hardest part of the assignment, just trying to get everything to correlate and design the book in a way that reflected both the history as well as the design of the currency.

Paulines new Philippine currency displayed in her book

Pages from Pauline’s book featuring information about the Philippines

LD: Sketching seems to be an important aspect of this class, but generally, why is sketching important for students in Communication Design?
PS: It is so important because it’s like brainstorming and solving problems through sketching. If you don’t sketch, there is no solution. I did a lot of sketching for this project; I had to sketch everything before I even attempted designing on the computer.

Paulines finished book and currency

LD: What did you take from this elective that you can apply to classes in the future?
PS: I learned a lot through trial and error, just playing around and seeing what worked and what didn’t. It also definitely opened my eyes to new ways of designing and how to design with a whole new perspective. Especially with typography and how to set type. There is also a lot of research that has to be done before each project, and having a lot of prior background knowledge, especially for the currency project, is very important.

LD: Are there any other comments about the class or your projects that you would like to share?
PS: When I look back on each project I feel there is always something that could be changed or improved on. I never feel like they are completely finished. I think that is a good thing though because as a student you always want to improve and see where you can take your work. An artist’s work is never finished.

About Lauren

Hey all! I am currently a junior at Parsons in the Integrated Design fashion program. You can usually find me creating or making things, I love a great D.I.Y. Other favorite activities of mine include thrifting, consuming frozen yogurt, dancing and discovering new music!

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