Session 3B | Nov 30, 2016

Session 3B | Nov 30, 2016

Madness, Disciplined

Today’s session is an introduction to graphic design and its place in your everyday’s architectural work.

In Class


Lecture: Introduction To Graphic Design

Graphic design is a primary mean of communication for architects. It is a discipline that brings together everything that we talked about so far (form, content) and adopt it to specific media to deliver powerful messages. In this lecture we will discuss some of the main aspects of graphic design and how to use it in your everyday practice.
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Exercise: Objectives, Objectively

You will work in groups of 3. Each student will read their objective, the one prepared for portfolio. Please note that you shouldn’t be explaining what you meant by your objective – your text should speak for itself. If it doesn’t, listen to the feedback of your peers and update the objective text accordingly. The rest of the students will evaluate how good the objective is, using the following criteria:



Lecture: Discipline In Graphic Design

While the thoughtful “madness” is always a welcoming trait of your portfolio, what people will primarily look is your ability to show disciplined balanced approach to both the way you think and the way you present things. This lecture lists some of the most important aspects of making your work look and feel professional as it should.
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Tech Demo: Creating Presentations In Illustrator

This demo will show you how to combine images, drawings in text in Illustrator to create a multi-page presentation ready to print or be exported as PDF.
Click here to see the related tutorial.
Download tutorial material

Open Tutorial



Exercise: Portfolio Layout

In this exercise you will work individually on creating sketches of each page in your portfolio. While doing that, keep in mind the aspects of good, disciplined design from this session’s lecture, with the emphasis on:

Ideally, you would have two iteration of sketches:

  1. First, do the quick -very small- thumbnail sketches just to distribute the content over all pages and see quickly how entire portfolio is perceived.
  2. After this, you might want to do sketches in real-size (the page size you selected for portfolio), so you can fill in more details (such as decide how the elements will be aligned between themselves, whether to use grid, etc…)


Please refer to next paragraph for the details on your assignment.
This section refers to what you are required to finish and bring to the next session.


bring next time: Sketches and Layouts

At least you should have a detailed hand sketch of each page of your portfolio, post it to website and bring to class next time.
Ideally you would also try to pull these elements into Illustrator and create a rough version of your portfolio, following the workflow I described in today’s tutorial.

Assignment Details

Please refer to following specification on what you are required to create and submit as a part of the final assignment in this course.


Technical Requirements

You should prepare a 10-20 pages portfolio.
You can choose portfolio size as you want, although it’s recommended to be A4 or smaller (for easier handling).
You are required to prepare portfolio for printing, meaning all the media (vector and raster) should be big enough so they could print well and crisp.
You are NOT required to actually print the portfolio (it will complicate things an waste too much time you may better spend on actual design). You can print the portfolio if you want to, but for this class you will merely need to send a PDF file.



Your portfolio should have at least these following sections/content:

If you don’t have enough experience, invent it: think about what kind of experience you wish you’d have, say, in 5 years, and write that experience as if it already happend – but write dates in the future. Important: of course, it goes without saying that in a real portfolio you are not allowed to invent stuff. In the context of our class we can call this invented experience “a positive visualization”, however in a real professional context – inventing experience is lying.
If you don’t have enough projects, you can add a fill-in project, and use material for Barcelona Pavillion, for example. But try to minimize this – only go if really necessary, because it is much better to try and consider the ways to present your own work: you will get more out of this exercise if you do it like this.
Note that you must include at least two projects of your own. So at total you can only add one invented project (ie. Barcelona Pavilion)


Deadline and Deliverables

Deadline: December 15, 2016 at 10:00am
Delivery format: PDF file. Please send your portfolio via email, and in your portfolio address me as if I was someone working in a studio where you want to send portfolio to – write a cover letter in email the same way you would when sending your real portfolio to someone. Important: The quality of your cover letter (what you write in email) will be evaluated too!
Delivery method: Email with either attachment or WeTransfer.
Delivery method depends on the size of your PDF file.
If the pdf is smaller than 5Mb, you can attach it to the email directly.
If the pdf is bigger than 5Mp, do not attach it to an email: instead use some delivery service such as WeTransfer, Dropbox or Hightail to send the link to download the pdf.
At any rate, do not forget to write a proper cover letter.


Evaluation Criteria

Following elements of your portfolio will be evaluated:

Cool & Useful

More Information On Portfolios

Article: How To Make A Killer Portfolio
You have the ability to capture the attention of a creative director in a single glance of your portfolio, so it’s vital to get the details right. What is the most compelling way to curate your images? How do you best present your designs? And what are the important mistakes to avoid?

Article: Why Every Artist Should be a Great Storyteller
Expertly telling your story is the best kind of organic marketing you can do to promote your art because people care almost as deeply about how you create, as they do about the end product.

Portfolio Examples

Following two portfolios are what I used in my lecture, to emphasize some quality about discipline, both are well designed and even better structured. Both also lack a little better Objectives message, but otherwise are good examples:

Portfolio: Emmet Morris

Portfolio : Laurent Rosset

More Tutorials

Apart from the tutorial referenced in class, there are bunch of Illustrator tutorials you can see now on Tutorials page of this website.
Also, you can check this tutorial which offers more options for AutoCAD > Illustrator import:

Winter Scene #3: From AutoCAD To IllustratorIllustrator lets you combine your drawings with images and other visual material in a much more visual way than AutoCAD. There are several ways to import your drawings from AutoCAD to Illustrator, each with its own advantages.

Note that it’s a part of a larger multi-part tutorial that shows completely how to make an architectural presentation from scratch:




Students' Work

Session #8
Portfolio Setup&Design
Madness, Discipline
Madness, Disciplined
Maddness, Disciplined
session 3B
Madness, Disciplined
Session 3B: intro to graphic design
Session 3B
session 3A
Session 3A
Session 3A